PSY101 Chapter 6

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  • Created on: 20-01-16 18:07
Perception
One case that came back to me while I was writing was the curious one of a man who was charged with sexual assault on a train.
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What you should be able to do after reading chapter 6
Define the term perception; describe and understand how form, motion and space might be perceived; describe the way in which the brain processes different types of visual information
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Questions to think about
How do we assemble sensory cues from the environment and turn them into something meaningful? What is it about a face that makes it recognisable? How can we perceive a moving object as moving? How can we tell a moving car from a moving bus or train?
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The nature of perception
Take a look around you - around the room or out the window. What do you see as you and your eyes move around? Shapes? Figures? Background? Shadows? Areas of light and dark?
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Definition of perception
Perception is the process by which we recognise what is represented by the information provided by our sense organs. This process gives unity and coherence to this input.
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Perception of form
When we look at the world, we do not see patches of colours and shades of brightness. We see things - cars, streets, people, books, trees, dogs, chairs, walls, flowers, clouds, televisions.
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Figure and ground
Most of what we see can be classified as either object or background. Objects are things having particular shapes and particular locations in space.
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Organisation of elements: the principles of Gestalt
Most figures are defined by a boundary. But the presence of a boundary is not necessary for the perception of form. Figure 6.3 shows that when small elements are arranged in groups, we tend to perceive them as larger figures.
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Models of pattern perception
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Templates and prototypes
One explanation for our ability to recognise shapes of objects is that as we gain experience looking at things, we acquire templates, which are special kinds of visual memories stored by the visual system.
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Feature detection models
Some psychologists suggest that the visual system encodes images of familiar patterns in terms of distinctive features - collections of important physical features that specify particular items (Selfridge, 1959).
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Top-down processing: the role of context
We often perceive objects under conditions that are less than optimum; the object is in a shadow, camouflaged against a similar background or obscured by fog. Nevertheless, we usually manage to recognise the item correctly.
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Direct perception: Gibson's affordances
In the chapter so far we have considered some mechanisms that underlie visual perception. But is this perception a response or a process? That is, is visual perception an active or passive process? We saw in an
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Face perception
Although object perception is important to us, the perception of specific categories of stimuli may be even more important. One such category is 'faces'.
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Sex of the face
We can usually discriminate between faces more quickly on the basis of their users' sex than familiarity (Bruce et al., 1987).
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Distinctiveness and attractiveness
Each of us finds different faces attractive: some of us find faces friendlier than others, some meaner and others more sexually alluring.
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Cutting edge: Quarter back, nice front
Do successful athletes have more attractive faces? Williams et al. (2010b) asked female students from a Dutch University to rate the facial attractiveness of 30 players from the US's National Football League.
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Theories of face perception
The mechanisms that allow us to perceive faces are considered to be different from those that allow us to perceive objects; face perception has been thought of as 'special' (Farah et al., 1998). Face perception involves a number of operations.
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Perception of space and motion
In addition to being able to perceive the forms of objects in our environment, we are able to judge quite accurately their relative location in space and their movements.
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Depth perception
Depth perception requires that we perceive the distance of objects in the environment from us and from each other. We do so by means of two kinds of cues: binocular ('two-eye') and monocular ('one-eye').
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Binocular cues
Convergence provides an important cue about distance. The eyes make conjugate movements so that both look at (converge on) the same point of the visual scene. If an object is very close to your face, your eyes are turned inwards.
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Monocular cues
One of the most important sources of information about the relative distance of objects is interposition (meaning 'placed inbetween').
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Psychology in action: CCTV and face perception
The increasing use of CCTV has led to an increase in the reliance on CCTV evidence in prosecutions but the quality of these images is very variable.
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Distance and location
When we are able to see the horizon, we perceive objects near it as being distant and those above or below it as being nearer to us. Thus, elevation provides an important monocular depth cue.
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Constancies of visual perception
An important characteristic of the visual environment is that it is almost always changing as we move, as objects move, and as lighting conditions change.
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Other cards in this set

Card 2

Front

Define the term perception; describe and understand how form, motion and space might be perceived; describe the way in which the brain processes different types of visual information

Back

What you should be able to do after reading chapter 6

Card 3

Front

How do we assemble sensory cues from the environment and turn them into something meaningful? What is it about a face that makes it recognisable? How can we perceive a moving object as moving? How can we tell a moving car from a moving bus or train?

Back

Preview of the back of card 3

Card 4

Front

Take a look around you - around the room or out the window. What do you see as you and your eyes move around? Shapes? Figures? Background? Shadows? Areas of light and dark?

Back

Preview of the back of card 4

Card 5

Front

Perception is the process by which we recognise what is represented by the information provided by our sense organs. This process gives unity and coherence to this input.

Back

Preview of the back of card 5
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