• Monash University logo

Introduction to Psychology: Sensation and Perception

Learn how our sensory systems work together to help us to perceive and respond to the world around us.

Introduction to Psychology: Sensation and Perception
  • Duration2 weeks
  • Weekly study6 hours
  • LearnFree
  • Digital upgradeFree

Explore the role of touch, sight, hearing, taste and smell in our behaviour

How do our sensory systems work together to help us understand the world and somebody else’s behaviour?

On this course, you’ll find out - investigating perception and how our senses help our mind create the world we live in. You’ll also explore the differences between perception and sensation and how they work together with attention to determine what we perceive in the environment. Before you finish, you’ll investigate why psychologists study sensation to better understand perception, which is a key component of our behaviour and mental processes.

This course is part of our Study with Australia collection, with free upgrades and digital certificates supported by the Australian Trade and Investment Commission until 30 June, 2020. Explore more courses from leading Australian education providers.

Download video: standard or HD

Skip to 0 minutes and 12 secondsMATTHEW MUNDY: What roles do touch, sight, hearing, taste and smell play in our behavior? How do our experiences and expectations influenced the way we respond to, and behave in an environment or situation? What parts of the body influenced the way we perceive the world? Hi I'm Matthew Mundy and I'm the Director of Education for the School of Psychological Sciences at Monash University in Australia. In this course you'll explore ‘Sensation and Perception’. You'll be introduced to the structure and function of human sensory systems. Of vision, audition, touch, taste and smell. And learn how these systems work together to help us perceive and respond to the world around us.

Skip to 0 minutes and 50 secondsYou'll also assess the extent to which the information processing that takes place in the human sensory systems is unique, or specific to us as individuals. And what that means from a psychological perspective. Interestingly humans have a number of mechanisms to help us perceive a familiar object indifferent or changing circumstances. In this course you'll evaluate these mechanisms and further explore the principles that help us to naturally perceive objects as patterns and groups. This introductory course is designed for everyone, regardless of your experience or background. No prior study of psychology is required or expected. So if you want to learn about our sensory systems and their influence on us, by School of Psychological Sciences that's ranked among the best in the world.

Skip to 1 minute and 35 secondsThen I encourage you to join us in this course.

What topics will you cover?

  • Sensation versus perception
  • Waves and wavelengths
  • Vision, hearing and other senses
  • Illusions and psychology
  • Principles of perception

When would you like to start?

Most FutureLearn courses run multiple times. Every run of a course has a set start date but you can join it and work through it after it starts. Find out more

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you'll be able to...

  • Explain the structure and function of the sensory systems of vision, audition, touch, taste, and smell.
  • Assess the extent to which the processes of transduction and coding are common to all senses or specific to each different sense.
  • Compare the advantages and disadvantages of the main types of psychophysical methods.
  • Interpret some of the ways perceptual elements, including edges and contours, are perceptually grouped (Gestalt principles).
  • Evaluate the mechanisms of perceptual constancies.

Who is the course for?

This introductory course is for anyone interested in psychology - you don’t need any past experience.

It might be of particular use to learners who have already completed a Bachelor degree in other disciplines who are interested in expanding their science and research skills.

Who will you learn with?

Assoc Prof Matthew Mundy

Assoc Prof Matthew Mundy

I am Associate Professor and Director of Education for the School of Psychological Sciences, Monash University, Australia. My research is in the cognitive neuroscience of memory and perception.

Who developed the course?

Monash University

Monash University is one of Australia’s leading universities, ranked in the world’s top 1% by the Times Higher Education World University Rankings. It was established in Melbourne in 1958.

  • Established1958
  • LocationMelbourne, Australia
  • World rankingTop 80Source: Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2019

What's included?

Monash University are offering everyone who joins this course a free digital upgrade, so that you can experience the full benefits of studying online for free. This means that you get:

  • Unlimited access to this course
  • Includes any articles, videos, peer reviews and quizzes
  • Tests to validate your learning
  • A PDF Certificate of Achievement to prove your success when you’re eligible