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Echoic memory and answers reliability

Dear list,

I have a question to ask: I'm doing an experiment on pitch perception.
The stimuli are musical interval pairs (1.5 seconds of duration for each
1.75 seconds of inter-stimuli).
In this experiment the subject (a non musician) has to indicate, for each
pair, witch interval he/she prefers.

After about twenty trial many listeners have some difficult to give their
I think that probably, the echoic memory of the pairs heard influences their
perception as when we go in a perfumery and we smell different perfumes.

In fact, it can happen that the listener chooses, as more musical, one
stimulus during the first half of the experiment and, in the second half of
the experiment
or after a pause, he/she changes his preferences to another stimulus.
This, obviously, is a very important problem for the reliability of the
subject's answers.

I will be happy if someone knows researches that speak about this problem,
if someone has some suggestion to solve this situation.

Thanks in advance for your help.


         Massimo Grassi
         Department of General Psychology
         via Venezia 8 - 35131 - Padova - Italy
         Phone  +39 +49 +8276928 (lab)
         Fax    +39 +49 +8276600

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