Sensation and Perception

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Sensation and Perception 183 PSYCHOLOGY: Exploring Behavior
Chapter: Sensation and Perception
Sensation and Perception
Sensation versus Perception
Psychophysics and Thresholds
Visual receptor: The Eye
Operation of the Eye
Eye Problem: Color Blindness
Operation of the Ear
Ear Problem: Deafness
Chemical senses—Smell and Taste
Chemical Senses Receptors: The Nose and Taste
Operation of the Chemical Senses
Other senses: Skin
Other Senses: Balance and Body Position
Figure-ground Perception
The Wholeness of Figure Perception
Perceptual Grouping
Perception and Attention
Stimulus Variation and Perception
Perceptual Constancies
Visual Perception of Distance
Visual Perception of Motion
Hearing Perception
Illusions as "Errors" in Perception
Extrasensory perception (ESP)
Sensation and Perception
Instructors in Driver Education advise their students to look twice in both directions before driving across an
intersection. Why?
"Watch it, Klausman! Watch where you're going!. . .
Well, would you look at that. He ran into the goal post!"Sensation and Perception 184 PSYCHOLOGY: Exploring Behavior
Moments later, "Klausman, how many times have I told you? You've got to look where you're going! What if that had been a defensive player from the opposing team? How do you feel?"
"I feel OK, coach, but I've got a bad ringing in my ears." What causes the ringing in your ears that you may hear after bumping your head?
How can ice skaters in a dancing routine make high-speed spinning turns without getting so dizzy that they lose their balance?
Some experimenters have reported frequent successes in
transmitting images and thoughts between widely separated
individuals. Does extrasensory perception exist?
Sensation and perception
identify processes that differ
primarily in their complexity.
We have a greater number of
senses than is widely believed.
Psychophysics is the study of
the relationship between
physical events and our
experience of those events. The
absolute threshold is the
smallest stimulus that arouses a sensation. The difference
threshold is the smallest change in any stimulation that can be detected.
The stimulus for vision is light, which has three physical characteristics: wavelength, intensity, and pureness. The
psychological attributes are hue, brightness, and saturation. Complementary colors, as well as other colors, may be mixed in an additive or subtractive process. The receptor for vision is the eye, which contains rods for black-white vision and cones for color vision. Vision is poorest at the blind spot and best at the fovea. Dark adaptation and the Purkinje Shift both

result from the shift from cone- to rod-vision. Color blindness affects mainly males, but it is a relatively slight vision
problem compared to blindness.
The physical stimulus for hearing is pressure waves, which have three physical characteristics: frequency, amplitude, and complexity. We hear sounds in terms of pitch, loudness, and timbre. The receptor for sound is the ear, within which hair cells in the cochlea stimulate the auditory nerve. Two major types of deafness include conduction deafness and nerve

deafness.Sensation and Perception 185 PSYCHOLOGY: Exploring Behavior
The physical stimuli for the chemical senses are, for
smell, gas and for taste, liquid. Several systems of "basic" smells have been proposed with varying degrees of success. The four basic tastes are sweet, sour, bitter, and salty. The
receptor for smell is the nose, and the lock-and-key theory is the...
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