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Psy102 Topic 2 – Sensation, Perception, and Consciousness

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PSY-102 – General Psychology

Topic 2 – Sensation, Perception, and Consciousness

Sensation and Perception: Application

Directions: Making concepts personally relevant to an individual helps to learn them. Below are several concepts from your reading. Provide a psychological definition of the term and connect it to personal example in your life. Each concept should be a minimum of 50 words with citations to support your examples. List all references at the end of the list in APA style. You may use your textbook as a resource; however, do not use the specific examples in the textbook!


Sensation – I like listening to my music before going to sleep, but if my parents hear my music after 10 pm, I get in trouble. If my music is below their absolute threshold, then I won’t get in trouble, because they won’t hear it. It is really hard to keep it below their absolute thresholds because it seems that even the faintest amount of sound coming from my room is detectable. In this example, the absolute threshold is the lowest amount of volume that they can detect up to 50% of the time (Grison, Heatherton, & Gazzaniga, 2017).

  1. Absolute Threshold

When I was a teenager, my friends and I would play a game where we would sit in a group and we would whisper a sentence and the first person would whisper to the second person and that person would whisper to the third and so on. However, each time we would get quieter and quieter. When the secret had gotten around the room, it was so quiet that sometimes you would hear a distorted message because it was so hard to here. We were getting only half of the original message.  By the end of a round, we were using our absolute thresholds. The volume would end up being only at an absolute threshold. An absolute threshold is the minimal amount of human stimuli a person can detect of that stimuli up to 50 percent of the time (Grison & Gazzaniga, 2016).

  1. Difference Threshold

I was watching a show with my friend the other day. I was having trouble hearing the conversation very well, and I asked her to turn it. After she did, I could not hear a difference. She hit the volume button one more time, and I immediately could tell the difference in the volume. This is where the difference threshold came into play for me. A difference threshold is by definition is the smallest change in a stimulus that a person can detect (Grison & Gazzaniga, 2016).

  1. Sensory Adaptation

The other day I put on some perfume and I could smell it for a while. As I went on with my day, I forgot that I was wearing it and did not remember until somebody asked me what kind of perfume I was wearing. Over a period of time, I became desensitized to the smell which is an example of sensory adaptation. Sensory adaption is a reduction in sensitivity to a stimulus after constant exposure to it (Cherry, 2018, para.2).

  1. Dark/Light Adaptation

I remember as a child at school we would go outside and play in the sun. When I would come back into school and head down the hallway, I would have trouble seeing for a second. The hallway was much darker than outside. After a few moments, my eyes would adjust, and I could see fine. I was experiencing dark adaption. Dark adaption is the process that we go through when human eyes are adjusting to a dark setting after being exposed to light ( Dark Adaptation, n.d.).

  1. The Gate-Control Theory of Pain

watch a little girl and sometimes I am with her overnight. One night, I was walking through a dark hallway and hit my shin on a coffee table. It hurt really bad until I heard her cry. Suddenly, I forgot the pain and when to see what was wrong with her. I experienced at this moment the gate-control theory of pain. “This theory suggests that the spinal cord contains a neurological "gate" that either blocks pain signals or allows them to continue on to the brain (Cherry, 2018, para.1)”

  1. Perception

When I was in high school, there were many things that I did not think were important, so I did not study them or try to learn them. I just simply tried to pass. To me school was boring. Now that I have grown up, I see how important some of those subjects were and wish I worked harder. What changed is my outlook on like or my perception changed. Perception is the brains way of processing or interpreting sensory information (Grison & Gazzaniga, 2016).

  1. Choose One of These – Closure, Proximity, Similarity, or Simplicity

I went to a church function one time and got to know this guy. The next time I saw him he was sitting near this girl that was about his age. I automatically assumed that they were dating based on the proximity that was between them. Later, I found out that I was right. In this example, I experienced the Gestalt theory of proximity. This theory stated that we tend to group visual data based on the closeness of objects or people (Grison & Gazzaniga, 2016).



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