Subjective constancy

Subjective constancy

Subjective constancy or perceptual constancy is the perception of an object or quality as constant under changing conditions.


In vision this means perceiving a color as "constant under changing conditions of illumination" harv|Erickson|1975|pp=11-12 and "is the achievement of a very complicated 'calculation' by an unconsciously working apparatus within our central nervous system" harv|Lorenz|1961|p=171.

There are several types of perceptual constancies:-
* Shape constancy
* Size constancy
* Color constancy
* Lightness constancy
* Distance constancy
* Location constancy


In music, subjective constancy is the identification of a musical instrument as constant under changing timbre or "conditions of changing pitch and loudness, in different environments and with different players." harv|Erickson|1975


In speech perception this means that vowels or consonants are perceived as constant categories even if acoustically, they vary greatly due to phonetic environment (coarticulation), speech tempo, speaker's age and sex, speaker's dialect, etc.


*citation|last=Erickson|first=Robert|year=1975|title=Sound Structure in Music|publisher=University of California Press|isbn=0-520-02376-5.
*citation|last=Lorenz|first=Konrad|authorlink=Konrad Lorenz|year=1961|chapter=The Role of Gestalt Perception in Animal and Human Behaviour|title=Aspects of Form|pages=157-178|editor=Lancelot Law Whyte|publisher=Indiana University Press
*citation|last=Sayre|first=K.M.|year=1968|chapter=Toward a Quantitative Model of Pattern Formation|title=Philosophy and Cybernetics|pages=149-152|editor=Frederick J. Crosson and Kenneth M. Sayre|publisher=Simon and Schuster.

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