Cognition Chapter 3 01/22/2016 ° Perception and awareness Encoding: proves of transforming information into one or more forms of representation o How encoding process take place was largely automatic With so much information available at any moment, the task of encoding would be impossibly complex if we had to be aware of what we were doing o Process of encoding is unconscious but also very fast o Can be encoded along several different dimensions simultaneously Single word might be encoded in terms of multiple dimensions ° ° Subliminal perception (unconscious perception) Operates when a stimulus has an effect on behavior even though it has been exposed too rapidly or at too low an intensity for the person to be able to identify it Observer is unaware of perceiving a stimulus, yet the stimulus can still have an impact on his or her behavior Involves semantics – study of meaning o 2 words that are similar in meaning are said to be semantically related (ex. Duck and swan) o participants would report seeing a word that was semantically related to the stimulus word but would not report seeing the word they were actually shown ° ° Backward masking – suggests that what we are aware of and what we perceive are 2 different things involves presenting a stimulus, called target, to the participant and then covering, or masking the target with another stimulus SOA (stimulus onset asynchrony) – time difference between the first stimulus and the masking stimulus Priming: tendency for some initial stimuli to make subsequent responses to related stimuli more likely Direct and indirect measures
o Participants’ reports that they have seen a stimulus, as opposed to the effects of an undetected stimulus on a subsequent task ° ° Objective and subjective threshold Dissociation paradigm: experimental strategy designed to show that it is possible to perceive stimuli in the absence of any conscious awareness of them o Measure of conscious perceptual experience is selected (C) o Measure that is sensitive to unconscious perceptual processes (U) is identified o Experimental procedures are initiated to ensure that C exhibits no sensitivity to the critical perceptual information o If U can then be shown to exhibit some sensitivity to the same perceptual information that C is insensitive to o Then concluded that perception without awareness has been demonstrated Important to distinguish objective and subjective threshold o Objective threshold: level at which people detect a target stimulus no more often than would be expected by chance o Subjective threshold: can be determined by degrading the stimulus conditions until the quality of the stimulus information is so poor that observers claim not to be able to perceive the stimuli Stimulus may be presented so quickly or at such a low intensity, that participants will say they have not perceived it Has been used to distinguish between conscious and unconscious processes
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