TO HONOR STEVENS AND REPEAL HIS LAW (FOR THE AUDITORY STSTEM)
The purpose of this paper is twofold: to honor S.S. Stevens and his efforts to further our understanding of the psychophysical law for loudness, and to propose a modification of this law in the light of converging evidence. In order to provide a simple, comprehensive law to fit the data from different modalities, second-order details in the loudness function were ignored. These â€œdetailsâ€ are essential for a full understanding of how loudness grows with increasing intensity. Data from a number of experiments reviewed in this paper indicate that a power function is only a rough approximation to the loudness growth function, because a power law does not fit the data at low and moderate levels. This paper proposes a new psychophysical law for loudness to better describe the data. A non-stationary point of inflection law [or an inflected exponential (INEX) law] appears to be the best description of currently available data.