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[PSYB51H3] - Midterm Exam Guide - Comprehensive Notes for the exam (77 pages long!)


Department
Psychology
Course Code
PSYB51H3
Professor
Matthias Niemeier
Study Guide
Midterm

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UTSC
PSYB51H3
MIDTERM EXAM
STUDY GUIDE

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Lecture 1 4/6/2015 7:36:00 PM
Sensation means colliding atoms
Early Philosophy of Perception
Plato wrote a book called “The Allegory of the Cave” and said that the way that we perceive
reality is dependent on the information that is gathered through our senses.
Plato lived in a cave and noticed that a prisoner would only be able to know what is going on
based on the shadows and echo’s that he could see in the cave
He said that we have no reality outside of the perceptions of the senses we gather
Perception and the sense of reality are the products of evolution that are essential for survival
Our senses developed so that we can sense the most important types of energy in our
environment for our own survival
Plato said that our understanding of reality is restricted to things that we can perceive
Heraclitus (550-480 BCE) came up with a famous quote “you can never step into the same
river twice the idea that a perceiver cannot perceive the same event in exactly the same
manner each time.
Panta rhei everything flows (river quote)
The perception changes due to Experience/learning, adaptation, change and contrast
(changes in time and space)
Senses others have that we don’t
Snakes can see infrared light and can sense animals warmer than the background
Birds have much better vision, dogs have heightened hearing and smell
Bees can UV light
Dolphins can see UV light: seeing the reflection of sounds that they send out-Ben underwood
Adaptation: is a reduction in response caused by prior or previous stimulation
Eg. if you look at a female face before looking at a computer generated neutral face
you will see a female face from this neutral figure
In a situation where you see an ambiguous image of a mouse/face depending on the
stimulation you received before looking at a mouse or human you will see one
Perception only matters because of change
Sensory Transducer: a receptor that converts physical energy from the environment inot
neural activity
Philosophy of perception continued…
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Democritus (460 BCE-370 BCE) the world is made up of atoms that collide with one
another. Sensations are caused by atoms leaving objects and making contact with our sense
organs
He said that perception is the result of the physical interaction between the world and body
Nativism and empiricism
Nativism: the idea that the mind produces ideas that are not derived from external sources
Plato said that the sense of reality comes from people’s minds and souls
This idea stuck around for about 2000 years until Descartes came up with the Dualists view
Descartes said that both the mind and body exist. The mind being a soul and psyche
Mind-body Dualism: the isea 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 from a single ultimate substance of
principle of being eg. materialism
Materialism: the idea that physical matter is the only reality, and everything ncluding the
mind can be explained in terms of matter and physical phenomena.
Empiricism: the idea that experience from the senses is the only source of knowledge
Hobbes believed that everything that could ever be known or even imagined had to be
learned through the senses
Locke sought to explain how all thoughts, even complex ones, coujld be constructed from
experience with a collection of senses imagination is actually faded perceptions
everything is a product of perceptions
Fechner the father of psychophysics and is thought to be the true founder of experimental
psychology
He would pioneer work relating changes in the physical world to changes in our
psychological experiences said consciousness = matter
The dawn of psychophysics
Panpsychism the idea that all matter has consciousness (Fechner) everything has
conscious
Psychophysics the science of fedining quantitative relationships between physical and
psychological (subjective) events
Weber was interest in the smallest difference/change in a stimulus that can be detected
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