Stanley Smith Stevens

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Stevens, Stanley Smith


Born Nov. 4, 1906, in Ogden, Utah; died Jan. 18, 1973, in Vail, Colo. American psychologist.

In the late 1930’s, Stevens advanced a program for the restructuring of psychology on the basis of operationalism. In 1944 he organized and became head of a psychophysics laboratory at Harvard University, where he became a professor in 1946. He initiated a school of thought that was in some respects an alternative to the classical psychophysics of G. Fechner. Whereas Fech-ner used the indirect scaling of sensation, Stevens and his students used direct scaling, whereby the subject directly evaluated his sensations according to arbitrary units. Stevens also formulated the psychophysical law of power function, which was in opposition to the logarithmic Weber-Fechner law.


Sound and Hearing. New York, 1965. (With F. Warshofsky.)
Psychophysics. New York, 1972.
In Russian translation:
“Matematika, izmerenie i psikhofizika.” In Eksperimental’naia psikhologiia, vol. 1. Moscow, 1960.
“O psikhofizicheskom zakone.” In the collection Problemy i melody psikhofiziki, part 1. Moscow, 1974.