PSY100Y5 Lecture Notes - Lecture 2: Detection Theory, Subliminal Stimuli, Neural Adaptation

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13 Feb 2016
PSY 100 – Lab #2
“How do we measure your illusion?”
------------ = the right line (the comparison line)
------------ = the left line (the reference line)
-The left line doesn’t change in length, thus it is the control experiment
-It will remain at a constant 140 pixels long
-The right line’s length will vary from short to large
-Is the comparison line smaller or larger than the line on the left?
-The dependent variable is the answer
-The probability of saying the line on the right is larger than the left is the dependent
-The second dependent variable is reaction time
-When the comparison line looks the same time as the reaction line, will the reaction time
be smaller or higher?
It will be higher because when the comparison line is close to the reference line, your
time increases
-Method of constant stimuli: such as being given constant sounds or constant lines
-What is the method of constant stimuli? It’s presenting you with several stimuli and your
job is to say whether you can detect the stimulus or not
-Psychophysical scaling; Fechners law
-Signal-detection theory: sensory processes + decision processes
-Subliminal perception: existence vs practical effects
-Sensory adaptation: decline in sensitivity
-The signal detection can be a hit and miss
-Signal detection theory is used in advertisements; you may not experience it consciously
Ex: Jumping in a pool and it’s really cold, but after 20 minutes, your body adapts to the
Our sensory systems adapt to changes
-Reversible figures
-Perpetual sets
-Feature detection theory – bottom up processing
-Form perception – top down processing
Reversible figures and perceptual sets demonstrate that the same visual stimulus can
result in very different perception
-In top down process, we look at the whole rather than the details
-When you see a picture of a farm animal, you already know what to expect and that you
are seeing an animal
-Illusions are about misleading cues. The image on the screen may be perceived
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