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Percept Psychophys. 2000 Nov;62(8):1534-44.

Individual differences in perceptual space for tactile textures: evidence from multidimensional scaling.

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Department of Psychology, CB# 3270, Davie Hall, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC 27599, USA.


Ratio scaling was used to obtain from 5 subjects estimates of the subjective dissimilarity between the members of all possible pairs of 17 tactile surfaces. The stimuli were a diverse array of everyday surfaces, such as corduroy, sandpaper, and synthetic fur. The results were analyzed using the multidimensional scaling (MDS) program ALSCAL. There was substantial, but not complete, agreement across subjects in the spatial arrangement of perceived textures. Scree plots and multivariate analysis suggested that, for some subjects, a two-dimensional space was the optimal MDS solution, whereas for other subjects, a three-dimensional space was indicated. Subsequent to their dissimilarity scaling, subjects rated each stimulus on each of five adjective scales. Consistent with earlier research, two of these (rough/smooth and soft/hard) were robustly related to the space for all subjects. A third scale, sticky/slippery, was more variably related to the dissimilarity data: regressed into three-dimensional MDS space, it was angled steeply into the third dimension only for subjects whose scree plots favored a nonplanar solution. We conclude that the sticky/slippery dimension is perceptually weighted less than the rough/smooth and soft/hard dimensions, materially contributing to the structure of perceptual space only in some individuals.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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