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Chapter 1

PSYC 303 Chapter Notes - Chapter 1: Optical Illusion, Information Processing, Reductionism


Department
Psychology
Course Code
PSYC 303
Professor
Thomas Spalek
Chapter
1

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Chapter1
SensationandPerception
“Thereisnoconceptioninman’smindwhichhathnotatfirst,totallyorbyparts,beenbegottenuponthe
organsofsense.”ThomasHobbes
Weknowthingsonlyfromtheinformationabouttheworldthatwepickupwithour
senses.
● Wearecontinuallysensingandperceivingallkindsofinformationfromdifferent
sources.
● Wetendtotakeourabilitytoperceivethingsforgranteditissoeffortlessand
automaticyet,theunderlyingprocessesarecomplexandveryelaborate.
Sensoryinformationisusuallybutnotalwaysaccurate.
● Opticalillusions
Illusion:distortionsintheformofdisagreementsbetweenperceptionandreality
Sensation:theimmediate,basicexperiencegeneratedbyexternalstimuli
● Theinitialprocessingcarriedoutbyoursensorysystems
Perception:involvestheinterpretationofthesesensations,givingthemmeaningand
organization
● Theinterpretiveprocessingofsensoryinformation
Conceptuallydriven(topdown):affectedbywhatwealreadyknowabouttheworld
Datadriven(bottomup):inferredbysensoryinput
AspectsofthePerceptualProcess
Cognition:howweknowtheworld,includingemotionsandfeelings
Informationprocessing:relativelygeneralterm,butusedtoemphasizethewholeprocess
thatfinallyleadstoidentificationandinterpretationofstimuli.
Levelsofprocessing:eachstageofsensoryprocessingissystematicallyanalysed
TheoriesofPerception
Biologicalreductionism:basedonthepresumptionthatforanygivenaspectofthe
observer’ssensationthereisacorrespondingphysiologicalevent
● Modularityofperception:perceptionismadeupoftheoutputofmanymodules,
thenpassedontohighercentreswherecognitiveprocessescomeintoplayallows
processtobequick,doesnotrequireconsciousintervention
Directperception:premisethatalltheinformationneededtoformtheconsciousperceptis
availableinthestimulithatteachourreceptors
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