A group of psychologists conducted a set of studies regarding various aspects of human visual and auditory perception. They devised two experiments in which individual subjects were studied one at a time.
A subject was seated in a dark, soundproof room for 15 minutes. Then, a dot of red light of a single wavelength was shown on the wall in front of the subject, starting faintly and then becoming increasingly brighter. The subject was asked to indicate the exact moment when the light first became visible. At that point the red light was turned off and an overhead 60-watt white light was turned on in the room. Every 30, seconds a buzzer sounded and a dot of bright red light was either flashed or not shown at all on the wall in front of the subject. The subject was instructed to report whether or not the red dot was shown. At the first buzzer, some subjects reported seeing the red dot but in fact no red dot had been shown. The effects were measured by gender.
A subject entered a dark, soundproof room and put on a set of headphones. A tone of a single frequency was played, starting faintly and increasing in volume. The subject was asked to indicate the exact moment when the sound first became audible. At that point, the tone was played continuously at the same volume for three minutes. After three minutes the subject was told that at some point the volume would increase and was asked to indicate the exact moment at which the volume increased. The volume was increased by 0.5 percent every five seconds. After approximately 35 seconds, male subjects reported that the volume had increased while female subjects reported an increase in volume after 65 seconds.
Table 1. Treatment effects by gender.
|Experiment 1||on average, reported seeing the red dot||on average, reported seeing no red dot|
|Experiment 2||no increase until 35 seconds ±10 seconds||no increase until 65 seconds ±10 seconds|
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