36 Review Questions for Sensation & Perception

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Multiple Choice Questions

1________ refers to the minimum amount of stimulus energy required to be detected 50% of the time.

  1. absolute threshold
  2. difference threshold
  3. just noticeable difference
  4. transduction

2Decreased sensitivity to an unchanging stimulus is known as ________.

  1. transduction
  2. difference threshold
  3. sensory adaptation
  4. inattentional blindness

3________ involves the conversion of sensory stimulus energy into neural impulses.

  1. sensory adaptation
  2. inattentional blindness
  3. difference threshold
  4. transduction

4________ occurs when sensory information is organized, interpreted, and consciously experienced.

  1. sensation
  2. perception
  3. transduction
  4. sensory adaptation

5Which of the following correctly matches the pattern in our perception of colour as we move from short wavelengths to long wavelengths?

  1. red to orange to yellow
  2. yellow to orange to red
  3. yellow to red to orange
  4. orange to yellow to red

6The visible spectrum includes light that ranges from about ________.

  1. 400–700 nm
  2. 200–900 nm
  3. 20–20000 Hz
  4. 10–20 dB

7The electromagnetic spectrum includes ________.

  1. radio waves
  2. x-rays
  3. infrared light
  4. all of the above

8The audible range for humans is ________.

  1. 380–740 Hz
  2. 10–20 dB
  3. less than 300 dB
  4. 20-20,000 Hz

9The quality of a sound that is affected by frequency, amplitude, and timing of the sound wave is known as ________.

  1. pitch
  2. tone
  3. electromagnetic
  4. timbre

10The ________ is a small indentation of the retina that contains cones.

  1. optic chiasm
  2. optic nerve
  3. fovea
  4. iris

11________ operate best under bright light conditions.

  1. cones
  2. rods
  3. retinal ganglion cells
  4. striate cortex

12________ depth cues require the use of both eyes.

  1. monocular
  2. binocular
  3. linear perspective
  4. accommodating

13If you were to stare at a green dot for a relatively long period of time and then shift your gaze to a blank white screen, you would see a ________ negative afterimage.

  1. blue
  2. yellow
  3. black
  4. red

14Hair cells located near the base of the basilar membrane respond best to ________ sounds.

  1. low-frequency
  2. high-frequency
  3. low-amplitude
  4. high-amplitude

15The three ossicles of the middle ear are known as ________.

  1. malleus, incus, and stapes
  2. hammer, anvil, and stirrup
  3. pinna, cochlea, and utricle
  4. both a and b

16Hearing aids might be effective for treating ________.

  1. Ménière’s disease
  2. sensorineural hearing loss
  3. conductive hearing loss
  4. interaural time differences

17Cues that require two ears are referred to as ________ cues.

  1. monocular
  2. monaural
  3. binocular
  4. binaural

18Chemical messages often sent between two members of a species to communicate something about reproductive status are called ________.

  1. hormones
  2. pheromones
  3. Merkel’s disks
  4. Meissner’s corpuscles

19Which taste is associated with monosodium glutamate?

  1. sweet
  2. bitter
  3. umami
  4. sour

20________ serve as sensory receptors for temperature and pain stimuli.

  1. free nerve endings
  2. Pacinian corpuscles
  3. Ruffini corpuscles
  4. Meissner’s corpuscles

21Which of the following is involved in maintaining balance and body posture?

  1. auditory nerve
  2. nociceptors
  3. olfactory bulb
  4. vestibular system

22According to the principle of ________, objects that occur close to one another tend to be grouped together.

  1. similarity
  2. good continuation
  3. proximity
  4. closure

23Our tendency to perceive things as complete objects rather than as a series of parts is known as the principle of ________.

  1. closure
  2. good continuation
  3. proximity
  4. similarity

24According to the law of ________, we are more likely to perceive smoothly flowing lines rather than choppy or jagged lines.

  1. closure
  2. good continuation
  3. proximity
  4. similarity

25The main point of focus in a visual display is known as the ________.

  1. closure
  2. perceptual set
  3. ground
  4. figure

Critical Thinking Questions


26Not everything that is sensed is perceived. Do you think there could ever be a case where something could be perceived without being sensed?

27Please generate a novel example of how just noticeable difference can change as a function of stimulus intensity.

28Why do you think other species have such different ranges of sensitivity for both visual and auditory stimuli compared to humans?

29Why do you think humans are especially sensitive to sounds with frequencies that fall in the middle portion of the audible range?

30Compare the two theories of colour perception. Are they completely different?

31Colour is not a physical property of our environment. What function (if any) do you think colour vision serves?

32Given what you’ve read about sound localization, from an evolutionary perspective, how does sound localization facilitate survival?

33How can temporal and place theories both be used to explain our ability to perceive the pitch of sound waves with frequencies up to 4000 Hz?

34Many people experience nausea while traveling in a car, plane, or boat. How might you explain this as a function of sensory interaction?

35If you heard someone say that they would do anything not to feel the pain associated with significant injury, how would you respond given what you’ve just read?

36Do you think women experience pain differently than men? Why do you think this is?

37The central tenet of Gestalt psychology is that the whole is different from the sum of its parts. What does this mean in the context of perception?

38Take a look at the following figure. How might you influence whether people see a duck or a rabbit?

A drawing appears to be a duck when viewed horizontally and a rabbit when viewed vertically.

Personal Application Questions


39Think about a time when you failed to notice something around you because your attention was focused elsewhere. If someone pointed it out, were you surprised that you hadn’t noticed it right away?
40If you grew up with a family pet, then you have surely noticed that they often seem to hear things that you don’t hear. Now that you’ve read this section, you probably have some insight as to why this may be. How would you explain this to a friend who never had the opportunity to take a class like this?
41Take a look at a few of your photos or personal works of art. Can you find examples of linear perspective as a potential depth cue?
42If you had to choose to lose either your vision or your hearing, which would you choose and why?
43As mentioned earlier, a food’s flavour represents an interaction of both gustatory and olfactory information. Think about the last time you were seriously congested due to a cold or the flu. What changes did you notice in the flavours of the foods that you ate during this time?
44Have you ever listened to a song on the radio and sung along only to find out later that you have been singing the wrong lyrics? Once you found the correct lyrics, did your perception of the song change?


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Introduction to Psychology & Neuroscience (2nd Edition) Copyright © 2020 by Edited by Leanne Stevens & Jennifer Stamp is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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