Psych. 421 - Sensation and Perception
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Assignments Short Quizzes Exams Research Credit Research Papers Participation Honors Option
Etiquette Academic Honesty Points to Ponder
This syllabus is subject to revision as the course unfolds. Check periodically for changes.
Text: Goldstein, E. B. (2002). Sensation and Perception (6th ed.). Wadsworth.
Course Goals: To impart knowledge about the theories, issues, phenomena, methods, and data that have resulted from scientific study of how the environment is sensed and interpreted, with an emphasis on visual perception.
Course Structure: The course will combine lectures, demonstrations and discussions, with WebCT support. The WebCT part of the course provides numerous forms of study materials, Web links, a glossary, chapter outlines, discussions, chat groups and more. Text reading assignments are given below with deadline dates. Grading will be based upon three exams, short quizzes, a research paper, and class contributions.
Schedule of Assignments:
|Aug. 30,Sept. 1, 6||Introduction and Psychophysics||Ch.1|
|Sept. 8, 13||The Visual System - Basic Neural Processing||Ch. 2|
|Sept. 15, 20||The Visual System - CNS Neural Processing I||Ch. 3|
|Sept. 22, 27||The Visual System - CNS Neural Processing II||Ch. 4|
|Sept. 29||EXAM 1|
|Oct. 4, 6||Object Perception||Ch. 5|
|Oct. 13, 18||Color Perception||Ch. 6|
|Oct. 20, 25||Depth and Size Perception||Ch. 7|
|Oct. 27, Nov. 1||Motion Perception||Ch. 8|
|Nov. 3, 8||Perception Meets Action||Ch. 9|
|Nov. 10||EXAM 2|
|Nov. 15, 17||Auditory Physiology and Psychophysics||Ch. 10|
|Nov. 22, 29||Auditory Localization and Quality||Ch. 11|
|Dec. 1, 6||Perceptual Development||Ch. 15|
|Dec. 6||Deadline for research paper|
|Dec. 8||Class Option||Ch. ?|
|Dec. 15||Final (1:10 PM - 3:40 PM) - Section 01|
Short quizzes will be administered through the WebCT course and will consist of 10 multiple choice questions worth 1 point each. There will be one short quiz for each chapter. You may take each quiz up to three (3) times to try for the best score. The highest score will be counted toward your final course grade.
The three exams will be administered in class. They will consist of multiple choice, several short identifications, and one or two essays. Each exam will be worth a maximum of 100 points.
Other Exams and Quizzes
There are other online quizzes and exams available to you in each chapter. These are meant for you to use for practice and to determine the adequacy of your preparation for quizzes and exams that will count. They are best taken after you think that you are fully prepared to see if indeed you are. Do not mistake the practice quizzes for the DLC Ch. Short Quiz, which will count.
Credit for Research Participation
You may volunteer to participate in research being conducted by faculty and students in the Psychology Department and earn extra credit. You will receive 4 points for each hour or part of an hour that you participate. You can earn up to a maximum of 24 points in this way. Sign up sheets for experiments are found on the table in the hall across from the psychology office.
Research Paper (100 points maximum)
If you are a psychology major, you MUST do a research proposal. IF you are not a psychology major, your research paper may be either a proposed research study, or a report of a library search on some perceptual topic that you find interesting. It does not have to be one that we discuss or read about in the course, although if it isn't, clear the topic with me before putting a lot of work into it. This paper is to be printed (computer) following APA style and should be as long as necessary to cover the topic - aim for something around 8 - 10 pages (Research proposals tend to be a little shorter and library search papers a little longer.. Be sure to document your sources.
If you chose a research proposal, it should include a literature review that documents the basis of your idea, statement of the hypothesis(es) derived from your literature review, methods, and a statement of the form of the data and how the data would be analyzed.
If you chose a library search paper, review the research and what we know about the phenomenon. Then describe the questions that researchers are still trying to answer about the phenomenon that suggest some studies that could be done. In other words, what do we still need to know about the phenomenon in order to full understand how it works?
Participation (20 points maximum)
Up to 20 points will be awarded for participation, primarily through use of the WebCT resources, especially the discussion areas, e-mail, and chat rooms. Class participation will also be considered.
If you come to class, I expect you to stay to the end.† Please schedule other commitments for times other than class time.† If on very rare occasion you must leave before the end of class, please inform me before class that you must leave and why, and then sit near the door so that your departure will not disrupt the whole class.
Please attend to your personal needs so as to not have to walk in and out of the room while class is in session.† If in spite of your best efforts you need a pit stop, catch my eye and indicate that you need to take a quick trip down the hall.
Above all be respectful of not only the instructor, but your fellow classmates as well.† We are trying to nurture a learning environment and unnecessary distractions detract from that.† Noisy food wrappers, side conversations, reading unrelated material, writing letters, cell phones or beepers going off, watches that chime, etc. are all examples of disrespectful and distracting behavior.† Be aware of unintentional signals that you might send to other students.† For instance, putting your coat on, packing up your books and papers, and marching out in the middle of class, may be interpreted by some as saying this class is boring beyond tolerance, and I am leaving.† While it may be truly boring, (we canít all be star performers all the time, and sometimes learning is just plain hard work), or you may have a legitimate reason for leaving, it creates an awkward situation for the instructor and the rest of the class.
Although I do not enforce a dress code, I do expect students to dress appropriately for a working environment, not a social event. Learning is the relevant task in the classroom, and it is hard work. Distractions are not welcome. It is not the time or place to try to dress provocatively, so please dress appropriately and come prepared to work.
I consider academic dishonesty a serious issue, and should the need arise, the policy and procedures described in the university's governing documents will be followed. This may lead to a failing grade in an exam, paper, or the entire course at the professor's discretion.
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The honors option of this course is not offered this semester.
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(Irrelevant) POINTS TO PONDER
Harvard University, which was founded as Harvard College in 1636, was named after John Harvard, an assistant minister of the Congregational parish church in Charlestown, a section of Boston. The Rev. Harvard arrived in Boston in 1637 at the age of 30 after receiving an M.A. from Cambridge University. Upon first seeing Harvard College in 1638, Rev. Harvard was so impressed that he made a provision in his will that half of his property and all of this personal library of 400 books should go to the college upon his death. He died in the fall of that year of tuberculosis at age 31, leaving a widow and real estate holdings in Charlestown and London. Because the college's share of his estate was the largest gift that it had received to that date, the General Court of Massachusetts agreed to name the young institution after him.
And now, to paraphrase Paul Harvey, the rest of the story - The life of Harvard students in those early days differed in some ways from that of the typical Bonaventure student today. The day began at 5 a.m. with morning prayers. Breakfast, which was known as "morning bever" (from which we get our word "beverage") followed. The menu was bread and beer. First classes were at 8. Dinner was served at 11 a.m., beginning, like all meals, with prayer. Students brought their own spoon and knives (forks were considered a luxury at the time). They ate from wooden plates and drank their beer from pewter cups.
In the afternoon, tutors quizzed the students on the morning lecture. "Afternoon bever" (more bread and beer) was at 4 a.m. followed by evening prayers at 5 and supper at 7:30. By 9 p.m., after a "recreation period" of talking and smoking around the fire, most of the students were ready for bed, as it was too dark to read by candlelight and morning prayers were only 8 hours away.
So now you know how well you have it (or, if you like beer, how bad you have it), and you can never claim that you didn't learn anything in perception, - unless, of course, you already knew this story.
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since Aug. 24, 2005