DSE212 Key Terms 6

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  1. Gibson’s direct perception
    • Claims that incoming sensory information contains everything needed for perception
    • We perceive a dynamic ever-changing scene
    • Contrasts with theories such as Gregory's constructivist theory that sensory information needs the addition of prior knowledge
    • Example - Frog doesn't need to form perceptual hypotheses in order to perceive and catch a fly, it uses all the sensory information available
    • Criticised because some illusions do seem to require stored knowledge in order to explain how they work
    • Doesn't explain how it feels to perceive something.

    • Importance
    • May help to describe different facets of perception
  2. Bottleneck theories of attention
    • Broadbent (1954)
    • Theory of a bottleneck in the attentional system to limit the amount of information passing through
    • Tested theory using auditory split-span procedures (one ear or other)
    • Results suggested to Broadbent that filtering occurs early

    • Importance
    • Stimulated research into how attentional systems operate
    • Explain why we may process incoming information in different ways
  3. Limited capacity attention
    • Kahneman (1973)
    • Suggested that human brain is only capable of analysing a limited amount of incoming data at a time and integrating it with prior knowledge.
    • Some information will therefore be lost, we may not be aware of everything happening around us.
    • Proposed a limited capacity central processor that allocates attentional resources, and that information processed increases when we are aroused
    • Theory supported by Posner and Boies (1971)
    • dual task studies and McLeod (1977) response time study

    • Importance
    • Explains limitations that are obvious in everyday life, such as why we sometimes fail to perceive events happening right in front of us
    • Explains why we don't consciously perceive everything that we sense
  4. Attentional spotlight
    • Posner (1980)
    • Theory suggesting we can control the area that we focus our attention on, with the ability to zoom in and out like a spotlight
    • Example – one instrument or an orchestra
    • Stimuli outside this area may be sensed, but not perceived
    • Attention is selective - we can choose where to point the spotlight, and can switch attention to where we expect something to happen

    • Importance
    • Important way to conceptualise how we 'pay attention' to things, and to explain how and why different levels of concentration are appropriate
  5. Top-down processing
    • Process where information flows down from prior knowledge/experience which can influence sensory information coming in
    • Emphasised by Gregory's constructivist theory of perception
    • Existing knowledge used to form perceptual hypotheses that the sensory data is fitted against
    • Illusions can be explained in terms of top-down processing, e.g. Muller-Lyer illusion is interpreted using our knowledge of what corners look like when near or far away.
    • Bete people show little susceptibility to this illusion, and live in jungle environments with few corners

    • Importance
    • Provides an explanation for some aspects of perception, especially where there are obvious gaps in the sensory data available
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DSE212 Key Terms 6
2012-06-09 19:28:05
DSE212 Key Terms

DSE212 Key Terms 6
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