The Weber—Fechner law refers to two related hypotheses 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. They were first published in in the work Elemente der Psychophysik Elements of Psychophysics.
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The law states that the change in a stimulus that will be just noticeable is a constant ratio of the original stimulus. It has been shown not to hold for extremes of stimulation.
By stating a relationship between the spiritual and physical worlds, the law indicated to Fechner that there is really only one world, the spiritual.
To others, the law meant the possibility of a scientific, quantitative psychology. The combined work of Weber and Fechner has been useful, especially in hearing and vision research, and has had an impact on attitude scaling and other testing and theoretical developments.
Weber's law. Article Media. Info Print Cite. Submit Feedback. Thank you for your feedback. See Article History. Learn More in these related Britannica articles:. Once the confusions were cleared away that confounded duration with extension, succession with simultaneity, and quality with quantity, he maintained that the…. History at your fingertips.
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