Faculty Publications

Title

Social psychophysics: Using psychophysics to answer "social" questions with PsychoPro

Document Type

Article

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Behavior Research Methods

Volume

41

Issue

3

First Page

623

Last Page

632

Abstract

Complex social stimuli (like faces) can be studied using a methodology typically reserved for studying lights, tones, and colors: psychophysics. Given that psychophysics examines how humans detect and respond to stimuli in their environment, we can extend that to the study of how humans detect social stimuli in the environment. Using psychophysical methodology to answer "social" questions provides another dimension of experimental manipulation and control to the diverse array of methodologies already used by social psychologists. In this article, we review psychophysical methodology, provide a rationale for social psychophysics, describe an easy-to-use software program called PsychoPro, for collecting psychophysical data, and present data collected using this program to examine racial thresholds that provide evidence for a cognitive gating mechanism for racial information that impacts face processing. © 2009 The Psychonomic Society, Inc.

Original Publication Date

8-1-2009

DOI of published version

10.3758/BRM.41.3.623

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