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Chapters 5-7Sensation and Perception, Motivation, and Altered States of Consciousness

Sensation is caused by physical changes in the environment,

involving colors, forms, tastes, sounds, smells, etc Perception is the organi!ation of sensory information into meaningful stimuli "he absolute threshold is the minimum amount of physical energy re#uired to produce a sensation "he difference threshold is the minimum amount of physical energy change re#uired to produce a change in sensation $eber%s la&' the larger or stronger a stimulus, the larger the change re#uired for an observer to notice that there is a difference

Sensory Adaptation
People%s senses are particularly attuned to change

(increases or decreases, or ne& events), rather than to ongoing stimulation An e*ample is going into a dar+ room, and ho& your eyes ad,ust "his is called sensory adaptation
$ithout sensory adaptation, &e &ould become

over&helmed by all the different sensations &e e*perience at any one time

The Senses "here are actually more than 5 senses- there are also several s+in
senses and t&o .internal/ senses "he senses include' 0ision 1earing Smell and taste (these t&o are related) S+in senses (these prove the brain &ith information about the environment, such as pressure, &armth and pain) 0estibular systemthis regulates the body%s sense of balance 2inestheticaffects movement and body position- cooperates &ith the vestibular and visual senses to maintain posture and balance

Many +inds of stimuli (scratches, punctures, pressure,

heat, cold, etc ) can produce pain Pain encourages people to avoid certain things 3ecause it is a &arning system, it does not easily adapt to stimulation (you do not get used to it) Sometimes, pain is e*perienced in an area a&ay from the actual source of irritationthis is referred pain Phantom limb painapparent pain e*perienced in a body part that has been removed

"he .&hole/ e*perience that comes from organi!ing bits

and pieces of information into meaningful ob,ects and patterns is called a 4estalt 5igure-ground perception is the ability to discriminate properly bet&een figure and ground (this important in hearing as &ell as vision) 5illing in the gaps in &hat our senses tell us is called perceptual inference

Constancy is the ability to perceive ob,ects as the same

despite changing physical conditionsfor e*ample you do not thin+ that a person &al+ing to&ards you is actually getting bigger 6llusions are incorrect perceptions that occur &hen sensations are distorted 7SP is receiving information about the &orld through channels other than the normal sensessome believe in this, &hile many don%t

Some researchers focus on biological motives, such as

hunger Another biological approach to motivation is 8rive 9eduction "heoryphysiological needs drive an organism to act until its needs are satisfied Such needs include' food, &ater, se* 8rive reduction theorists argue that even apparently social motives are in fact biologicalfor e*ample, see+ing social approval has been conditioned, ma+ing it a learned biological drive

Some psychologists, mean&hile, have focused on social

motives, in particular Abraham Maslo&, &ho devised a .1ierarchy of :eeds / "hey are, from the bottom of the pyramid and moving up' 5undamental needsbiological drives, including the need for security and safety Psychological needsesteem needs (achievement, approval and recognition) and belongingness and love needs Self-actuali!ation needsthe need to fulfill one%s uni#ue potential

Altered states of consciousness--Sleep

"he brain remains active during sleep "here are several stages of sleep- stage ; is the deepest

stage 97M (rapid eye movement) sleep follo&s stage ;- it is called active sleep because the brain sends out active &aves that resemble those of somebody &ho is a&a+e

Altered states of consciousness--Dreams

.8reams/ refers to the mental activity that ta+es place

during sleep Most dreams are not e*citing, but the ones &e remember and tal+ about generally are Some people (such as 5reud) believe that dream interpretations are valid, &hile others suggest that they may, in fact, have no meaning &hatsoever

Altered states of consciousness--Hypnosis

1ypnosis is an altered consciousness in &hich people

become highly suggestible and don%t use their critical thin+ing s+ills 1ypnosis is not sleep- in fact hypnoti!ed people are very receptive to stimuli

Altered states of consciousness--Hallucinations

1allucinations are perceptions that have no direct e*ternal

causepeople perceive them for no apparent reason Some hallucinations occur because of e*treme physical e*haustion or hardship, but sometimes they appear under apparently normal conditions 4enerally, hallucinations are very similar among different people

Altered states of consciousness Psychoactive Drugs

Psychoactive drugs interact &ith the central nervous system, and they alter people%s moods, perceptions and behaviors 7*amples of them include' Mari,uana 1allucinogens (such as <S8)obviously, these often produce hallucinations Alcoholthis is the most used and abused mind-altering substance

Altered states of consciousness Biofeedbac

3iofeedbac+a person is monitored &ith machines to

allo& her or him to practice controlling physiological functions (such as heart rate, blood pressure, s+in temperature and s&eat-gland activity)
3iofeedbac+ has demonstrated that some physiological

activity is not completely voluntary, as &as once thought

Altered states of consciousness Meditation

Meditation is focusing attention on an image or thought

&ith the goal of clearing one%s mind and producing an inner peace
Studies have suggested that regularly practicing

meditation is physically rela*ing and thus helpful, although not everyone agrees