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Visual PsychophysicsFrom Laboratory to Theory$
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Zhong-Lin Lu and Barbara Dosher

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780262019453

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: May 2014

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262019453.001.0001

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From Theory to Experiments

From Theory to Experiments

(p.385) 12 From Theory to Experiments
Visual Psychophysics

Zhong-Lin Lu

Barbara Dosher

The MIT Press

A theory is a set of principles that explains the functioning of a system. From this set of theoretical principles, the experimenter must decide which aspects of the behavior of the system will be the focus of investigation and (ideally) develop a model of the system and generate a specific hypothesis and predictions. This is the process of starting with a theory and making that theory testable. Given a specific prediction or hypothesis, choices must be made about the general approach and the specific methods and design of testing. This chapter considers the process of translating a theory to a hypothesis and then constructing a strong experiment. We focus on the development of experiments to provide strong tests of theories.

Keywords:   Theoretical predictions, Generating hypotheses, Developing the experiment, Quantitative prediction, Data analysis and modeling, Statistical power analysis, Individual and group differences, Sequential dependencies, Within and between subject design, Mixed and blocked design

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