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PSYCHOLOGY chapter 5 - PSYCHOLOGY Exam II Notes Chapter One...

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PSYCHOLOGY: Exam II Notes Chapter One Introduction: - Synaesthesia: the mixing of the senses - Perception: making sense of our sensations – the active process of organizing stimulus input and giving it a meaning o Specific types of stimuli activate sensory receptors, which translate this information into nerve impulses o The nerve impulses form a neural representation, which is then compared to previous knowledge stored in the brain This allows us to recognize stimuli and assign a meaning, or perception o Influenced by context - Sensation: the stimulus-detection process wherein our sense organs translate environmental stimuli to nerve impulses that are sent to the brain Sensory Processes: - Human sensory systems are designed to extract from the environment the information we need to function and survive - Psychophysics: studies the relationship between the physical characteristics of stimuli and sensory capabilities o Concerned with two kinds of sensitivities The absolute limits The difference detection Stimulus Detection: The Absolute Threshold - The absolute threshold: the lowest intensity at which a stimulus can be detected correctly 50% of the time - The lower the absolute threshold, the greater the sensitivity Signal Detection Theory - There is a range of uncertainty for signal detection - People set their own decision criterion o Decision criterion: a standard of how certain they must be before they say they detect a stimulus. The decision criterion change from time to time according to fatigue, expectation or significance of the stimuli - Signal detection theory: concerned with the factors that influence sensory judgments - At low stimulus intensity, both the participants and the situation’s characteristics influence the decision criterion - Signal detection research shows that perception is, in part, a decision Focus on Neuroscience: The neuroscience of subliminal perception and prosopagnosia - Subliminal stimulus: a stimulus that is so weak and brief that, although it is received from the senses, it cannot be perceived consciously o The stimulus is well below the absolute threshold - Prosopagnosia: visual agnosia specific to the face. Those suffering from prosopagnosia have difficulty recognizing familiar faces.
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- The conclusion, in regard consumer behaviour, is that persuasive stimuli above the absolute threshold are far more influential than subliminal attempts to sneak into our subconscious mind The Difference Threshold - The smallest difference between 2 stimuli that people can perceive 50% of the time - Sometimes called the “just noticeable difference” - Weber’s Law: the difference threshold is directly proportional to the magnitude of the stimulus with which the comparison is being made, and can be expressed as a Weber fraction - The smaller the fraction, the greater the sensitivity to differences Sensory Adaptation - Sensory systems are finely attuned to changes in stimulation - Sensory neurons are engineered to respond to a constant stimulus by decreasing their activity -
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