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Psychology (3,337)
PSYC 2410 (149)
Dan Meegan (42)
Chapter 5

Chapter 5 Principles of Behaviour Notes

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Department
Psychology
Course
PSYC 2410
Professor
Dan Meegan
Semester
Fall

Description
Chapter 5 Psychology NotesSensationPerceptionSynaesthia Literally means mixing of the senses People can experience sounds as colours or tastes as touch sensations etc More common in women than men For the stimulation we receive through our sense organs is instantaneously organized and transformed into experiences that we refer to as perceptionsSensation the stimulusdetection process by which our sense organs respond to and translate environmental stimuli into nerve impulses that are sent to the brainPerception Making sense of what our senses tell usthe active process of organizing this stimulus input and giving it meaning Its an active and creative processThe same sensory input may be perceived in different ways at different times Sensory Processes Brain cant understand light waves sound waves or other forms of energy that make up the language of environment Contact with the outer world is possible only because certain neurons have developed into specialized sensory receptors that can transform these energy forms into the code language of nerve impulses receptors deep within the brain monitor the chemical composition of our bloodPsychodynamics The scientific area that studies relations between the physical characteristics of stimuli and sensory capabilities is concerned w 2 kinds of sensitivity1 Concerns the absolute limits of sensitivity Eg What are the weakest salt solutions humans can detect2 Has to do w differences between stimuli Eg What is the smallest difference in brightness we can detectStimulus Detection The Absolute Threshold How intense must a stimulus be before we can detect its presenceAbsolute threshold the lowest intensity at which a stimulus can be correctly detected 50 of the time The lower the absolute threshold the greater the sensitivitySignal Detection Theory Peoples apparent sensitivity of senses can fluctuate quite a bitDecision Criteration A standard of how certain a person must be that a stimulus is present before they will say they detect itPeople set their own instead of it being fixed for every person Can change depending on factors such as fatigue expectation etcSignal Detection Theory Concerned with the factors that influence sensory judgementsPeople are influenced by costs and rewardsSignal detection theory research shows that perception is in part a decisionThe Difference Threshold Distinguishing between stimuli can sometimes be as important as detecting stimuli in the first placeDifference Threshold the smallest difference between two stimuli that people can perceive 50 of the timeWebers Law States that the difference threshold is directly proportional to the magnitude of the stimulus with which the comparison is being madeCan be expressed as Weber fractionThe smaller thefraction the greater the sensitivity to differencesSensory Adaptation Sensory systems are finely accustomed to changes in stimulationSensory Adaptation Sensory neurons are engineered to respond to constant stimulus by decreasing their activitydiminishing sensitivity to an unchanged stimulus Adaptation is part of everyday Eg The feel of watch against skin recedes from awareness over time Eg Adjust to temperature of cold swimming pool Although sensory adaptation may reduce overall sensitivity its adaptive bc it frees our senses from the ordinary to pickup informative changes in the environment
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