Originally Posted by aimlink
It's a hobby man. It's about the music and whether or not YOU like what you're hearing. Not what everyone else is. Your music and the gear that run it are for YOU. If your hobby is about discussing and researching whether or not different components of an audio chain make the difference many subjectively believe, then great. However, if you're not hearing a difference, how will the data change your personal behaviour on the issue? Should it?
This isn't medicine. I wouldn't compare the two.
What I/we mean is that people generally hear differences *too* easily, where none may really exist.
In both audio gear and science,
a- human bias and expectation intrude upon perception, along with values and impressions from other senses. Evaluations of audio gear are also affected by the endowment effect, which biases people to (irresistibly and irrationally) prefer the gear they own.
b- the best control for minimizing these confounds are blind tests.
The only difference is that in science, these factors are taken to heart and sighted studies are
rejected without review and never published- meaning that the flaw is considered so deep that such data is not worth reading, considering, and entering the dialogue of plausible 'factual' phenomena.
Of course audio gear cannot all be subject to such high standards, but the lessons still hold- blind tests are immensely valuable and have more weight in expensive/important decisions among people inclinded towards empirical data over hype and confusion.
So I would not agree that people who care about psychology and methodology lack the ability to make distinctions (indeed, we all make those too easily) and are not just seeking excuses for buying cheap gear, as suggested earlier.