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SENSATION AND PERCEPTION. KEY POINTS. Distinguish between sensation and perception Psychophysics: absolute threshold and difference threshold Identify each major sensory system, their receptors, and type of sensory information each receives

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KEY POINTS

  • Distinguish between sensation and perception

  • Psychophysics: absolute threshold and difference threshold

  • Identify each major sensory system, their receptors, and type of sensory information each receives

  • Perception: selection, organization and interpretation


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Sensation

  • Input of sensory information

  • Process of receiving, converting, and transmitting information from the outside world


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Sensory Systems

  • Vision

  • Hearing

  • Smell (olfaction)

  • Taste (gustation)

  • Vestibular sense (balance)

  • Kinethesis (body movement)

  • Touch (pressure, pain, temperature)


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Vision

  • Visual receptor cells located on retina:rods for night vision and cones for color vision

  • The eye captures light and focuses it on the visual receptors, which convert light energy to neural impulses sent to the brain


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Hearing

  • Audition (hearing) occurs via sound waves, which result from rapid changes in air pressure caused by vibrating objects

  • Receptors located in the inner ear (cochlea) tiny hair cells that convert sound energy to neural impulses sent along to brain


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Smell and Taste

  • Olfaction (smell) receptors are located at top of nasal cavity

  • Gustation - (taste) receptors are taste buds on tongue. Four basic tastes: sweet, salty, sour and bitter


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Body Senses

  • Vestibular sense (sense of balance) results from receptors in inner ear

  • Kinethesis - (body posture, orientation, and body movement) results from receptors in muscles, joint and tendons

  • Skin senses detect touch (pressure, temperature and pain)


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Processing

  • Sensory reduction - filtering and analyzing of sensations before messages are sent to the brain

  • Transduction - process of converting receptor energy into neural impulses the brain can understand

  • Adaptation- decreased sensory response to continuous stimuli


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Psychophysics

  • Study of the relationship between the physical properties of stimuli and a person’s experience of them

  • Absolute threshold - minimum amount of energy we can detect

  • Difference threshold - (jnd) the smallest change in a stimulus we can detect


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Perception

  • “…a constructive process by which we go beyond the stimuli that are presented to us and attempt to construct a meaningful situation”.


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Perceptual Processing

  • Top-down: perception is guided by higher-level knowledge, experience, expectations, and motivations

  • Bottom-up: perception that consists of recognizing and processing information about the individual components of the stimuli


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Perception-Key Concepts

  • Selection

  • Organization

  • Interpretation

  • Subliminal perception and ESP


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1. Three Major Factors of Selection

  • Selective attention

  • Feature detectors

  • Habituation


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2. Organization

  • Form (Gestalt)

  • Constancy(size, shape, color, brightness)

  • Depth

  • Color


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Gestalt Principles

  • Rules that summarize how we tend to organize bits and pieces of information into meaningful wholes


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Gestalt Psychology: Form

  • figure ground

  • proximity

  • closure

  • contiguity

  • similarity


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Constancy

  • Size constancy

  • Shape constancy

  • Color constancy

  • Brightness constancy


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3. Four Major Factors of Interpretation

  • Perceptual adaptation

  • Perceptual set

  • Individual motivation

  • Frame of reference


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Subliminal Perception

  • Stimuli that occur below the threshold of our conscious awareness but have a weak, if any effect on behavior


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4. Extrasensory Perception (ESP)

  • Alleged perception in the absence of sensory data

  • Types of ESP - telepathy, precognition, clairvoyance, and psychokinesis