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[PSYB51H3] - Final Exam Guide - Comprehensive Notes for the exam (95 pages long!)


Department
Psychology
Course Code
PSYB51H3
Professor
Matthias Niemeier
Study Guide
Final

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UTSC
PSYB51H3
FINAL EXAM
STUDY GUIDE

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PSYB51 LECTURE NOTES
Perception and Cognition
Week 1 – May 8 th
, 2015
Sensation: means colliding atoms.
Real: electrical signals interpreted by your brain.
oThis is the world that you know.
Plato’s “The Allegory of the Cave” (380 BCE): our conception of reality is critically dependent on
information gathered through our senses.
oWe are like prisoners who are born and chained to a cave wall.
We can only see the back wall of the cave where shadows are cast by fire.
Negative view of what a person perceives.
oOur understanding of reality is restricted to what we can perceive.
oScientists view Plato’s view of perception as wrong.
Perception and your sense of reality are the products of evolution:
oSurvival
oImportance of type of energy in the environment determines which senses have developed.
I.e., we might not sense the entire reality but we probably don’t need to worry too much
about that.
E.g., Venus flytraps perceive vibrations.
oSome animals are able to sense stimuli that humans can’t:
Bees sense UV light.
Snakes sense infrared light.
Dogs sense smell and sound much better.
Birds can sense magnetic fields.
Dolphins and bats are capable of echolocation.
Humans can learn to do this (e.g., Ben Underwood).
Heracilitus (540-480 BCE): “you can never step into the same river twice.”
oPanta rhei: everything flows.
oIdea that the perceiver can’t perceive the same event in exactly the same manner each time.
Experience/learning
Adaptation: a reduction in response caused by prior or continuing stimulation (panta
rhei).
E.g.,
If you look at the female face you’re more inclined to view the neutral face as
female (and vice versa for the male face).
Seeing a mouse or a man’s face depending on which image you viewed first.
Democritus (460-370 BCE): the world is made up of atoms that collide with one another.
oSensations are caused by atoms leaving objects and making contact with our sense organs.
oPerception is the result of the physical interaction between the world and our bodies.
oCoined the term ‘atom’ although his ideas of atoms weren’t accurate.
oSensory transducer: a receptor that converts physical energy from the environment into neural
activity.
Nativism: the idea that the mind produces ideas that aren’t derived from external sources.
oE.g., Plato’s “The Allegory of the Cave”.
Truest sense of reality comes from people’s minds and souls.
Descartes (1596-1650): had a dualist view of the world: both mind and body exist.
oTies into nativism
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oMind-body dualism: the idea positing the existence of two distinct principles of being in the
universe: spirit/soul and matter/body.
Monism: the idea that the mind and matter are formed, or reducible to, a single ultimate substance or
principle of being.
oSimilar to materialism.
oSolipsism: there’s nothing else but myself and everything else is an illusion.
oMaterialism: the idea that the physical matter is the only reality, and everything including the
mind can be explained in terms of matter and physical phenomena.
Empiricism: the idea that the experience from the senses is the only source of knowledge.
oExtreme view that everything is learned.
oHobbes (1588-1678): believed that everything that could ever be known or even imagined had
to be learned through the senses.
oLocke (1632-1704): sought to explain how all thoughts, even complex ones, could be
constructed from experience with a collection of sensations.
E.g., mental imagery is like faded perceptions.
Fechner (1801-1887): invented “psychophysics,” and was thought to be the true founder of experimental
psychology.
oPioneering work relating changes in the physical world to changes in our psychological
experiences.
oPanpsychism: the idea that all matter has consciousness.
E.g., flowers have consciousness.
oPsychophysics: the science of defining quantitative relationships between physical and
psychological (subjective) events.
Consciousness has to do with changes in physics.
oJust noticeable difference: (or difference threshold) the smallest detectable difference between
two stimuli, or the minimum change in a stimulus that can be correctly judged as different from a
reference stimulus.
Two-point touch threshold: the minimum distance at which two stimuli (e.g., two
simultaneous touches) are just perceptible as separate.
1/40 of the standard was the smallest change in weight that could be detected.
oWeber’s law: the principle describing the relationships between stimulus and resulting sensation
that says the JND is a constant fraction of the comparison stimulus.
The size of the detectable difference (ΔI) is a constant proportion (k) of the level of
stimulus (I).
Weber fractions: the constant of proportionality in Weber’s law.
oTwo-point touch threshold: the minimum distance at which two stimuli (e.g., two simultaneous
touches) are just perceptible as separate.
oWeber’s law: the principle describing the relationships between stimulus and resulting sensation
that says the JND is a constant fraction of the comparison stimulus.
The size of the detectable difference (ΔI) is a constant proportion (k) of the level of
stimulus (I).
Weber fractions: the constant of proportionality in Weber’s law.
oFechner’s law: a principle describing the relationship between stimulus magnitude and resulting
sensation magnitude such that the magnitude of subjective sensation increases proportionally to
the logarithm of the stimulus intensity.
S = K log I (Actually S = K log 1/10)
S: psychological sensation
I: physical stimulus level/intensity
K: constant
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