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Wining about the placebo effect - Page 3

post #31 of 105

-1

 

What makes you think so?

post #32 of 105

Placebos are an inert substance administered to a patient who is suffering from a medical condition of some sort. The patient believes that they are receiving a medically potent treatment and report a reduction of symptoms. Key in the placebo's effect is that it's portrayed as medically potent substance or treatment. There is plenty of research on placebos, but it's all (as far as I've seen) inside the area of medical treatment and research.  The reason I think it's troublesome for audio is that using the term synonymously for the biases of audio perception falsely creates an aura of "science" that is borrowed from another domaine. 

post #33 of 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by xnor View Post

-1

 

What makes you think so?

 

Because I think it's overly simplistic. There are other factors involved beside placebo effect, such as our relatively short term aural memory, changes in attention focus, etc.

 

se

post #34 of 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by JadeEast View Post

Placebos are an inert substance administered to a patient who is suffering from a medical condition of some sort. The patient believes that they are receiving a medically potent treatment and report a reduction of symptoms. Key in the placebo's effect is that it's portrayed as medically potent substance or treatment. There is plenty of research on placebos, but it's all (as far as I've seen) inside the area of medical treatment and research.  The reason I think it's troublesome for audio is that using the term synonymously for the biases of audio perception falsely creates an aura of "science" that is borrowed from another domaine. 

 

Yes, and this is why I tend to avoid using the term.  It's very imprecise, used as is.

 

What people want to discuss are the psychological factors and the way aural perception and memory are handled by the brain, not the placebo (null, in some sense) treatment in of itself.  Actually, in many cases when people invoke "placebo", like an A/B comparison, no particular treatment can be singled out as a placebo.

post #35 of 105
I think the accepted term is "expectation bias".
post #36 of 105
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by JadeEast View Post

One argument for sighted tests would be that the equipment under investigation is encountered in a more "natural way" the way. Equipment would be used in a situation than was more "normal" versus a situation where the identity of the item is hidden, where some trickery is employed,  or where the situation of encountering it was significantly altered.

 

This is an argument, yes, but it is a pathetically weak one. Why should the sq of a device alter because you can't see the branding? More, can you always see the branding when listening to audio? You can't with most of the equipment you listen to in a bar or concert hall. And when I lent my HD25s powered by my Cowon J3 to a friend he had no idea where the phones were in Sennhrs line-up or who Cowon was, but he could stil hear a big improvement in sq over cheap earbuds.

post #37 of 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by JadeEast View Post

Placebos are an inert substance administered to a patient who is suffering from a medical condition of some sort. The patient believes that they are receiving a medically potent treatment and report a reduction of symptoms. Key in the placebo's effect is that it's portrayed as medically potent substance or treatment. There is plenty of research on placebos, but it's all (as far as I've seen) inside the area of medical treatment and research.  The reason I think it's troublesome for audio is that using the term synonymously for the biases of audio perception falsely creates an aura of "science" that is borrowed from another domaine. 

You can map this pretty much 1:1 to audio. Placebos would be components that don't make an audible difference. The buyer believes they do because he's told so. Consequently, he hears a difference/improvement in his system.

 

What goes on in the brain during the placebo effect is not really important (to me anyway). What matters is that it exists. I do not see the difference between a doctor telling you that the pills are awesome and will cure you and for example an audio reviewer telling you the cable is awesome and will 'cure' the mushy bass and veiled treble.

 

Sure, it's a medical term but it's not limited to drugs. There's also fake surgery, fake therapies .. so I don't see a problem extending the term to audio components. It doesn't describe a certain bias, but the overall effect.

 

I guess we could come up with a lot of terms that are applicable, like gullibility, ignorance, expectation bias, bandwagon effect ....


Edited by xnor - 2/16/13 at 6:10am
post #38 of 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by xnor View Post

I guess we could come up with a lot of terms that are applicable, like gullibility, ignorance, expectation bias, bandwagon effect ....

 

How about simply "being human"?

 

Friend of mine once spent a couple hours tweaking the EQ on a mastering project before he finally realized the EQ he was tweaking wasn't patched in. Was he gullible? Was he ignorant? Suffering form bandwagon effect? Or was he simply being human?

 

It's just how our brains are wired and we have no control over that. So I don't like to see such denigrating terms used to describe the underlying phenomenon.

 

se

post #39 of 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Eddy View Post

How about simply "being human"?

 

Friend of mine once spent a couple hours tweaking the EQ on a mastering project before he finally realized the EQ he was tweaking wasn't patched in. Was he gullible? Was he ignorant? Suffering form bandwagon effect? Or was he simply being human?

 

It's just how our brains are wired and we have no control over that. So I don't like to see such denigrating terms used to describe the underlying phenomenon.

I do not see how any of the terms mentioned apply to him in that case. I guess he was just stupid. Everyone's stupid sometimes. Something similar happened to me too already, but it didn't take hours to find out bypass was enabled.

 

You certainly can have control over such things. A simple and quick extreme boost to check the EQ is working is enough. Or a quick (blind) ABX test.. so that you don't trust that seeing sliders move is enough to change the sound.

 

People make mistakes and err, yes that's human, but some more so than others. Are they more human? wink.gif


Edited by xnor - 2/16/13 at 8:11am
post #40 of 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by xnor View Post

I do not see how any of the terms mentioned apply to him in that case. I guess he was just stupid.

 

It's pretty clear that you're just bent on denigrating others, so this discussion is over.

 

se

post #41 of 105

cop-out rolleyes.gif

 

I was talking about myself as well... and how about a proper quote instead of picking sentences and turning the meaning around..

post #42 of 105
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Eddy View Post

 

How about simply "being human"?

 

Friend of mine once spent a couple hours tweaking the EQ on a mastering project before he finally realized the EQ he was tweaking wasn't patched in. Was he gullible? Was he ignorant? Suffering form bandwagon effect? Or was he simply being human?

 

Couldn't the answer be "All of the above"?

 

But also, if he was working prfessionally, he should be better than that he should know his subjectivity limits and have techniques for working around them: I regularly blindly compare new EQ settings to random ones while EQing my DAPs, so I'm I don't feel obliged to be tolerant of a professional who does less.

post #43 of 105

Well good for you.

 

se

post #44 of 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by scuttle View Post

 

This is an argument, yes, but it is a pathetically weak one. 

When we encounter something it always exists inside of a context, a relationship between objects, ideas, history, culture, and biology.

Your friend while listening to your headphones did so inside of a particular context; Your friendship, the interaction, the feel of the materials,

 the location, and a pile of worldly influences all helped to form a particular experience for your friend. His ignorance of the brand didn't remove

him from being inside a context. We simply don't have the ability to extract our phenomenological experience from a particular context or perspective

and have a pure objective experience. Blind test and double blind tests exist because of this. 

 

An Illustration: A vs B. What looks darker? 

 

 

In context. (Click to show)

 

 

 

 

 

Removed from context. (Click to show)

 

post #45 of 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by JadeEast View Post

When we encounter something it always exists inside of a context, a relationship between objects, ideas, history, culture, and biology.

Your friend while listening to your headphones did so inside of a particular context; Your friendship, the interaction, the feel of the materials,

 the location, and a pile of worldly influences all helped to form a particular experience for your friend. His ignorance of the brand didn't remove

him from being inside a context. We simply don't have the ability to extract our phenomenological experience from a particular context or perspective

and have a pure objective experience. Blind test and double blind tests exist because of this.

So you are for blind listening tests?

 

 

Quote:

An Illustration: A vs B. What looks darker?

To those that don't know this illusion and take a quick look: A. If you take a close look though or already know the truth ... neither.

This is an argument for blind tests right?


Edited by xnor - 2/16/13 at 11:58am
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