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14 terms

AP Psychology - Module 12 words

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Sensation
The process by which our sensory receptors and nervous system receive and represent stimulus energies from our environment.
Perception
The process of organizing and interpreting sensory information, enabling us to recognize meaningful objects and events.
Priming
The activation, often unconsciously, of certain associations, thus predisposing one's perception, memory, or response.
Subliminal
Below one's absolute threshold for conscious awareness
Bottom-up processing
Analysis that begins with the sensory receptors and works up to the brain's integration of sensory information
Difference Threshold
The minimum difference between two stimuli required for detection 50 percent of the time. We experience the difference threshold as a just noticeable difference. JND
Top-Down Processing
Information processing guided by higher-level mental processes, as when we construct perceptions drawing on our experience and expectations.
Weber's Law
The principle that, to be perceived as different, two stimuli must differ by a constant minimum percentage (rather than a constant amount)
Psychophysics
The study of relationships between the physical characteristics of stimuli, such as their intensity, and our psychological experience of them.
Sensory adaptation
Diminished sensitivity as a consequence of constant stimulation.
Absolute Threshold
The minimum stimulation needed to detect a particular stimulus 50 percent of the time
Selective Attention
The focusing of conscious awareness on a particular stimulus, as in the cocktail party effect.
Signal Detection Theory
A theory predicting how and when we detect the presence of a faint stimulus (signal) amid background stimulation (noise). Assumes there is no single absolute threshold and that detection depends partly on a person's experience, expectations, motivation, and level of fatigue.
Inattentional Blindness
Failing to see visible objects when our attention is directed elsewhere.