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Unformatted text preview: 82 3 chapter sensation chapter outline module 8 Sensing the World Around Us Absolute Thresholds: Detecting What’s Out There Difference Thresholds: Noticing Distinctions between Stimuli Sensory Adaptation: Turning Down Our Responses module 9 Vision: Shedding Light on the Eye Illuminating the Structure of the Eye Color Vision and Color Blindness: The Seven-Million-Color Spectrum module 10 Hearing and the Other Senses Sensing Sound Smell and Taste Try It! Take a Taste Test The Skin Senses: Touch, Pressure, Temperature, and Pain Becoming an Informed Consumer of Psychology: Managing Pain module 11 Perceptual Organization: Constructing Our View of the World The Gestalt Laws of Organization Top-Down and Bottom-Up Processing Perceptual Constancy Depth Perception: Translating 2-D to 3-D Motion Perception: As the World Turns Perceptual Illusions: The Deceptions of Perceptions Exploring Diversity: Culture and Perception Psychology on the Web The Case of . . . the Cautious Pilot Full Circle: Sensation and Perception 83 People with faceblindness such as Duncan Mitchell can see faces, of course. They see the parts that make up a facial configuration—an oval shape with two eyes, a nose, and a mouth. But they lack the specialized processing ability most of us take for granted that allows us to detect the subtle differences that make each individual face unique. Although they can detect face-related information just fine, prosopagnosics have difficulty with finding that information meaningful—with seeing that face as a friend or foe. Disorders such as faceblindness illustrate how much we depend on our senses to function normally. Our senses offer a window to the world, providing us with not only an awareness, understanding, and appreciation of the world’s beauty, but alerting us to its dangers. Our senses enable us to feel the gen- tlest of breezes, see flickering lights miles away, and hear the soft murmuring of distant songbirds. In the next four modules, we focus on the field of psychology that is concerned with the ways our bod- ies take in information through the senses and the ways we interpret that information. We will explore both sensation and perception. Sensation encompasses the processes by which our sense organs receive information from the environment. Perception is the brain’s and the sense organs’ sorting out, interpretation, analysis, and integration of stimuli. Although perception clearly represents a step beyond sensation, in practice it is sometimes difficult to find the precise boundary between the two. The primary difference is that sensation can be thought of as an organism’s first encounter with a raw sensory stimulus, whereas perception is the process by which that stimulus is interpreted, analyzed, and integrated with other sensory information. For exam- ple, if we were considering sensation, we might ask about the loudness of a ringing fire alarm. If we were considering perception, we might ask whether someone recognizes the ringing sound as an alarm and...
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This note was uploaded on 10/10/2010 for the course PSY 201 taught by Professor Victoriawhite during the Spring '10 term at University of the East, Manila.
- Spring '10