We will continue to learn about Sensation and Perception today by reading Ch. 8 in the course textbook and working on an assignment.
We will also view a PowerPoint about this topic. Students will take notes while viewing this Powerpoint.
Stimulation of the senses and the ways in which people interpret the stimulation is affected by several basic concepts. The concepts include:
Absolute Threshold – The weakest amount of stimulus that can be sensed. Example: A candle flame can be seen 30 miles on a clear dark night, no further.
Difference Threshold (Just-noticeable difference)— the minimum amount of difference that can be detected by two stimuli. Example: A pile of sand is placed in your hand. Then, tiny amounts of sand are added to your hand and you are asked to indicate when you notice any change in the overall weight. As soon as you can detect any change in the weight, that difference between the weight of the sand before the last bit of sand was added and the amount of sand added after it, is the difference threshold.
Signal-Detection Theory – perception of sensory stimuli is influenced by factors such as setting and expectations. Example: While walking by yourself outside in the middle of the night, you are more likely to hear the lightest of noises because the situation may be threatening.
Sensory Adaptation – we become more sensitive to weak stimuli and less sensitive to unchanging stimuli. Example: People who smoke don’t even notice the smell on themselves because of sensory adaptation, while others who don’t smoke, smell the strong odor.