Online course

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

This course is part of the Introduction to Psychology program, which will enable you to explore psychology with the option to start a Graduate Diploma in psychology.

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.

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Skip to 0 minutes and 12 secondsASSOCIATE PROFESSOR MATTHEW E.

Skip to 0 minutes and 12 secondsMUNDY PHD: What roles do touch, sight, hearing, taste, and smell play in our behaviour? How do our experiences and expectations influence the way we respond to and behave in an environmental situation? What parts of the body influence 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 that help us perceive a familiar object in different 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.

Skip to 1 minute and 24 secondsHowever, learners who have already completed a bachelor degree in a discipline other than psychology and who are interested in expanding their science and research skills would be able to receive additional benefits from completing this course. No prior study of psychology is required or expected. The great thing about this course is that it's part of a set of courses that create a for credit pathway into Monash University's fully online Graduate Diploma of Psychology. That means learners who successfully complete this full set of courses and who are accepted into the Graduate Diploma of Psychology will receive one unit of academic credit.

Skip to 2 minutes and 1 secondSo if you want to learn about our sensory systems and their influence on us and are ready to complete a set of courses that prepare you to enter a fully online course by a school of psychological sciences that's ranked among the best in the world, then 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?

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.

Complete this course, then the program

This course is part of the Introduction to Psychology Program, based on the first unit of Monash University’s fully online Graduate Diploma of Psychology (GDP).

Learners who successfully complete the seven courses in the Program and who are accepted into the Graduate Diploma of Psychology will receive one unit of academic credit.

Who will you learn with?

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 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.

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