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Lecture 4

Lecture 4 (Sensation and Perception)

Course Code
Michael Inzlicht

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PSY100 Chapter 4 LectureJanuary 31, 2011
Sensation and Perception
Sensation: stimulation (any detectable input from the environment) of sense organs
Perception: the selection, organization, and interpretation of sensory input
Psychophysics: the study of how physical stimuli are translated into psychological
Threshold: a dividing point between energy levels that do and do not have a detectable
We all see the world subjectively, it is impossible for someone to see everything
Each person perceives the world differently (based on experience, surroundings,
people, etc.)
We all sense, but perceive things differently (perception is what we select, primarily
based on our learning history)
Sensing is taking the energy from the world and experiencing it through our organs
We actually only pay attention to 10% of the things around us and ignoring 90%
because it would be sensory overload if we were to pay attention to everything.
Which 10% we pay attention to is individually unique based on experiences
Sensation = universal
Absolute threshold: point at which the minimum amount of energy for any of our
activation sensory devices is able to be detected at least 50% of the time (for
conscious perception)
For example, if you are holding a 10lb weight in your hand, you would have to add
1lb to notice a difference. Similarly, if you had a 30lb weight in your hand, you would
have to add 3lbs to notice a difference. The fractions are constant.
The Visual System:
Analytic perspective is when you look at parts of the picture
Holistic perspective is when you look at the big picture (for example, the guy in the
video slicing his hand through the wooden triangle”)
Vision allows for detection of colour which is incredibly important to us (red vs. black
There is electromagnetic actively all around us all the time (radiation)
Our vision is limited to the visible spectrum (white light)
We are able to see colour through their different wave lengths
My eye:
The first area of detection is the retina
Astigmatism: when one of the lenses are not perfectly round (football shape
instead) and so the light does not hit the back of the eye where its supposed to
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