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PSY 101 - Introduction to Psychology - Textbook

Learning Outcomes

  • Distinguish between sensation and perception
  • Describe the concepts of absolute threshold and difference threshold
  • Discuss the roles attention, motivation, and sensory adaptation play in perception
  • Describe the basic anatomy of the visual system
  • Discuss how rods and cones contribute to different aspects of vision
  • Describe how monocular and binocular cues are used in the perception of depth
  • Describe the basic anatomy and function of the auditory system
  • Explain how we encode and perceive pitch
  • Discuss how we localize sound
  • Describe the basic functions of the chemical senses
  • Explain the basic functions of the somatosensory, nociceptive, and thermoceptive sensory systems
  • Describe the basic functions of the vestibular, proprioceptive, and kinesthetic sensory systems
  • Describe the transduction of somatosensory signals: The properties of the receptor types as well as the difference in the properties of C-afferents and A-afferents and what functions these are thought to have.
  • Describe the social touch hypothesis and the role of affective touch in development and bonding.
  • Explain the motivation–decision model and descending modulation of pain, and give examples on how this circuitry can promote survival.
  • Explain how expectations and context affect pain and touch experiences.
  • Describe the concept of chronic pain and why treatment is so difficult."
  • Explain the figure-ground relationship
  • Define Gestalt principles of grouping
  • Describe how perceptual set is influenced by an individual’s characteristics and mental state


Click on the link below to access the assigned reading.

     5.1 Sensation versus Perception
     5.3 Vision
     5.4 Hearing
     5.5 The Other Senses
     5.6 Gestalt Principles of Perception


Sense and Perception. Authored by: OpenStax CNX. Located at: License: CC BY-4.0. License Terms: Download for free at

Touch and Pain. Authored by: Guro E. L, Dan-Mikael Ellingson, and Siri Leknes. Located at: License: Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. License Details: Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available in our Licensing Agreement