Differential threshold refere to the amount that stimulation needs to change before a difference in that stimulation can be detected.
In the psychology context, differential threshold refers to the smallest difference between two stimuli that an individual can detect. The concept of differential threshold, also known as the "just noticeable difference," was first proposed by German psychologist Gustav Fechner in the 19th century as a way to quantify sensory perception.
Examples of differential threshold in the psychology context include:
- The smallest difference in the intensity of a sound that an individual can detect, such as the difference between two notes played on a piano
- The smallest difference in the brightness of a light that an individual can detect, such as the difference between two shades of a color
- The smallest difference in the weight of an object that an individual can detect, such as the difference between two objects that are placed in their hands
Differential threshold is an important concept in psychology, as it helps to quantify and understand the limits of sensory perception. Psychologists and other mental health professionals may study differential threshold in order to understand how it influences perception and to explore ways in which it can be measured or assessed.