Effective perceptual and cognitive functioning in a noisy world: Computing summaries and identifying randomness
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The world around us contains a vast amount of information, but this information is contaminated by a similarly vast amount of noise. It is the job of human perception and cognition to promote effective functioning by separating the signal from the noise. While many perceptual and cognitive processes are involved in this mission, this dissertation reports on behavioral investigations into two specific aspects of how we deal with our noisy world: summary computation and identifying randomness. Chapters 2 and 3 present and discuss a line of experiments designed to understand how we determine the average value of a series of visual objects, focusing on how this summary computation differs depending on what visual feature is being averaged. Chapter 4 reports on a series of experiments investigating how we identify randomness in a set of stimuli or outcomes, and whether these perceptions can be predicted based on the stimuli themselves.
- Psychology