Re: pitch (Al Bregman )

Subject: Re: pitch
From:    Al Bregman  <bregman(at)HEBB.PSYCH.MCGILL.CA>
Date:    Sat, 29 Aug 1998 11:13:06 -0400

Dear Chuck and List, Is it introspection when a person says, "That tone sounds twice as loud to me than the other"? True, the researcher doesn't know about it until the subject puts it into words, but does the latter mean that it is not an introspection? Without such introspections (transmitted to the researcher by words or numbers), we would not, for example, have Stevens's Power Law for loudness. If the power law simply described the giving of numbers in response to tones, who would care about it? After all, number-giving behavior is not high on the list of things we want to explain in psychology. We care about it because we think it is a report on the experience of loudness, a phenomenon that really IS of interest to us. Many people pay lip service to positivism while really understanding that it is the underlying EXPERIENCE that is of interest. No, Chuck, I don't think you are a positivist -- at least not if you think the power law is about loudness and not number-giving behavior. Cheers, Al Email to AUDITORY should now be sent to AUDITORY(at) LISTSERV commands should be sent to listserv(at) Information is available on the WEB at

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