While subjective reports provide a direct measure of perception, their validity is not self-evident. Here, the authors tested three possible biasing effects on perceptual reports in the auditory streaming paradigm: errors due to imperfect understanding of the instructions, voluntary perceptual biasing, and susceptibility to implicit expectations. (1) Analysis of the responses to catch trials separately promoting each of the possible percepts allowed the authors to exclude participants who likely have not fully understood the instructions. (2) Explicit biasing instructions led to markedly different behavior than the conventional neutral-instruction condition, suggesting that listeners did not voluntarily bias their perception in a systematic way under the neutral instructions. Comparison with a random response condition further supported this conclusion. (3) No significant relationship was found between social desirability, a scale-based measure of susceptibility to implicit social expectations, and any of the perceptual measures extracted from the subjective reports. This suggests that listeners did not significantly bias their perceptual reports due to possible implicit expectations present in the experimental context. In sum, these results suggest that valid perceptual data can be obtained from subjective reports in the auditory streaming paradigm.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
- Acoustics and Ultrasonics