Loudness Counts: Interactions Between Loudness, Number Magnitude and Space

Hartmann, Matthias; Mast, Fred W. (2017). Loudness Counts: Interactions Between Loudness, Number Magnitude and Space. Quarterly journal of experimental psychology, 70(7), pp. 1305-1322. Psychology Press 10.1080/17470218.2016.1182194

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ATOM (a theory of magnitude) suggests that magnitude information of different formats (numbers, space, and time) is processed within a generalized magnitude network. In this study we investigated whether loudness, as a possible indicator of intensity and magnitude, interacts with the processing of numbers. Small and large numbers, spoken in a quiet and a loud voice, were simultaneously presented to the left and right ear (Experiments 1a and 1b). Participants judged whether the number presented to the left or right ear was louder or larger. Responses were faster when the smaller number was spoken in a quiet voice, and the larger number in a loud voice. Thus, task-irrelevant numerical information influenced the processing of loudness and vice versa. This bi-directional link was also confirmed by classical SNARC paradigms (spatial-numerical association of response codes; Experiments 2a-2c) when participants again judged the magnitude or loudness of separately presented stimuli. In contrast, no loudness-number association was found in a parity judgment task. Regular SNARC effects were found in the magnitude and parity judgment task, but not in the loudness judgment task. Instead, in the latter task, response side was associated with loudness. Possible explanations for these results are discussed.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Psychology > Cognitive Psychology, Perception and Methodology

UniBE Contributor:

Maalouli-Hartmann, Matthias, Mast, Fred


100 Philosophy > 150 Psychology




Psychology Press




Jeannette Gatschet

Date Deposited:

18 Aug 2017 10:51

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 15:05

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:






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