S & P Chapter 1

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S & P Chapter 1
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2011-12-27 22:09:01
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Sensation Perception Chapter 1
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  1. Absolute threshold
    The minimum stimulus energy necessary for an observer to detect a stimulus.
  2. Action
    includes motor activities such as moving the head or eyes and locomoting through the environment.
  3. Attended stimulus
    The stimulus that a person is attending to at a given point in time.
  4. Bottom-up processing (data-based processing)
    Processing in which a person constructs a perception by analyzing the information falling on the receptors. Also called data-based processing.
  5. Classical psychophysical methods
    The methods of limits, adjustment, and constant stimuli, described by Fechner, that are used for measuring thresholds
  6. Cognitive influences on perception
    How the knowledge, memories, and expectations that a person brings to a situation influence his or her perception.
  7. Difference threshold
    The minimal detectable difference between two stimuli.
  8. Environmental stimulus
    All of the things in our environment that we can potentially perceive at a given point in time.
  9. Knowledge
    Any information that the perceiver brings to a situation.
  10. Magnitude estimation
    A psychophysical method in which the subject assigns numbers to a stimulus that are proportional to the subjective magnitude of the stimulus.
  11. Neural processing
    Operations that transform electrical signals within a network of neurons or that transform the response of individual neurons.
  12. Perception
    Conscious sensory experience.
  13. Perceptual process
    A sequence of steps leading from the environment to perception of a stimulus, recognition of the stimulus, and action with regard to the stimulus.
  14. Phenomenological method
    Method of determining the relationship between stimuli and perception in which the observer describes what he or she perceives.
  15. Physiological approach to perception
    Analyzing perception by determining how a person’s perception is related to physiological processes that are occurring within the person. This approach focuses on determining the relationship between stimuli and physiological responding and between physiological responding and perception.
  16. Power function
    A mathematical function of the form P = KSn, where P is perceived magnitude, K is a constant, S is the stimulus intensity, and n is an exponent.
  17. Psychophysical approach to perception
    Analyzing perception by determining how a person’s perception is related to stimuli in the environment. This approach focuses on determining the relationship between stimuli in the environment and perceptual responding.
  18. Psychophysics
    Traditionally, the term psychophysics refers to quantitative methods for measuring the relationship between properties of the stimulus and the subject’s experience. In this book, all methods that are used to determine the relationship between stimuli and perception will be broadly referred to as pychophysical methods.
  19. Rat–man demonstration
    The demonstration in which presentation of a “ratlike’’ or “manlike’’ picture influences an observer’s perception of a second picture, which can be interpreted either as a rat or as a man. This demonstration illustrates an effect of top-down processing on perception.
  20. Reaction time
    The time between presentation of a stimulus and an observer’s or listener’s response to the stimulus. Reaction time is often used in experiments as a measure of speed of processing.
  21. Recognition
    The ability to place an object in a category that gives it meaning—for example, recognizing a particular red object as a tomato.
  22. Response compression
    The result when doubling the physical intensity of a stimulus less than doubles the subjective magnitude of the stimulus.
  23. Response criterion
    In a signal detection experiment, the subjective magnitude of a stimulus above which the participant will indicate that the stimulus is present.
  24. Response expansion
    The result when doubling the physical intensity of a stimulus more than doubles the subjective magnitude of the stimulus.
  25. Signal detection theory
    A theory stating that the detection of a stimulus depends both on the participant’s sensitivity to the stimulus and on the participant’s response criterion.
  26. Stevens’s power law
    A law concerning the relationship between the physical intensity of a stimulus and the perception of the subjective magnitude of the stimulus. The law states that P = KSn, where P is perceived magnitude, K is a constant, S is the stimulus intensity, and n is an exponent.
  27. Top-down processing (knowledgebased processing)
    Processing that starts with the analysis of high-level information, such as the knowledge a person brings to a situation. Also called knowledge- ased processing. Distinguished from bottom-up, or data-based processing, which is based on incoming data.
  28. Transduction
    In the senses, the transformation of environmental energy into electrical energy. For example, the retinal receptors transduce light energy into electrical energy.
  29. Visual form agnosia
    The inability to recognize objects.
  30. Visual search
    A procedure in which a person’s task is to find a particular element in a display that contains a number of elements.
  31. Weber fraction
    The ratio of the difference threshold to the value of the standard stimulus in Weber’s law.
  32. Weber’s law
    A law stating that the ratio of the difference threshold (DL) to the value of the stimulus (S) is constant. According to this relationship, doubling the value of a stimulus will cause a doubling of the difference threshold. The ratio DL/S is called the Weber fraction.

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