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Chapter 4

Chapter 4 Exam Notes - PSYA01

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Steve Joordens

Chapter 4 Sensation and PerceptionBY DAVE S 2014Saturday May 31 2014303 PM41 Sensation and Perception at a GlanceSensationThe process of detecting external events by sense organs and turning those events into neural signalsAt the sensory level the sound of someones voice is simply noise and the sight of a person is a combination of colour and motionPerceptionInvolves attending to organizing and interpreting stimuli that we sensePerception includes recognizing the sounds as a human voice and understanding that the colours shape and motion together make up the image of a human beingTransductionIs the process in which physicalchemical stimulation is converted into a nerve impulse that is relayed to the brainThe transduction of sound takes place in a specialized structure called the cochlea where what we hear is converted into messages that travel to hearing centers of the brainSensory adaptationIs the reduction of activity in sensory receptors with repeated exposure to stimulusPsychophysicsThe field of study that explores how physical eventsenergy such as light and sound and their intensity relate to psychological experienceAbsolute thresholdThat is the minimum amount of energy or quantity of a stimulus require for it to be reliably detected at 50 of the time it is presented minimum stimulation required to detect a stimulusDifference thresholdIs the smallest detectable difference between stimuli the minimum required to detect the difference between two stimuliWhen you add salt for example you are attempting to cross a difference threshold that your taste receptos can registerJust Noticeable DifferenceWhether you actually detect a difference known as just noticeable difference depends on the intensity of the original stimulusThe more intense the original stimulus the more of it that must be added for the difference threshold to be reachedSignal Detection TheoryStates that whether a stimulus is perceived depends on both sensory experience and judgment made by the subjectThus the theory requires us to examine two processes a sensory process and a decision processIn a typical signal detection experiment conducted in the laboratory the experimenter presents a faint stimulus or no stimulus at all SENSORY PROCESS and the subject is asked to report whether it was present the DECISION PROCESS4 Possible Outcomes of SDTIn developing signal detection theory psychologists realized that the sensory judgment process has 4 possible outcomesCorrect Rejection correct that you did not hear a sound1Hit correct that you did hear a sound2False Alarm or course you will not always be correct in your judgments sometimes you will think you heard something that is not there which is a false alarm it could mean you 3believed you heard a bear when there were none aroundMiss alternatively you could experience a miss such as when a bear sneaks up behind you but you fail to detect its presence4Masking StimulusTo get a subject to register a stimulus unconsciously a researcher might present a picture such as an angry face for a fraction of a second immediately followed by what is called a masking stimulus which could be a coloured squareThe coloured square masks the picture of the angry face thus keeping it out of conscious awarenessGestalt PsychologyGestalt psychology is an approach to perception that emphasizes the whole is greater than the sum of its partsIn other words the individual parts of an image may have little meaning on their own but when combined the whole takes on asignificant perceived formFigureground principleOne basic Gestalt principle is that objects or figures in our environment tend to stand out against a backgroundGestalt psychologists refer to this basic perceptual rule as the figureground principleOther key Gestalt PrinciplesProximity We tend to treat two or more objects that are in close proximity to each other as a group Because of their proximity a dozen eggs in a carton looks like two rows of six 1eggs rather than six rows of twoSimilarity Similarity can be experienced by viewing the intermixing of sports fans from opposing teams which typically yields distant patches of crowd wearing similar clothing2Continuity Continuity or good con
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