Hannes Eisler, 1923-2015

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Jul 022015
 

Åke Hellström

Stockholm University, Sweden

Hannes85fix

Our very distinguished member, Professor Hannes Eisler, Stockholm University, has left us. He died on May 28, 2015, at the age of 91. He was a member of the ISP from its beginnings. At Fechner Day 2014 in Lund, Sweden, Hannes lectured on “Some research tips from 55 years’ psychophysics.” Informally, he named this presentation his “swan song.”

Hannes was Born in Vienna, Austria, 1923, and at the age of 15 fled to Sweden to escape the Nazis. Initially Hannes worked as a farm hand but quickly progressed to study at high school and later at Stockholm University, where he became an adept of Gösta Ekman, the Swedish pioneer of quantitative psychology. After spending a year in S. S. Stevens’ lab at Harvard, Hannes was awarded his Ph.D. in Stockholm 1963. In 1994, as the result of a petition from all Swedish psychology professors, the Swedish government awarded Hannes Eisler the rank and honor of Professor – a rare recognition of scientific merit.

During his long career, Hannes authored a large number of publications and made many important contributions to our field. His doctoral dissertation was about the relation between magnitude and category scales. Later on, he turned much of his interest toward time perception in people as well as in mice. Perhaps the most impressive of his contributions is the Parallel Clock model for temporal reproduction and comparison1, which arose from Hannes’ arduous and meticulous investigation of long known anomalies in time perception; specifically, breaks in psychophysical functions. Noting the positions of those breaks in reproduction data led him to the counter-intuitive realization that participants use a seemingly odd strategy in immediate reproduction of temporal intervals: subjectively matching the reproduction, not to the standard, but to one-half of the total duration. Using this model it is possible to estimate the psycho-physical function for time from reproduction data, and Hannes published a huge collection of temporal power function exponents2 – much cited but all too often with no understanding of how they were determined.

Hannes was intellectually perspicacious and possessed research talent in abundance. Modes-ty, good nature, along with deep and diverse cultural interests, sense of humor, and appreci-ation of the good things in life, were some of his other characteristics. Scientific seminars on various topics were enriched by his insightful comments until a heart attack sadly ended his long life.

I miss Hannes immensely, as a very good old friend, a respected senior colleague, and a mentor – even the word guru feels very appropriate.

References

  1. Eisler, H. (1975). Psychological Review, 82, 429-450.
  2. Eisler, H. (1976). Psychological Bulletin, 83, 1154-1171.

Fechner Day 2015, Québec, Canada, August 17–21

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Mar 212015
 

Fechner Day 2015

31st Annual Meeting of the International Society for Psychophysics

The 31st meeting of the International Society for Psychophysics (ISP) will be held in Québec, Canada, 17th – 21st of August, 2015. You are invited to join us in the beautiful Old Québec (Québec City, Canada), for Fechner Day 2015.

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Special Issue of the Journal of Mathematical Psychology in Honor of R. Duncan Luce

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Jan 192015
 
luce-2

The Journal of Mathematical Psychology will honor the legacy and contributions of  R. Duncan Luce  with a special issue. TheJournal seeks submissions of manuscripts for peer review that present new research or perspective on the diverse topics of mathematical psychology that were influenced by Luce, including, but not limited to:  theory and/or experiment on deterministic or probabilistic choice and utility; measurement; response time; psychophysics; and game theory. However, the primary criterion for publication in the special issue is exceptional scientific research conducted in the tradition of mathematical psychology established by Luce. This special issue will be co-edited by A. A. J. Marley, Clintin Davis-Stober, and Ragnar Steingrimsson,

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Fechner Day 2012

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Apr 152012
 

 

You are cordially invited to the 28th Annual Meeting of the

International Society for Psychophysics in Ottawa, Canada, October 18 – 21 2012.

Fechner Day 2012 will begin with an opening reception, to be held on Thursday, October 18th, and it will continue until Sunday afternooon,  October 21st.

Registration for Fechner Day 2012 is now available Fechner Day official website.