“Measuring perception” tutorial


In this online tutorial, we will investigate how we can measure how people perceive the world. We will be focusing on a framework called signal detection theory, which is a method that allows us to measure the sensitivity to particular visual stimulation. We will concentrate on the perception of motion.

Learning outcomes

This primary learning outcome that is addressed in this tutorial is for you to be able to:

  • Explain how motion sensitivity can be measured and describe the importance of considering response bias.

This tutorial also provides the foundations for the following learning outcomes, which will also be addressed in lectures:

  • Define ‘motion’ and depict and interpret space-time representations.
  • Construct and explain the operation of a ‘delay-and-compare’ motion detection circuit.


The learning outcome involving the motion detection circuit is often found to be the most challenging part of the perception component of PSYC2071. We hope that the introduction of these concepts here in the first tutorial, and where you can work through the material at your own pace, will aid you in achieving this learning outcome.

Tutorial structure

What to do

The tutorial is organised in a set of sections. They build on one another, so it is best if you work through them in order. Some will require you to interact with graphs, and some will require you to note down your perception of patterns shown in videos.

How to get help

At times during Week 2, tutors for PSYC2071 will be available online via Moodle to respond to any questions that you have while working through the material. It is not necessary to seek help from the same tutor that will be teaching your face-to-face classes. See Moodle for the schedule of tutors and times.

If you have any technical problems with the tutorial (videos not playing, graphs not loading, etc.), please email the PSYC2071 course coordinator (Damien; d.mannion@unsw.edu.au).

What to do afterwards

To test your achievement of the learning outcomes for this tutorial, there is a short quiz on Moodle for you to complete. Note that this quiz does not contribute any marks towards your final grade for the course, but completion is necessary to register your ‘attendance’ at this tutorial. Quizzes must be submitted by 5pm on Friday August 4 in order for the tutorial to be registered as attended.