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Chapter 4

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PSYC 1010
Myriam Mongrain

Nov12003 CHANAPSNotes From ReadingCHAPTER 4 SENSATION AND PERCEPTIONIPsychophysics Basic Concepts and IssuesAIntroduction1Virtual Agnosiainability to recognize objects through sight 2Sensationthe stimulation of sensory organs aInvolves the absorption of energy ie light or sound waves by sensory organs ie eyes ears3Perceptionthe selection organization and interpretation of the sensory input aOrganizing and translating sensory input into something meaningful4Psychophysicsthe study of how physical stimuli are translated into psychological experience aImportant psychologistFechner GermanyBThresholdsLooking for Limits1Stimulusany detectable input from the environment 2Thresholda dividing point between energy levels that do and do not have a detectable effect 3Absolute Thresholdminimum amount of stimulus that an organism can detect Defines the boundaries of an organisms sensory capabilities aAs Stimulus intensity increases probability of responding to a stimuli gradually increases bAs such absolute threshold is the stimulus intensity that is detected 50 of the time CWeighing the Differences The JND1Just Noticeable Difference JNDsmallest difference in the amount of stimulation that a specific sense can detect 2JND is greater for heavier objects than lighter ones 3Smallest detectable difference is a constant proportion of the weight of the original object 4Webbers lawthe size of a just noticeable difference is the constants proportion of the size of the initial stimulus known as the Webber FractionaApplies not only to weight but to all senses 5As the stimulus increase in magnitude the JND becomes largerDPsychophysical Scaling 1Fechners Lawthe magnitude of a sensory experience is proportional to the number of JNDs that the stimulus causing the experience is above absolute threshold aConstant increments in stimulus intensity produce smaller and smaller increases in the perceived magnitude of sensation ie Light bulbs in a room2Questioned by Stevens who came up with idea of Magnitude estimationasking subjects to assign numbers to stimuli on the basis of how intense they appeared to beaMagnitude estimation is the best way to map the relations between stimulus intensity and sensory experience ESignal Detection Theory17
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