A new unbiased adaptive procedure is described that requires only half as many presentations in achieving the same precision as the well‐known two‐interval forced‐choice (2IFC) 2‐step procedure. The procedure is based on a yes–no task which avoids redundant presentation time. Furthermore, certain psychophysical studies can only be realized with yes–no tasks. Every trial contains randomly presented signals or noises and the answer is either yes or no. The outcome (hit, miss, false alarm, correct rejection) is taken into account by adjusting the signal level in a staircase manner. The adjustment matrix is set up to induce a neutral response criterion. Its convergence point can be adjusted at will. The single‐interval adjustment‐matrix (SIAM) procedure is compared to von Békésy and 2IFC transformed up–down methods using a Monte‐Carlo simulation. The SIAM procedure proves to be the fastest of the unbiased procedures. A test on four subjects verified these results. Implications for optimum track length and the number of reversals to discard are discussed.

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