Weber–Fechner law

The Weber–Fechner law refers to two related laws in the field of psychophysics, known as Weber's law and Fechner's law. Both laws relate to human perception, more specifically the relation between the actual change in a physical stimulus and the perceived change. This includes stimuli to all senses: vision, hearing, taste, touch, and smell.

Both Weber's law and Fechner's law were formulated by Gustav Theodor Fechner (1801–1887). They were first published in 1860 in the work Elemente der Psychophysik (Elements of psychophysics). This publication was the first work ever in this field, and where Fechner coined the term psychophysics to describe the interdisciplinary study of how humans perceive physical magnitudes.

Ernst Heinrich Weber (1795–1878) was one of the first people to approach the study of the human response to a physical stimulus in a quantitative fashion. Fechner was a student of Weber and named his first law in honor of his mentor, since it was Weber who had conducted the experiments needed to formulate the law.

Fechner formulated several versions of the law, all stating the same thing. One formulation states:

"Simple differential sensitivity is inversely proportional to the size of the components of the difference; relative differential sensitivity remains the same regardless of size."

What this means is that the perceived change in stimuli is proportional to the initial stimuli.

This page was last edited on 14 June 2018, at 21:05 (UTC).
Reference: under CC BY-SA license.

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