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Chapter 8

Understanding Psychology by Richard A. Kasschau, Ph.D.

QuestionAnswer
sensation what occurs when a stimulus activates a receptor
perception the organization of sensory information into meaningful experiences
psychophysics the study of the relationships between sensory experiences and the physical stimuli that cause them
absolute threshold the weakest amount of a stimulus that a person can detect half the time
difference threshold the smallest change in a physical stimulus that can be detected between two stimuli
Weber's law the principle that for any change ( s) in a stimulus to be detected, a constant proportion of that stimulus (s) must be added or subtracted
signal-detection theory the study of people's tendencies to make correct judgements in detecting the presence of stimuli
pupil the opening in the iris that regulates the amount of light entering the eye
lens a flexible, elastic, transparent structure in the eye that changes its shape to focus on the retina
retina the innermost coating of the back of the eye, containing the light-sensitive receptor cells
optic nerve the nerve that carries impulses from the retina to the brain
binocular fusion the process of combining the images received from the two eyes into a single, fused image
retinal disparity the differences between the images stimulating each eye
auditory nerve the nerve that carries impulses from the inner ear to the brain, resulting in the perception of sound
vestibular system three semicircular canals that provide the sense of balance, located in the inner ear and connected to the brain by a nerve
olfactory nerve the nerve that carries smell impulses from the nose to the brain
kinesthesis the sense of movement and body position
Gestalt the experience that comes from organizing bits and pieces of information into meaningful wholes
subliminal messages brief auditory or visual messages that are presented below the absolute threshold
motion parallax the apparent movement of stationary objects relative to one another that occurs when the observer changes position
constancy the tendency to perceive certain objects in the same way regardless of changing angle, distance, or lighting
illusions perceptions that misrepresent physical stimuli
extrasensory perception (ESP) an ability to gain information by some means other than the ordinary senses
Created by: yojava