Every few years, the results of some blind listening test are announced that purportedly “prove” an absurd conclusion. These tests, ironically, say more about the flaws inherent in blind listening tests than about the phenomena in question.
The article goes on to describe research done by the Swedish Radio. Apparently an artifact inherent to a codec that hadn't been noticed in 20,000 blind listening evaluations, was noticed almost instantly in non-blind circumstances. This gives Harley grounds to claim the following:
The answer is that blind listening tests fundamentally distort the listening process and are worthless in determining the audibility of a certain phenomenon.
Is this true? Do blind listening tests significantly inhibit the listeners' ability to notice certain audible phenomena?
This article was mentioned in a comment thread by Christopher Galpin. Oddthinking suggested making a question about it. Since nothing has happened in almost a year and the question is interesting, I'm bringing it up.