I know for a fact that some folks will log a TA or TP based on a carrier detection or heterodyne. I also read about people who log a station by rationalizing that "It must be them" or "I recognized a business commercial" of other such things.
Well, maybe that suits some folks ... but I strongly feel that a station isn't logged until I hear a clearly audible station ID, usually at TOH or BOH but other times as well. I wonder what these high log counts would be if these restrictions were followed. MUCH lower I would bet.
Listening to a weak station under a much stronger station can delude you into thinking that amidst all that jumble of signals you really did hear an ID. If you recorded it and others can hear the same recording and come to the same conclusion well maybe then it is "logged"
A number of times I have sent recordings to others and I ALWAYS ask them to identify the weak station and NEVER suggest what I think it is. To say "I think this is station XXXX, do you agree which me?" predisposes them to your interpretation.
It seems to me that when one gets close to some "magic number" of loggings there is a real possibility of hearing what one REALLY wants to hear rather than what was really there?
As an example, one evening in December I heard a station broadcasting frequent commercials for a candidate for governor of Texas. The frequency was 820 and possibly WBAP in Fort Worth Texas, about 1500 miles from me. It is a big 50kw station and there are less than 20 US stations licensed for 820 and no others in Texas. I would like to count that station in my logs but I never heard an ID in the 20 minutes I could hear (and record) the transmission.
Do I feel that was WBAP - yes I do... But I don't count it as a logged station but just a "tentative ID" logging.
Just one very long time listeners opinion, YMMV.