FINAL PAPER Instructions:
Detection sensitivity (frequently represented by the variable ‘d-prime’, or d’) is a construct that quantifies the ability of an individual to effectively discriminate between competing stimuli in his or her environment (i.e. “signal” vs. “noise”; see also ). It has been theorized that d’ not only differs from person to person, but also from sense to sense, and can also change over time. Additionally, attentional processes can significantly influence both signal and noise perception, thereby affecting d’ as well.
For the FINAL PAPER, you will select one of the senses we discussed this semester, and will be writing 3-5 pages of text in APA-style (Times New Roman, 12-point font, double-spaced, references cited as appropriate [author, year], appropriate “voice”, etc.) while answering the question:
Is d’ more related to sensation or perception?
The paper will be graded on the following elements (150 points):
- For the sense (sensory pathway) that you’ve chosen, identify how the physical stimuli are transduced and ultimately perceived by the brain. [40 points]
- Answer the above question completely and concisely in an appropriate scientific writing style. (HINT: Your “answer” should include something about both thresholds as well as attention!) [30 points]
- Integrate both material from the text as well as examples from your own personal experience to support your main point(s). In other words, once you describe where you think d’ “occurs” during sensation/perception, explain WHY it is that you think so! [30 points]
- Demonstrate not only a comprehensive understanding of the topic, but also that you’ve thought more deeply about the subject as it applies to your everyday life! Why would understanding detection sensitivity be something worthwhile to continue studying, or important to know? [30 points]
- Make sure you proofread for spelling/grammar as well as content! [20 points]