Chapter 8 (Psychology)
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The person's subjective experience of the world and the mind.
(after the philosopher Rene Descartes) A mental screen or stage on which things appear to be presented for viewing by the mind's eye.
How things seem to the conscious person. Psychologists hope to include this in their understanding of mind and behaviour.
Problem of Other Minds
The fundamental difficulty we have in percieving the consciousness of others.
People judge [each others] minds according to the capacity for _________ and the capacity for __________.
Experience (such as the ability to feel pain, pleasure, hunger, consciousness, anger or fear)
Agency (such as the ability for self-control, planning, memory, or thought)
The issue of how the mind is related to the brain and body. Descartes believed that the human body is a machine made of physical matter but the human mind or soul is a seperate entity made of a "thinking substance".
The timing of conscious will
4 Properties of Consciousness
1. Intentionality - the quality of being directed toward an object.
2. Unity - resistence to division (multitasking)
3. Selectivity - Capacity to include some objects and not others. (such as dichotic listening)
4. Transience - tendency for consciousness to change. William James described the consciousness as a stream; it flows.
A task in which people wearing headphones hear different messages presented to each ear.
How does consciousness decide what to filter in and what to tune out?
The conscious system is most inclined to select information of special interest to the person (like Cocktail Part Phenomenon)
Cocktail Party Phenomenon
A phenomenon in which people tune in one message even while they filter out others nearby.
Levels of Consciousness
1. Minimal - A low-level kind of sensory awareness and responsiveness that occurs when the mind inputs sensations and may output behaviour.
2. Full - Consciousness in which you know and are able to report your mental state. Thinking + thinking about thinking.
3. Self – a distinct level of consciousness in which the person’s attention is drawn to the self as an object. Brings tendency to evaluate yourself and notice your shortcomings.
A state of consciousness in which seemingly purposeless flow of thoughts come to mind.
- Not a waste of time.
- Creative approaches to the future.
- Helps control and channel emotions
the attempt to change conscious states in mind
the conscious avoidance of a thought
Rebound effect of thought suppression
The tendency of a thought to return to consciousness with greater frequency following suppression
Ironic Processes of Mental Control
Mental processes that can produce ironic errors because monitoring for errors can itself produce them.
Not present in consciousness.
An active system encompassing a lifetime of hidden memories, the person’s deepest instincts and desires, and the person’s inner struggle to control these forces.
A mental process that removes unacceptable thoughts and memories from consciousness.
The mental processes that give rise to the person’s thoughts, choice, emotions, and behaviour even though they are not experienced by the person.
A thought or behaviour that is influenced by stimuli that a person cannot consciously report perceiving.
During a typical night, you go through...
Hypnagogic - presleep consciousness
& on some rare nights you might experience a hypnic jerk - a sudden quiver or sensation of dropping, as though missing a step on a staircase.
Altered States of Consciousness
Forms of experience that depart from the normal subjective experience of the world and the mind.
A naturally occuring 24-hour cycle
A stage of sleep characterized by rapid eye movements and a high level of brain activity.
An instrument that measures eye movements
Putting EEG and REM data together produces...
A picture of how a typical night's sleep progresses through cycles of sleep stages.
Newborns: 6-8 times in 24 hours, often totaling more than 16 hours.
6 year old: 11-12 hours of sleep
Adult: 7-7.5 hrs per night
Over a lifetime we get about 1 hr of sleep for every 2 hrs we're awake.
1. Insomnia - most common. Difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep. 15% of adults have mild, 15% have severe.
2.Sleep Apnea - Person stops breathing for brief periods while asleep. Occur for over 10 seconds at a time. Mostly in middle aged overweight men. May go undiagnosed because its not easy for sleeper to notice. Therapies involving weighloss, drugs, or surgery.
3. Somnambulism - sleepwalking. More common in children (age 11-12) with as many as 25% of children experiencing at least one episode. Tends to happen early in the night. Eyes are open and glassy.
4. Narcolepsy - sudden sleep attacks occur in the middle of waking activities
5. Sleep Paralysis - the experience of waking up unable to move. Lats only a few moments.
6. Night Terrors - abrupt awakenings with panic and intense emotional arousal. Mainly in boys ages 3-7, happen most often in NREM sleep and do not usually have dream content.
There are five major characteristics of dream consciousness:
- 1. Emotion
- 2. Dream thought is illogical
- 3. Sensation is fully formed and meaningful
- 4.Uncritical Acceptance
- 5. Difficulty remembering the dream
According to Freud, dreams represent...
A dream's apparent topic or superficial meaning.
A dream's true underlying meaning.
The theory that dreams are produced when the brain attempts to make some sense of activations that occur randomly during sleep.
A chemical that influences consciousness or behaviour by altering the brain's chemical message.
The tendency for larger doses of a drug to be required over time to achieve the same effect.
Drug Withdrawal Symptoms:
Signal physical dependence with pain, convulsions, hallucinations, or other unpleasant symptoms.
Signal psychological dependence - a strong desire to return to the drug even when physical withdrawal symptoms are gone.
Drug addiction reveals a human mindbug:
Our inability to look past the immediate consequences of our behaviours.
Substances that reduce the activity of the central nervous system. For example, alcohol.
The idea that alcohol effects can be produced by people's expectations of how alcohol will influence them in particular situations.
Balanced Placebo Design
A study design in which behavior is observed following the presence or absence of an actual stimulus and also following the presence or absence of a placebo stimulus
A condition that results when alcohol hampers attention, leadning people to respond in simple ways to complex situations.
Substances that excite the central nervous system, heightening arousal and activity levels.
Narcotics or Opiates
Highly Addictive Drugs derived from opium that relieve pain.
Endorphins or Endogenous Opiates
Neurotransmitters that have a similar structure to opiates and that appear to play a role in how the brain copes internally with pain or stress.
Drugs that alter sensation and perception and often cause visual and auditory hallucinations
The leaves and buds of the hemp plant.
An altered state of consciousness characterized by suggestibility and the feeling that one's actions are occuring involuntarily.
Leads people to do peculiar things like stunts, hallucinations, and remember the forgotten (but it doesnt enhance the accuracy of memory and instead only increases the persons confidence in false memory reports).
Shares a common theme with modern hypnosis: In both cases the hypnotist and participant engage in a social interaction in which the participants are led to expect certain things will happen to them that are outside of their consciou will
Indicators of a persons susceptibility (to hypnosis)
One of the best is the person's own judgement.
The failure to retrieve memories following hypnotic suggestions to forget.
The reduction of pain through hypnosis in people who are susceptible to hypnosis.
Abraham maslow described them as special states of mind in which you feel fully alive and glad to be human.
Understood as altered states of consciousness. Promotes relaxation in the short term, but the long term benefits have not been established.
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