🔎 Unit 1: Scientific Foundations of Psychology
1.0Unit 1 Overview: Scientific Foundations of Psychology
1.1Introducing Psychology: The Historical Progression of Psychology
1.2Research Methods in Psychology
1.3The Experimental Method
1.5Statistical Analysis in Psychology
🧠 Unit 2: Biological Bases of Behavior
2.0Unit 2 Overview: Biological Bases of Behavior
2.1Interaction of Heredity and Environment
2.3Overview of the Nervous System and the Neuron
2.7Tools for Examining Brain Structure and Function
2.8The Adaptable Brain: Neural Fluidity
👀 Unit 3: Sensation and Perception
3.0Unit 3 Overview: Sensation and Perception
3.1Principles of Sensation
3.2Principles of Perception
3.5Auditory Sensation and Perception
📚 Unit 4: Learning
4.0Unit 4 Overview: Learning
🤔 Unit 5: Cognitive Psychology
5.0Unit 5 Overview: Cognitive Psychology
5.1Introduction to Memory
5.5Forgetting and Memory Distortion
5.6Biological Bases of Memory
5.7Introduction to Thinking and Problem Solving
5.8Biases and Errors in Thinking
5.9Introduction to Intelligence
5.10Psychometric Principles and Intelligence Testing
👶 Unit 6: Developmental Psychology
6.0Unit 6 Overview: Developmental Psychology
6.1The Lifespan and Physical Development in Childhood
6.2Social Development in Childhood
6.3Cognitive Development in Childhood
6.5Adulthood and Aging
🤪 Unit 7: Motivation, Emotion, & Personality
7.0Unit 7 Overview: Motivation, Emotion, and Personality
7.1Theories of Motivation
7.2Specific Topics in Motivation
7.3Theories of Emotion
7.4Stress and Coping
7.5Introduction to Personality
7.6Psychoanalytic Theories of Personality
7.7Behaviorism and Social Cognitive Theories of Personality
7.8Humanistic Theories of Personality
7.9Trait Theories of Personality
🛋 Unit 8: Clinical Psychology
8.0Unit 8 Overview: Clinical Psychology
8.1Introduction to Psychological Disorders
8.2Psychological Perspectives and Etiology of Disorders
8.3Neurodevelopmental and Schizophrenic Spectrum Disorders
8.4Bipolar, Depressive, Anxiety, and Obsessive-Compulsive and Related Disorders
8.5Trauma- and Stressor Related, Dissociative, and Somatic Symptom and Related Disorders
8.6Feeding and Eating, Substance and Addictive, and Personality Disorders
8.7Introduction to Treatment of Psychological Disorders
8.8Psychological Perspectives and Treatment of Disorders
8.9Treatment of Disorders from the Biological Perspective
👫 Unit 9: Social Psychology
9.0Unit 9 Overview: Social Psychology
9.1Attribution Theory and Person Perception
9.2Attitude Formation and Attitude Change
9.3Conformity, Compliance, and Obedience
9.4Group Influences on Behavior and Mental Processes
9.5Bias, Prejudice, and Discrimination
9.6Altruism and Aggression
🧐 Multiple Choice Questions (MCQ)
✍️ Free Response Questions (FRQ)
⏱️ 4 min read
October 21, 2020
Organizing and interpreting sensory information is all part of perception. Now, you may ask, what is the main difference between sensation and perception? Sensation is the actual awareness of our environment through the five senses while perception is the way we interpret this sensory information to tell us something about our environment, making sense of where we are.
We process information unconsciously as our neuron systems work together, each performing part of the task. It's important to understand that perception is majorly influenced by expectations, context, emotions, and motivations.
Your perceptual set is your mental predisposition to perceive one thing but not another. Our perceptual set can change: what we see, feel, taste, and touch. If someone told you that this new restaurant opened nearby and had really delicious food, you would expect to really enjoy the food, so you go and try it. The smell of juicy steak as you enter the restaurant, along with your expectation of the food tasting well, might influence your taste and possibly make you think the food tastes better than it really does.
Our perceptual set is determined by our schemas 💾 , which are concepts that organize information in our experiences. Popular examples of schemas are stereotypes and social roles.
The context effect has to do with top-down processing and the brain going back in time, allowing a later stimulus to determine how we perceive an earlier one.
Our attention to our surroundings can change our perception. Selective attention is our focus on a particular stimulus among others. One of the most famous examples of selective attention is the cocktail party effect, where at a party, you can hear one voice among a million others. You are only focused on that one person, so all of your attention is centered on them, blocking out all of the “noise.”
Our lack of attention could also lead to blindness: a failure to notice stimuli.
Inattentional Blindness: This occurs when you fail to see visible objects when your attention is focused elsewhere. 😎
To better understand inattentional blindness, and possibly even experience it: click here!
You may have been so focused on the task given to you that you would have never noticed the most obvious stimuli in the midst of all the action!
Change Blindness: The failure to notice significant changes in our environment.
To see this occur to people, watch the following video at 1:41.
As mentioned earlier, a gestalt is a whole or a form, and they often exceed the sum of their parts. This can be explained by the phi phenomenon, which is the illusion of movement that is created by the succession of lights blinking on and off. If you press the link and watch the video for a few seconds, you would notice that even though the circles aren’t there at the same time, it looks like a circle is formed.
Another aspect of perception that Gestalt psychologists studied is the figure-ground relationship. This explains why we can distinguish a subject from its background. In the image below, you may see two faces facing each other, in black, or one vase, in white. Our ability to view either one of these subjects demonstrates the figure-ground relationship.
Image Courtesy of Research Gate.
We also tend to group different stimuli together. We may group nearby objects together (proximity), perceive continuous patterns rather than discontinuous ones (continuity), and fill in gaps to form a whole object (closure). One main example of grouping is below:
Consider the following: DEMON DAY BREAK FAST. You probably read this as Demon, Day, Break, and Fast, but these words can also be grouped into Monday, Daybreak, or breakfast.
Many of these gestalt principles enable us to fall for optical illusions.
We live in a three-dimensional world. Isn’t it wild that our brain can perceive this and judge the distance of objects? This is called depth perception, and cues (monocular and binocular) can guide us when judging distance.
👁 Monocular Cues: cues available with only one eye like interposition, relative height, relative motion, linear perspective, relative size, light and shadow
📝 Read: AP Psychology - For more on Monocular Cues
👀 Binocular Cues: cues that depend on the use of both eyes. Since your eyes are 2.5 inches apart, they have different views of the world. Combined, a new perspective is created.
The main binocular cue to know is retinal disparity, the difference between the two images. Comparing the images from both eyes, your brain is able to judge distance.
Imagine viewing a car as it approaches you. You know that the car isn’t getting bigger, but it appears like it is, since it's getting closer to you. This is an example of perceptual constancy, where you perceive moving objects as unchanging.
Something really interesting and fun has to do with our perceptual organization, in which our vision always wins when it competes with our other senses (visual capture). The McGurk Effect is one of the most common examples of visual capture; watch the video linked below! Even though the sound doesn't change and consistently says “Bill,” you can hear other things because of what you are seeing. Your eyesight dominates over your hearing, making you hear what you see.
🎥Watch: AP Psychology - Principles of Sensation and Perception
2550 north lake drive
milwaukee, wi 53211
92% of Fiveable students earned a 3 or higher on their 2020 AP Exams.
*ap® and advanced placement® are registered trademarks of the college board, which was not involved in the production of, and does not endorse, this product.
© fiveable 2020 | all rights reserved.