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25 terms

Chapter 3: Sensation and Perception

Basic Definitions of Key Terms from Psychology by Ciccarelli and Meyer
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Sensation
the activation of sensory receptors in various sense organs
just noticeable difference
the smallest difference between two stimuli that is detectable 50 percent of the time
absolute threshold
the smallest amount of energy needed for a person to consciously detect a stimulus 50 percent of the time it is present
rods and cones
specialized sensory receptors found in the eyes
habituation
the tendency of the brain to stop attending to constant, unchanging information
sensory adaptation
tendency of sensory receptor cells to become less responsive to a stimulus that is unchanging
saccades
constant, movements of the eyes--little vibrations
subliminal stimuli
stimuli below the level of consciousness that may act upon behavior
perception
the method by which the sensations experienced at any given moment are interpreted and organized in some meaningful fashion
size constancy
the tendency to interpret an object as always being the same actual size, regardless of its distance
sensory receptors
specialized forms of neurons that are activated by different stimuli such as light and sound
shape constancy
the tendency to interpret the shape of an object as being constant, even when its shape changes on the retina
brightness constancy
the tendency to perceive the apparent brightness of an object as the same even when the light conditions change
figure-ground
the tendency to perceive objects, or figures, as existing on a background
similarity
the tendency to perceive things that look similar to each other as being part of the same group
proximity
the tendency to perceive objects that are spacially close to each other as part of the same grouping
closure
the tendency to complete figures that are incomplete
continuity
the tendency to perceive things as simply as possible with continuous pattern rather than with a complex, broken-up pattern
contiguity
the tendency to perceive two things that happen close together in time as being related
depth perception
the ability to perceive the world in three dimensions
monocular cues
cues for perceiving depth based on one eye only
binocular cues
cues for perceiving depth based on both eyes
linear perspective
the tendency for parallel lines to appear to converge on each other
relative size
perception that occurs when objects that a person expects to be of a certain size appear to be small and are, therefore, assumed to be much further away
interposition
the assumption that an object that appears to be blocking part of another object is in front of the second object and closer to the viewer