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Psych 1000- Oct 21 - Sensation.doc

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Psychology 1000

21-Oct-08 Subject: Psychology Reading Reference: Chapter 5 Topic: Sensation Sensation - How do we perceive the world around us? - Psychophysics & psychophysiology Psychophysics: relation between physical stimulus and psychological response Ex. Light stimulates visual system which enables vision (response) - Fechner: “father” of psychophysics - Can determine a just noticeable difference (JND) - Threshold: o Value of a stimulus characteristics required to produce some response o Absolute lower limit of perception Absolute Thresholds - Vision: Candle flame at 50km. on a dark clear night with no obstructions - Hearing: Tick of a watch at 6m. - Taste: Tsp. of sugar in 8L of water - Smell: 1 drop of perfume in a 6 room apartment - Touch: Wing of a fly falling on cheek from 1 cm. Difference Threshold: Amount of change for JND - What is the relation? - Ex. Brightness and perceived brightness - Not a 1 to 1 ratio Weber’s Law - Size of difference threshold relative to physical intensity of the test stimulus is constant - Δ I/ I = C - Ex. If I = 50db and a JND is reported at 55db… C = 5/ 50 = 1/10 1. Can predict other JND’s, if a JND is at 100db? 10 Δ I = 100  ΔI = 10 o A JND would occur at:  New test + 10 = 110 db  New test – 10 = 90 db o The JND is proportional to test intensity o The value of a JND is NOT constant o The relative difference is constant 2. Can compare sensitivity of different systems: the smaller the Weber constant, the better and more sensitive the system. o Vision ( brightness) = 1/60 o Kinesthesis (weights) = 1/50 o Pain (thermal) = 1/30 o Audition (mid. Pitch; mod. Loud)
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