Cookies Policy

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

I accept this policy

Find out more here

Fechner's Elusive Parallel Law

No metrics data to plot.
The attempt to load metrics for this article has failed.
The attempt to plot a graph for these metrics has failed.
The full text of this article is not currently available.

Brill’s MyBook program is exclusively available on BrillOnline Books and Journals. Students and scholars affiliated with an institution that has purchased a Brill E-Book on the BrillOnline platform automatically have access to the MyBook option for the title(s) acquired by the Library. Brill MyBook is a print-on-demand paperback copy which is sold at a favorably uniform low price.

Access this article

+ Tax (if applicable)
Add to Favorites
You must be logged in to use this functionality

image of Seeing and Perceiving
For more content, see Multisensory Research and Spatial Vision.

Weber's Law states that the differential threshold or just-noticeable-difference (jnd) is proportional to the physical intensity of the stimulus. Fechner built up his logarithmic law of sensation intensity from Weber's Law and the assumption that all jnds are subjectively equal. He thought it important that the Parallel Law should also hold. The Parallel Law states that, when perceived stimulus intensity is changed by something other than physical intensity (such as adaptation), Weber's Law continues to hold: discrimination should be unchanged provided the perceived values of the two stimuli change in the same ratio. Fechner claimed that weight discrimination was unaffected by weight adaptation; he was unsure about light adaptation; and he claimed that tactile length discrimination was unaffected by perceived changes caused by the bodily location of the stimulus. Modern research on adaptation for weights and other sensory stimuli shows that changes occur both in perceived intensity and in discrimination. Discrimination between stimuli is usually finest when the adaptation level is appropriate to the test level. There is insufficient evidence concerning the discrimination of tactile length and visual length when perceived length is changed. However, the Parallel Law may be untestable because of the difficulty of obtaining measures in the same experiment both for changes in discrimination and for the ratios of the perceived changes of the stimuli.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Psychology, University of Stirling, Stirling FK9 4LA, UK.; 2: School of Psychology, University of Dundee, Dundee DD1 4HN, UK


Full text loading...


Data & Media loading...

Article metrics loading...



Can't access your account?
  • Tools

  • Add to Favorites
  • Printable version
  • Email this page
  • Subscribe to ToC alert
  • Get permissions
  • Recommend to your library

    You must fill out fields marked with: *

    Librarian details
    Your details
    Why are you recommending this title?
    Select reason:
    Seeing and Perceiving — Recommend this title to your library
  • Export citations
  • Key

  • Full access
  • Open Access
  • Partial/No accessInformation