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PSYC 110 Week 2 Assignment alopes

How We Perceive the World around Us

As humans, social interaction is a crucial aspect of our lives. For this week’s assignment, I chose to explore option 2, which examines how our hearing aids us in adapting and engaging with the environment. The hearing process is composed of a series of steps that enable us to perceive sounds. According to the Week 2 Course Module Lesson, sound waves initially enter our auditory system via the Pina structure. From there, the sound wave travels down the auditory canal, causing the eardrum to vibrate. This vibration subsequently initiates the hammer, anvil, and stirrup to vibrate as well. The movement of the stirrup triggers the oval window to move back and forth, thereby stimulating the fluid in the cochlea. This stimulation of the cochlear fluid leads to the vibration of the basilar membrane, which innervates the organ of Corti, causing it to move upwards. The hair cells in our ears act as sensory receptors, and when these hair cells are innervated and bent, they trigger an action potential to travel through our auditory nerve. This anatomical process is how our brain interprets and creates the sensation of hearing. (Franklin, 2022, p. 3).

For Option 2, I conducted an experiment where I refrained from using my sense of hearing for 15 to 30 minutes. I utilized my AirPods for this experiment and the goal was to carry out daily tasks that I would typically perform, but solely relying on my sense of sight, smell, touch, and taste. To conduct the experiment, I decided to incorporate it into my workout routine at the gym and see if my ability to lift weights was affected by not hearing. To completely eliminate sound and noise, I used the noise cancelling feature on my AirPods. I found that I relied on my sense of sight and touch the most to complete the activity. My sight was crucial in allowing me to interact with the weights and perform the correct motion for my workout, while also observing my surroundings. I also relied on my sense of touch to feel the weights and ensure that I was using proper form.

PSYC 110 Week 2 Assignment alopes

For option 2, I conducted an experiment where I abstained from using my sense of hearing for 15 to 30 minutes while carrying out my daily activities with the help of my air pods. To test the impact of this, I decided to perform a workout at the gym, relying solely on the senses of sight, smell, touch, and taste. I activated the noise-cancelling feature on my air pods to block out sounds completely.

During the workout, I heavily relied on my sense of sight to interact with the weights, see the type of motion I was doing, and identify the machines and weights available for me to use. I used my sense of touch to carry out each lift and to communicate non-verbally with other individuals at the gym. However, not using my sense of hearing highlighted some information that I would not have noticed otherwise.

The absence of music during my workout made it difficult to maintain motivation and focus while lifting. I found my mind wandering at times, thinking about things unrelated to my workout. The lack of music also made my workout sluggish and prolonged. On the other hand, without hearing, other people’s activities in the gym did not distract me. I was not bothered by someone dropping a weight or making loud noises during an exercise. I was indifferent to what was happening around me, which was a surprising finding. According to Feldman (2018), habituation is “the decrease in the response to a stimulus that occurs with repeated presentations of the same stimulus.” During my experiment, I experienced habituation when I noticed that my attention was drawn away by peripheral vision. However, as the experiment continued, I turned my attention towards it less and less. Additionally, sensory adaptation, which is defined as “an adjustment in sensory capacity after prolonged exposure to unchanging stimuli,” was also prevalent as I got more accustomed to not being able to hear (Feldman, 2018). Although it was difficult at first, I found that as time passed, I adapted to the situation and was able to complete my workout at an adequate level without being bothered by the lack of hearing. This was a fascinating demonstration of how the brain can adapt to new circumstances.

PSYC 110 Week 2 Assignment alopes

Although I found it interesting to observe my brain’s ability to adapt to the loss of hearing during this experiment, I cannot imagine how challenging it would be to permanently lose my hearing. It would require a significant shift in my perception and approach to surviving in my environment and interacting with society. My respect for individuals who are deaf or have hearing impairments has grown exponentially after this experiment. While there are significant differences between those who can hear and those who cannot, I believe that all individuals have the ability to adapt to their circumstances. Like how I adapted to not being able to hear during my workout, individuals with permanent hearing loss can learn to live with their impairment and function in the world around them. Overall, I enjoyed conducting this experiment and gained valuable insights about myself and my workout that I would not have discovered otherwise.

References

Feldman, R. S. (2018). Understanding psychology. Dubuque: McGraw-Hill Education.

Week 2 Lesson: Sensation, Perception, and Consciousness (Week 2 Course Shell).

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