Maria Giorgi
Maddie Hume
Nate Riedeman
Emily Riermann
Max Nelson
Hour 3
Perception Chapter Outline
Important Vocabulary Terms
Perception: the process of organizing and interpreting sensory information;
Bottom-up Processing: analysis beginning with the sensory receptors, working up
to the brain’s integration of that sensory information
Top-down Processing: information processing guided by high level mental
processes, beginning with pre-conceived mental sets
Transduction: the conversion of one form of energy to another; sight to neural
Parallel Processing: processing of many aspects of a problem simultaneously
Gestalt: an organized whole; Gestalt psychologists emphasized tendency to
integrate pieces of information into meaningful wholes
Figure-Ground: the organization of the visual field into figures and their
Grouping: perceptual tendency to organize stimuli into groups
Depth Perception: the ability to see objects in three dimensions, judge distances
Visual Cliff: a laboratory device for testing depth perception in infants and animals
Binocular Cues: depth cues that depend on two eyes, including:
Retinal Disparity: greater disparity or difference between images in each
eye means it is closer
Monocular Cues: depth cues that can be used with only one eye including:
Interposition: Objects blocking others appear closer
Linear Perspective: parallel lines appear to converge with distance
Color Constancy: perceiving familiar objects as having consistent color even if
changing illumination alters the wavelengths
Perceptual Adaptation: the ability to adjust to an artificially displaced or inverted
visual field
Perceptual Set: a mental predisposition to perceive one thing and not another
Extrasensory Perception: the controversial claim that perception can occur apart
from sensory input
Created by: Maria Giorgi
Form Perception
Figure and ground
a. Organization of visual field into objects (figures) that stand out from
surroundings (ground)
b. Grouping: Tendency to organize stimuli into coherent groups
i. Proximity: grouping near by figures together
ii. Similarity: grouping similar figures
iii. Continuity: tendency to perceive smooth, continuous patterns
iv. Connectedness: when uniform and linked, we perceive spots,
lines, areas as a single unit
v. Closure: fill in gaps to create a complete, whole object
Depth Perception
Binocular cues
a. Depth cues based off use of two eyes
i. Retinal disparity: computing distance based on amount of
difference between two images.
1. **More disparity=closer**
ii. Convergence: distance based on extent to which eyes
converge inward
Monocular cues
a. Distance cues available to a single eye
i. Relative size: smaller images seem further away
ii. Interposition: objects blocking others appear closer
iii. Relative clarity: hazy objects
iv. Texture gradient: further objects appear to have fine,
indistinct texture.
v. Relative height: objects higher in field of vision appear further
vi. Linear perspective: parallel lines appear to converge with
vii. Light and shadow: near objects reflect more light
Visual Cliff Experiment
a. E. J Gibson and R.D Walk
b. Developed the visual cliff test to use on infants and animals to
investigate when depth perception is possible
c. Created by connecting a transparent glass surface to an opaque
patterned surface. The floor below has the same pattern as the opaque
surface making the illusion of a cliff without danger
d. Results showed that infants and animals are capable of perceiving
depth right away and it is not developed but instead in instinct.
Created by: Maddie Hume
Perceptual Set:
• Perceptual set- a mental predisposition to perceive one thing and not another.
• We get a perceptual set from our experiences, assumptions, and expectations.
• Once we form a wrong idea about reality from our perceptual set, it is harder to
see the truth about reality.
• Many people actually believe in the Loch Ness Monster, because of the way it was
stated in the paper.
• Because of their expectations, they see a "monster" and not a curved tree trunk in
the water. They ignored that the object was floating motionless, without any
ripples around it.
Perceptual Adaptation:
• Perceptual adaptation- in vision, the ability to adjust to an artificially displaced or
even inverted visual field.
• Humans can learn to adapt to distortion fairly easily.
• Within a few minutes, a human can adjust to glasses that distort your field of view.
• George Stratton wore glasses that "flipped the world upside down."
• At first, he had difficulty. He found difficulty eating and felt nauseated, and even
had trouble walking at first.
• By the eighth day, he felt as though he was completely adapted. He was able to
reach for things with no problem, and walk in straight lines without bumping
into things.
• The world still felt topsy-turvy to him, but he had adapted.
After he took off the glasses, he had no problem adapting back to his normal
perceptions without distortion.
Created by: Nate Riedeman
Motion Perception
● Phi phenomenon- an illusion of movement created when two or more adjacent
lights blink on and off in quick succession.
● Our brain constructs our perceptions
● Brain perceives continuous movement as a rapid series of varying movements.
Perceptual Constancy
● Perceptual Constancy- perceiving objects as unchanging (having consistent
size, lightness, and color) even as illumination and retinal images change.
● Top-down processing
Shape and Size Constancies
■ Shape can seem to change from point of view/distance
■ Size constancy- perceive objects as having constant size, even if
distance varies
Lightness Constancy
■ Relative luminance- the amount of light an object reflects relative to its
■ We perceive an object as having a constant lightness even while its
illumination varies.
Color Constancy
■ Color constancy- perceiving familiar objects as having consistent color,
even if changing illumination alters the wavelengths reflected by the
■ Color is dependent on the light reflected by an object relative to objects
around it.
Perceptual Interpretation
Sensory Deprivation and Restored Vision
■ Experience influences our perception of faces
■ People deprived of visual experience during childhood who gain sight
later in life are better at recognizing differences in faces.
Created by: Emily Riermann
Para = “at the side of...”
Psychological phenomenon that goes beyond the main area of
psychological knowledge and interest
Extrasensory perception (ESP)
Form of parapsychology
Is a perception of objects or events through means other than the sensory
Kinds of ESP
The ability to know about events before they occur
One of most testable and relevant kinds
The ability to make objects move by thinking of them as moving
Example: levitating a table
The direct transmission of thoughts or ideas from person to
person without anything being spoken or written.
One of most testable and relevant kinds
The ability to perceive objects that are out of the range of human
One of most testable and relevant kinds
Nearly ½ of all American believe humans are capable of ESP without
sensory input
96% of the scientists in the U.S. National Academy of Sciences are
skeptical ESP exists.
Reasons why ESP is implausible
Instances are just stunning coincidences
Coincidences are more and more common with large population
Not reproducible (able to have happen again and again)
Tests of ESP
○ People’s ability to influence computer-generated random sequences
of ones and zeros
■Results indicated smaller experiments reflected a person’s
influence, but larger experiments did not
By the knowledge of only one person with one true, reproducible ESP
phenomenon, ESP’s existence would be proven.
By Maxwell Nelson