# Absolute Thresholds and Differential Thresholds

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• Published : March 24, 2013

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Absolute thresholds are the minimum level of stimulus intensity needed for a stimulus to be perceived. In other words, the absolute threshold is the amount of intensity needed for a person to detect a difference between something and nothing. Differential thresholds refer to the intensity difference needed between two stimuli before people can perceive that stimuli are different. Thus, the differential threshold is a relative concept. Weber’s law (1834) states the positive relation between the first stimulus and the second stimulus. The greater the initial stimulus, the stronger the additional intensity need for the second stimulus to be perceived as different.

Absolute thresholdDifferential threshold
Amount of stimulusOne stimulusTwo stimuli
MeasurementDistance between stimulus and nothingDistance between two stimuli

Compare between absolute threshold and differential threshold, absolute threshold just include one stimulus while differential threshold include two. In measurement, absolute threshold measures the distance between stimulus and nothing while differential threshold measures the distance between two stimuli. As I am a marketing student, therefore, the first thing which comes to my mind when I am trying to start off with this piece of journal is that, do these differences between the two thresholds matter with marketers’ marketing strategies? And after I do some research on the internet and with my personal experience, I am quite sure that it does matter. The importance of two thresholds can be different to marketers under different situations.

Absolute thresholdDifferential threshold