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17-22 MODULES - PSYC 2000 Week 6 Modules 17-21 : Module17:...

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PSYC 2000 Week 6 Modules 17-21 Introduction to Psychology: Sensation and Perception Module 17: Introduction to Sensation and Perception Sensation and Perception Sensation: process by which our sensory receptors and nervous system receive and represent stimulus energies from our environment o Anytime a bird chirps, lightening flashes, drum plays, we sense it o Physiological Perception: process of organizing and interpreting sensory information, enabling us to recognize meaningful objects and events o Placing meaning on an event; interpretation o Ex: if you hear a bird chirp, you can interpret it as peaceful, or annoying o psychological Information Processing Bottom-up processing: analysis that begins with the sensory receptors and works up to the brain’s integration of sensory information o Simple, to the more complex o Ex: reading – sounding out each individual letter Top-down processing: information processing guided by higher-level mental processes, as when we construct perceptions drawing on our experience and expectations o Ex: “lead” – meaning changes based on context clues Psychophysics Psychophysics: the study of the relationship between physical characteristics of stimuli and our psychological experience with them o Psychophysics ask questions like: How intense does a light have to be to be considered bright? How much pressure has to be applied before we feel something? Physical World Psychological World Light Brightness Sound Volume Pressure Weight 1
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PSYC 2000 Week 6 Modules 17-21 Sugar Sweet 2
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PSYC 2000 Week 6 Modules 17-21 Thresholds Absolute threshold: minimum stimulation needed to detect a particular stimulus 50% of the time o The softest touch we can feel 50% of the time o In a hearing test, audiologists try to find out what is the smallest sound that people hear 50% of the time Subliminal threshold: when stimuli are below one’s absolute threshold for conscious awareness Signal Detection Theory Predicts how and when we detect a signal amid noise o Assumes detection partly depends on a person’s experience, expectations, motivation, and alertness Example: o You’re driving a bus with 12 passengers. At your first stop, 6 passengers get off. At the second stop, 3 get off. At the third stop, 2 more get off but 3 new people get on. What color are the bus driver’s eyes? Most people get this question wrong because they’re expecting something different. Subliminal Messages Priming: the activation, often unconsciously, of certain associations, thus predisposing one’s perception, memory, or response In one experiment, half of the subjects were briefly shown pictures of kittens; the other half was shown briefly pictures of werewolves. They were unable to say what they saw. They were then shown the picture of a neutral face, and asked to say if the face was kind or angry.
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