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Psychology Week 4 Notes

by: Aneeqa Akhtar

Psychology Week 4 Notes PSY 2301

Aneeqa Akhtar

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Hi! This week's sessions covered Chapter 4 and Chapter 5.
Introduction to Psychology
Noah Sasson
Class Notes
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This 3 page Class Notes was uploaded by Aneeqa Akhtar on Wednesday February 3, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to PSY 2301 at University of Texas at Dallas taught by Noah Sasson in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 139 views. For similar materials see Introduction to Psychology in Behavioral Sciences at University of Texas at Dallas.


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Date Created: 02/03/16
Aneeqa Akhtar February 3 , 2016 Chapter 4 and 5: Sensation and Perception  Sensation: the process of detecting physical information with sensory organs  Senses: vision, hearing, taste, smell, touch (also: vestibular and kinesthetic senses)  Perception: mental process of organizing sensations into meaningful patterns  Perception does NOT happen in the sensory organs, it happens in the brain  Not everything you perceive is reality -> it is a representation  “we don’t see the world as it is, we see it the way we are”  Our brains are wired to find patterns  Cognition: the way we actively process or perceptions for functional use  Examples: reasoning, problem-solving  Changing Sensation into Perception:  Stimulus: any change in the physical energy of the environment  Ex: light waves, sound waves, chemicals, tactile pressure  Transduction: sensory organs contain receptors that transduce sensory information into nerve impulses that are carried to the brain  Adaption: loss of sensitivity to a stimulus due to a repeated stimulation of a receptor  Ex: wearing a wedding ring, getting used to the smell of garlic in a restaurant  Argued to have an evolutionary advantage  Examples of sensory adaption: optical illusions found online, in which you stare at a dot for about 30 seconds, and everything around it disappears  Sensation-Basic Principles:  Psychophysics: the relationship between stimuli and the participant’s experience  Absolute Threshold: the minimum stimulation needed to detect a particular stimulus  Ex: in a silent environment, we can hear a ticking watch 20 feet away  Difference Threshold: the minimum difference between two stimuli required for detection  Just Noticeable Difference (JND): the smallest difference between two stimuli that can be detected  Sensation Thresholds:  Weber’s Law: to be perceived as different, two stimuli must differ by a constant minimum percentage  JND is always relative to the size of the initial stimulus  Ex: For humans to reliably detect a difference in taste (salt), it has to have a difference of at least 33.3%  Signal Detection Theory: predicts how and when we detect the presence of a faint stimulus amid a background noise  Response Sensitivity: correctly identified when present  Response Specificity: not correctly identified when absent Aneeqa Akhtar February 3 , 2016  The detection depends on the person’s experience, expectations, motivation, and level of fatigue  Vision  Structure of the eye:  Retina: the membrane in the back of the eye that receives images and connect them to the brain (via the optic nerve)  Consists of photoreceptors (rodes and cones)  Photoreceptors are light-sensitive cells are found within the retina  Rods: are sensitive to light, but not color, and are active under low-light conditions  Cones: are sensitive to color, are not active in low-light conditions, and allow for fine details  Fovea: the central depression in the retina where cones are the most densely packed -> most acute vision  How do we see color? st  1 guess: Trichromatic Theory (Young-Helmholtz)  There are three types of color receptors (cones) that respond to red, green, and blue  The Opponent Process Theory (1950s)  Exciting neurons sensitive to one member of a pair inhibit neurons sensitive to the other member  Colors come in pairs  There are 3 receptors that respond to separate wavelengths, not individual colors  Color Deficiencies  Monochromat: a person who sees only shades of gray; very rare  Dichromat: a person who has trouble seeing one of the primary colors (color blindness)  Gestalt Psychology: (originated in Germany in 1900s)  1) People naturally organize their perceptions according to certain patterns  2) The whole is different from the sum of the parts  Ex: the human face is processed as a whole, not individual parts (ears, eyes, nose)  3) Perception is always in the direction of the most economical configuration  Grouping by:  PROXIMITY: we group together objects that are close to one another  SIMILARITY: we group together elements that appear similar  GOOD CONTINUATION: we favor the smooth/continuous paths when interpreting a series of points  CLOSURE: we fill in any missing parts of a figure and see it as complete  SUBJECTIVE CONTOURS: evoke the perception of an edge  PHI-PHENOMENON: apparent motion from a succession of static images Aneeqa Akhtar February 3 , 2016  FIGURE AND GROUND: we organize our perception into stimuli that stand out (figure) and those that are left over (background)  Adelson’s Shadow Illusion: the visual system uses several tricks to determine where shadows are and how to compensate for them  Perceptual Constancy: perceiving objects as unchanging even as the retinal image changes  2 main types: shape and size  Shape Constancy: the perception that an object maintains the same shape despite changes in the shape of the stimulus  Size Constancy: the perception that an object maintains the same size despite changes in the size of the proximal stimulation  The same object at 2 different distances projects different-sized images on the retina  Unconscious Inference: we automatically calculate to correctly perceive size and shape correctly  The size of an object is interpreted relative to the objects around it and in the context of the other cues (like linear distance)  Depth Perception: our ability to see objects in three dimensions  Allows us to judge distance  Binocular Cues  Convergence: neuromuscular cue  Two eyes move inward for near objects  Retinal Disparity: images from the two eyes differ  The closer the object is, the larger the disparity  Monocular Cues  Relative Size: smaller = more distant  Interposition: closer objects blocks distant object  Linear Perspective: parallel lines come together, converge in the distance  Motion Parallax: based on the speed of moving objects


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