PSY 323: Perception

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Quiz 3

The third quiz will be given in class on Wednesday, 2/10. The material on the quiz starts with dark adaptation in chapter two.

Retinal Ganglion Cell

This activity allows you to explore the activity of a retinal ganglion cell in response to an edge. Since all visual information is filtered through the retinal ganglion cells, understanding how retinal ganglion cells respond is important to your understanding of perception.

Essay Questions for Exam 1

One of these questions will be the essay question on the first exam.

Exam 1 Is Wednesday, 2/17

The first exam will be given on Wednesday, February 17. The exam consists of three sections: labeling (see the entry on 1/27 for more details), 20 multiple choice questions and an essay question (see the entry directly above for more details.) There will be time in class on Monday, February 15, for review and questions.

I strongly encourage you to start studying now. There is a lot of material on the exam. Learning theories (and data) tell us that, for this type of task, it is much better to study a little on each of several days than to spend the same amount of time studying on a few days.

Lab 1 Grades

Grades for the first lab are available from Isidore. The mean was 9.1 out of 10 points with a standard deviation of 0.5. The following histogram shows the distribution of grades for the first lab.

Quiz 2 Grades

Grades for the second quiz are available from Isidore. The mean was 7.8 out of 10 points with a standard deviation of 2.3. While the mean is lower than I had hoped for, over 40% of the class earned an A (9, 10 or 11 points) on the quiz. The following histogram shows the distribution of grades for the second quiz.

If you are disappointed in your grade, you might want to follow the advice on the How To Study page. That advice is based on psychological research. You should be reading the textbook; doing so is especially important if you miss a class. If you miss a class, check the class website to see if any quizzes might be coming soon.

Quiz 2

The second quiz will likely be given in class on Monday, 2/1 or Wednesday, 2/3. It probably will not be a take-home quiz.

Textbook's Web Site

The textbook has a website which is available from the link on the left. For each chapter, there is a quiz (it does not contribute to your grade in the class, but can be used to see if you are understanding the material), learning objectives and flashcards.

Hue, Saturation and Brightness

This activity allows you to independently manipulate the hue, saturation and brightness (value) of a color.

Quiz 1 Grades

Grades for the first quiz are available from Isidore. The mean was 9.9 out of 10 points with a standard deviation of 2. The following histogram shows the distribution of grades for thefirst quiz.

Section 1 of Exam 1

The first section of each exam involves labeling the parts of a sensory or perceptual system. For the first exam, you will be asked to label parts of the human eye. The diagram corresponds to Figure 2.8 in your textbook. The diagram can also be found on slide 11 in the second set of lecture slides. You can test your ability to recognize the parts of the eye with this activity. On the exam, you will need to be able to write / recall the labels.

Quiz 1 Is Due at the Start of Class on Wednesday, 1/27

Quiz one will be a take home quiz. Future quizzes will be in-class quizzes. Quiz one is due at the start of class on Wednesday, January 27.

Office Hours for Monday, January 25

Last week I got appointed to a committee -- lucky me! That committee already had a meeting scheduled for 2 PM on 1/25 -- in the middle of my normal office hours. For 1/25 only, my office hours will run from 1:20 to 1:55 PM. If you want to see me outside that window of time, please email me a list of times that you are available and I will pick one that also works for me.

Lab 1: Psychophysical Laws: Fechner's vs Stevens'

Lab 1 is available from Sakai / Isidore. The assignment is due no later than 11:15 AM on Monday, February 1, 2016. Submit your lab report via Sakai / Isidore.

Visit and read the background information about psychophysical laws. More detailed information about Fechner's and Stevens' laws can be found on pages 26 to 28 of the textbook.

Following the instructions on that page, do the study. For each of large patches of light that is presented, enter a number between 1 (black) and 100 (white) to indicate how bright you think the large patch of light is. Even though there are a lot of judgments to be made (55 of them) each judgment should take no more than a couple of seconds to make. You should spend no more than a couple of minutes to do the study.

Retrieve the lab report, answer the questions and turn the completed lab report in via Sakai / Isidore. The lab report asks you to look at the Wikipedia page on Stevens' power law. When submitting your completed lab report, submit only one attachment in MS Word format. Include the file extension (.docx or .doc) when uploading the file.

Using Weber's Law

You should be able to apply Weber's law. That is, you should be able to calculate the Weber fraction, k, given the intensities of two stimuli that are just noticeably different from each other. Given k, you should also be able to determine how intense one stimulus has to be, relative to another stimulus, in order to tell that the two stimuli are different intensities. This web page will help you practice these calculations.

Copies of Slides

Copies of the slides with room to take notes are available from the Slides link in the list on the left. You will need a password to access the slides. The password is available from Sakai (otherwise known as Isidore at UD.)

Quiz 1

The first quiz will likely be given in class on Monday, 1/25 or Wednesday, 1/27.


I hope that you find this class as interesting as I find perception.  Perception is a fundamental part of our lives and an understanding of how we perceive is essential for understanding the human experience.

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*The time until the next exam is based on your computer's clock.
If your computer's clock is wrong, the time until the exam will be wrong too.