Psychology, Department of


Date of this Version



Published in Behavior Research Methods, Instruments, & Computers 1996, 28 (2), 270–274. Copyright © 1996 The Psychonomic Society. Used by permission.


The equivalence of visual and auditory graphical displays was examined in two experiments. In Experiment 1, multidimensional scaling techniques were applied to paired comparison similarity judgments of both auditory and visual displays of simple periodic wave forms. In Experiment 2, a subset of perceptually similar pairs of wave forms was selected as the stimulus set for an AB–X discrimination task in both auditory and visual modalities. Results suggest much greater apparent visual– auditory equivalence for the similarity rating task than for the more difficult discrimination task, implying that one should consider the demands of the task when deciding whether auditory graphic displays are suitable alternatives to more traditional visual displays.