Test #2 - Psych
L0101 MW 11-12 [room 2072] Test 2 2003
1. Give a definition for, and an example of, sensation. [2 marks]
- Sensation is the stimulation of sensory organs by energy sources in the environment. An
example would be light particles being captured in the retina of the eye or differences in
air pressure being detected by the ossicles in the ear.
2. What is a Just Noticeable Difference? [2 marks]
- A JND is the smallest difference in the amount of stimulation that a specific sense can
3. Describe the main visual pathway in the brain. [3 marks]
- Neural impulses travel from the eye along the optic nerve and down the optic tract to
the thalamus, which then sends the messages to the Lateral Geniculate Nucleus (LGN).
Visual information is sent from the LGN to the primary visual cortex. Here the main
pathway splits in two directions to the “what” and “where pathways”.
4. Explain the Opponent-Process theory of color vision. What areas of the brain
are associated with this theory? [4 marks]
- Color perception depends on receptors that make antagonistic responses to three pairs of
colors: red-green, yellow-blue, and black-white. Evidence for this theory is found in
ganglion cells in the retina, lateral geniculate nucleus, and visual cortex that respond in
opposite ways to red versus green and blue versus yellow. For example, some ganglion
cells are excited by green and inhibited by yellow and vice versa.
5. Brain waves that occur when relaxed and calm are called _____________
waves. [1 mark]
6. Identify and explain three ideas of the functional significance of the
unconscious. [3 marks]
- Unconscious processes are rapid and efficient, so we can act without having to
consciously think and analyze the situation. Also, unconscious processes can operate
simultaneously with conscious processes so we can do more than one thing at a time, e.g.,
think about psychology while driving a car. Finally, the unconscious will operate in the
absence of consciousness, such as when we are sleeping.
7. What is the name of the sleep disorder characterized by episodes of intense
panic that occur during deep sleep early in the night? [1 mark]
- Night Terrors
8. Explain the Cognitive view of dreaming. [4 marks]
- The Cognitive view believes that dreams are constructed from the daily issues faced by
the dreamer and that much of what we dream about is simply processing the information
that we have attended to throughout the day. This view does not see dreams as
particularly insightful or meaningful, rather, dreams are simply a way to clean out the
brains memory storage units to make room for new information to be processed the next
day. [I will accept the Problem-solving view of dreams here also]
9. 9. Explain the terms Acquisition, Extinction, and Spontaneous Recovery, as
they pertain to classical conditioning. [4 marks]
- Acquisition refers to repeated pairings of an unconditioned stimulus with a neutral
stimulus that converts the neutral stimulus into a conditioned stimulus that elicits a
conditioned response. Extinction refers to the weakening of the conditioned response
when the conditioned stimulus is presented repeatedly without the unconditioned
stimulus. Spontaneous recovery refers to the reemergence of a previously extinguished
10. 10. What is instinctive drift? [2 marks]
- Instinctive drift occurs when an animal’s innate response tendencies interfere with
11. 11. Explain and give examples for positive and negative punishment.
- Positive punishment is when a negative or aversive event follows a behavior and
weakens the tendency for that behavior to occur again. An example is a child who gets
scolded for throwing their food. Negative punishment is when a positive or pleasant
stimulus is removed following some behavior in order to weaken the tendency of that
behavior to occur again. An example is when a child stays out past curfew so the parent
takes away their TV for a week.
L0301 MW 3-4 [K 137] Test 2 2003
1. What is the difference between sensation and perception? [2 marks]
- Sensation is the stimulation of sensory organs by energy in the environment, whereas
perception is the selection, organization, and subjective interpretation of sensory input.
2. What is an absolute threshold? [2 marks]
- An absolute threshold is the minimum amount of energy needed for a specific sensory
system to detect a stimulus in the environment at least 50% of the time.
3. Explain how light is converted into electrochemical impulses in the brain.
- Light travels through the pupil to the retina where it contacts the photoreceptors (rods
and cones) and bleaches a pigment in the photoreceptors, which creates graded receptor
potentials that eventually lead (through bipolar and amacrine cells) to action potentials in
the ganglion cells.
4. Explain the Young-Hemholtz theory of color vision and provide two
examples of phenomena that could not be explained by this theory. [4 marks]
- The human eye has three types of receptors with differing sensitivities to different light
wavelengths (red, green, and blue). This theory does not account for why afterimages of
objects that are stared at, are seen in complimentary colors. It also does not account for
why dichromats have trouble distinguishing either red from green or blue from yellow. [it
does not account for why people prefer to use four colours (red, green, blue, and yellow)
to describe different color shades].
5. Brain waves that occur during alert wakefulness are called ____________
waves. [1 mark]
6. Identify and explain three attentional processes. [3 marks]
- When focusing our attention we can orient ourselves to what is important in our
environment by concentrating on important stimuli and ignoring unimportant stimuli. We
can also control the content of our consciousness by determining what we think about and
finally we can maintain alertness to be extra aware of our surroundings.
7. What is the name of the sleep disorder characterized by vivid, fear-evoking
dreams that occur during REM sleep? [1 mark]
8. Explain the Psychoanalytic view of dreaming. [4 marks]
- This view believes that dreams are a window into the unconscious, where we can
express our deepest, darkest desires without fear of scorn, ridicule, or punishment, and
fulfill wishes that cannot otherwise be fulfilled in waking life. This view also believes
that dreams contain important information from the unconscious that needs to be
transferred to the conscious mind and that dream information is often expressed in
symbolic language that must be interpreted to find the true meaning.