Sensation and Perception
AP Psychology Syllabus
7. Examine the olfactory sensory modality and discuss the processes involved in the sensation of
smell. Consider the factors (e.g., age, individual differences, gender) that affect the sense of
8. Consider the sensation of taste. Distinguish between types of taste and individual differences
in taste sensitivity.
9. Discuss the sensation of touch and what distinguishes this sensation from others. Distinguish
between active and passive touch. Consider the four basic types of sensation involved in touch.
10. Examine the factors that affect the sensation of temperature.
11. Consider the sensation of pain and distinguish between gate-control theory and psychological
control of as ways of decreasing pain awareness.
12. Consider the sensory systems involved in coordination (kinesthetic and vestibular).
13. Discuss how sensory adaptation and selective attention enable the human sensory systems to
respond to only particular types of information without confusion.
14. Explain the process of perceptual organization. Define the concept of figure and ground and
list and explain the five Gestalt “laws” of grouping.
15. Discuss the two types of perceptual constancy. Define size and shape constancy and discuss
factors that affect these tendencies.
16. Consider the factors involved in depth perception; namely, binocular depth cues and
monocular depth cues. Discuss whether depth perception is inborn or learned from experience.
17. Define the concept of perceptual set and examine how prior experiences can influence
18. Provide examples of perceptual illusions and explain how such illusions may stem from
overuse of “normal” perceptual rules.
19. Define extrasensory perception. Examine the evidence both for and against ESP.