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Chapter 4

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PSYC 1010
Rebecca Jubis

Chapter 4 Sensation and Perception3232012 54800 PM Sensation the stimulation of sense organs Involves absorption of energy Perception the selection organization and interpretation of sensory input Involves organizing and translating sensory input into something meaningful Psychophysics the study of how physical stimuli is translated into psychological experience Sensation begins with a stimulus Threshold a dividing point between energy levels that do and do not have detectable effectAbsolute threshold for a specific type of sensory input is the minimum amount of stimulation that an organism can detect Defines the boundaries of an organisms sensory capabilities Just noticeable difference JND the smallest difference in the amount of stimulation that a specific sense can detect Its basically the absolute thresh Webers Law the size of a just noticeable difference is a constant proportion of the size of the initial stimulus Constant proportion is called Webers fraction As stimuli increase in magnitude the JND becomes larger Fechners law the magnitude of a sensory experience is proportional to the number of JNDs that the stimulus causing the experience is above the absolute threshold Increments in stimulus intensity produce smaller and smaller increases in the perceived magnitude of sensation Ex There are three different light bulb intensities each are progressively brighter You turn on the first bulb turn it off turn on the second one turn off the light and turn on the third one Although each light bulb is brighter than the last you dont see a difference Concludes that perception cant be measured on absolute scales since everything is relative Signal detection theory detection of stimuli involves decision processes which are both influenced by a variety of factors besides stimulus intensity Subliminal perception the registration of sensory input without conscious awareness below threshold Sensory adaptation a gradual decline in sensitivity due to prolonged stimulation It is an automatic builtin process that keeps people tuned in to the changes rather than the constants in their sensory input It allows people to focus on the changes in the environment so they can respond to threats quickly This is a behavioural adaptation preserved by nat selection Lens the transparent eye structure that focuses the light rays falling on the retina It can cause accommodation focusing light on objects more Nearsightedness close objects are seen clearly but distant objects are blurry
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