Chapter 6 Sensation and Perception
• What is the difference between sensation and perception?
o Sensation: the stimulation of the sensory organs by physical energy from
the external world, and the conversion of this energy into neutral signals
The start of bottomup processing
EX: experiencing sudden pain
o Perception: our interpretation of what we sense based on experience,
expectations, and surroundings
The start of topbottom processing
EX: recognizing that you are suffering from a heart attack
• How do psychologists study sensation and perception?
Transduction the transforming of stimulus energies, such as sights, sounds, and smells
into neutral impulses our brain can interpret.
• What is the basic anatomy of the eye, and where does transduction happen?
o (1) The light enters the eye through the cornea—the clear coating
that protects the eye. (2-3) The light passes through the pupil—a
small adjustable opening surrounded by the iris—a colored muscle
that gives you your eyes their color and dilates or constricts in
response to light intensity. (4) Through a process called
accommodation, the lens focuses the light on the retina (5).
• How does color vision occur according to trichromatic theory?
o We have cones specialized for perception of three colors (red, green, blue),
and patterns of firing across these cones give us our perception of different
colors. For example, when both redsensitive and greensensitive cones
are stimulated, we see yellow.
• What is the basic anatomy of the ear, and where does transduction happen?
o (1) The outer ear funnels sound waves to the eardrum. (2) The
bones of the middle ear amplify and relay the vibrations through
the oval window into the cochlea. (3) The resulting pressure
changes in the cochlear fluid cause the basilar membrane to ripple,
bending the hair cells on the surface. • What are some major phenomena associated with other important senses?
• Question(s) from textbook on material not covered in class: Visual Organization
o Visual Organization
How do we organize and interpret signs (or sounds, tastes, or
smells) so that they become meaningful perceptions a rose in
bloom, a familiar face, and a sunset?
Gestalt an organized whole; gestalt psychologists emphasized our
tendency to integrate pieces of information into meaningful wholes
Form Perception Imagine designing a videocomputer system
that, like your eyebrain system, can recognize faces at a glance.
What abilities would it need?
• Figure and Ground the organization of the visual field
into objects (figures) that stand out from their surroundings
o Our first task is to perceive any object (figure) as
distinct from its surroundings (ground)
o A band’s lead singer would be considered
______________ (figure/ground) and the other
musicians would be considered ______________
• Grouping the perceptual tendency to organize stimuli into
o Proximity we group nearby figures together
o Continuity we perceieve smooth, continuous
patterns rather than discontinuous ones
o Closure we fill in gaps to create a complete, whole
• Depth Perception the ability to see objects in three
dimensions although the images that strike the retina are
two dimensional; allows us to judge distance
o Binocular Cues depth cues, such as retinal
disparity, that depends on the use of two eyes Retinal Disparity by comparing images
from the retinas in the two eyes, the brain
computes distance the greater the disparity
(difference) between the two images, the
closer the object
o Monocular Cues depth cues, such as interposition
and linear perspective, available to either eye alone
Chapter 8 Memory
• What is memory, and how is it understood from an information processing
o Memory is not defined in terms of the length that the learning has
persisted. We can remember some information for a lifetime, but other
information for only a few seconds.
Memory is the foundation of identity
• What are encoding, storage, and retrieval processes, and what are some factors
that influence them?
o To remember any event, we must get the information into our brain
(encoding), retain that information (storage), and later get it back into
• What are some explanations for forgetting?
o Forgetting Curve
o Proactive Interference occurs when something you learned earlier
disrupts your recall of something you experience later.
o Retroactive Interference occurs when new information makes it harder to
recall something you learned earlier.
• What does it mean to say that memory is “reconstructive” and what are some
consequences of this in the realworld?
• Question(s) from textbook on material not covered in class: Improving Memory
o Study repeatedly
o Make the material meaningful
o Activate retrieval cues
o Use mnemonic devices
o Minimize interference o Sleep more
o Test your own knowledge, both to rehearse it and to find out what you
don’t yet know
Chapter 10 Intelligence
• What is intelligence? What are key questions about intelligence?
o Intelligence a mental quality consisting of the ability to learn from
experience, solving problems, and use knowledge to adapt to new
o Key Questions
Is intelligence one general ability or several specific abilities?
• What is known about the relationship between intelligence and creativity?
o Creativity the ability to produce ideas that are both novel and valuable
Works of art; the “Turing machine,” which can simulate the logic
of any computer algorithm; the paperclip
Requires divergent thinking
• What are key components of creativity?
o Research suggests that people who are highly creative know a lot about
Think about things in novel ways (imagination)
Are willing to go against trends (personality)
Are driven by interest, satisfaction, and challenge rather than
external pressure (intrinsic motivation)
• Is intelligence neurologically measureable?
o …Associations between intelligence and brain size in specific areas,
especially frontal lobes, and the correlation between overall brain size and
intelligence is around .30.
• What are the origins of intelligence testing?
o Francis Galton
Had a fascination with measuring human traits
Devised the first tests of mental ability, which he administered to
people in his laboratory at the 1884 London Exposition.
o • Alfred Binet (Predicting School Achievement)
Developed the first standardized test of intelligence for the purpose
of identifying French schoolchildren who were in need of special
help in school.
Also introduced the concept of mental age – the chronological age
that most typically corresponds to a given level of performance.
o The Innate IQ
Lewis Terman translated the BinetSimon into English The StanfordBinet is now one of the most widely administered
tests of intelligence in the world.
Terman also used the intelligence quotient as a way of expressing a
person’s score (note: no longer computed this way)
• IQ= Mental Age ×100
• How is intelligence assessed today?
o Aptitude tests designed to predict your future performance (ACT)
o Achievement tests designed to asses what you have learned
o “Intelligence Tests”
• What is reliability and validity?
o Reliability the extent to which a test yields consistent results (scores), as
assessed by the consistency of the scores on two halves of the test, or on
o Validity the extent to which a test measures what it is supposed to
• How does intelligence change over time?
• What is known about genetic vs. environmental influences on intelligence? And
o Genetic Influences
o Environmental Influences
EX: Identical twins separated at birth and reared apart are less
similar than identical twins reared together
• What is stereotype threat?
o Stereotype threat Apprehension felt by members of negatively
stereotyped groups when their behavior might confirm the stereotype