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Chapter 4 - Chapter 4 Sensation Our knowledge comes...

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Chapter 4: Sensation Our knowledge comes directly from the world around us and our eyes and other senses are merely the means of collecting the information the world provides Empiricism- a school of thought that holds that all knowledge comes by way of empirical experience, that is, through the senses Senses are passive John Locke (1632-1704) o Tabula rasa - mind is a “blank tablet” on which experience leaves its mark Experience leads to knowledge Knowledge derives itself Distal Stimuli (learning) (physical tree) Real object or event Proximal Stimuli (senses) (image of a tree) Information from the energies that lie in the distal stimuli that is collected by our eye Learning and Association Key mechanism to learning and therefore knowledge is association - the process through which one sensory experience is linked to another o Distance cues - source of information that signal the distance from the observer to the distal stimulus o Visual perspective - a cue to distance that takes advantage to the fact that (because of the principle of optics) parallel lines appear to converge as they recede into the distance- objects will also appear smaller Visual cue alone is able to produce the memory of movement and experience depth The perceiver: Must categorize and interpret incoming sensory information Immanuel Kant (1724-1804) o Perception is possible b/c of the mind’s ability to organize sensory information into categories Nativism - the view that some important aspects of perception and of other cognitive processes are innate Psychophysics - the relationship b/w physical stimuli and psychological/sensory
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experience it gives rise to Gustav Theodor Fechner (1801-1887) o founder of psychophysics o sensations and the stimuli that produce them belong in 2 different worlds mental world physical world o difference threshold - the smallest stimulus change that the observer can reliably detect
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