A Computer-Assisted Difference Threshold Exercise for Introductory Psychology

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This article describes a computer-assisted active-learning exercise to help introductory psychology students understand the difference threshold concept. Students hear pairs of sounds at different pitch levels and indicate whether the sounds are the same or different. Then, they analyze the class data in groups to decide which pairs of sounds were “closest” to the difference threshold. Analysis of 1 year's data from 10 classes shows the presentation software achieved its intended result: Students perceive one third of the sound pairs as below, one third above, and one third near the difference threshold. The exercise provides students a way to experience and analyze a basic concept in psychology while participating in an actual experiment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)136-138
Number of pages3
JournalTeaching of Psychology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1995


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