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Consciousness, Thought, and Language

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  1. Consciousness, Thought,and Language Chapter 6

  2. Consciousness • Consciousness - a person’s awareness of everything that is going on around him or her at any given moment. • Waking consciousness - state in which thoughts, feelings, and sensations are clear, organized, and the person feels alert. • Altered state of consciousness - state in which there is a shift in the quality or pattern of mental activity as compared to waking consciousness.

  3. Necessity of Sleep • Circadian rhythm - a cycle of bodily rhythm that occurs over a 24-hour period. • “circa” – about • “diem” – day

  4. Figure 6.1 Sleep Patterns of Infants and Adults Psychology: An Exploration Ciccarelli © 2010

  5. Brain Wave Patterns • Electroencephalograph (EEG) - allows scientists to see the brain wave activity as a person passes through the various stages of sleep and to determine what type of sleep the person has entered. • Alpha waves - brain waves that indicate a state of relaxation or light sleep. • Theta waves - brain waves indicating the early stages of sleep. • Delta waves - long, slow waves that indicate the deepest stage of sleep.

  6. Figure 6.2 8-Hour Sleep Cycle Psychology: An Exploration Ciccarelli © 2010

  7. Stages of Sleep • Rapid eye movement (REM) - stage of sleep in which the eyes move rapidly under the eyelids and the person is typically experiencing a dream. • NREM (non-REM) sleep - any of the stages of sleep that do not include REM.

  8. Stages of Sleep • Non-REM Stage One – light sleep. • May experience: • hypnagogic images – vivid visual events. • hypnic jerk – knees, legs, or whole body jerks. • Non-REM Stage Two – sleep spindles (brief bursts of activity only lasting a second or two). • Non-REM Stages Three and Four – delta waves pronounced. • Deep sleep – when 50%+ of waves are delta waves.

  9. Figure 6.3 A Typical Night’s Sleep Psychology: An Exploration Ciccarelli © 2010

  10. REM Sleep and Dreaming • REM sleep is paradoxical sleep (high level of brain activity). • If wakened during REM sleep, almost always report a dream. • REM rebound - increased amounts of REM sleep after being deprived of REM sleep on earlier nights. • REM behavior disorder - a rare disorder in which the mechanism that blocks the movement of the voluntary muscles fails, allowing the person to thrash around and even get up and act out nightmares.

  11. Stage Four Sleep Disorders • Sleepwalking (somnambulism) - occurring during deep sleep, an episode of moving around or walking around in one’s sleep. • Night terrors - relatively rare disorder in which the person experiences extreme fear and screams or runs around during deep sleep without waking fully. • Nightmares - bad dreams occurring during REM sleep. Sleepwalking is more common among children than adults. Although this young girl may appear to be awake, she is still deeply asleep. When she awakens in the morning, she will have no memory of this sleepwalking episode.

  12. Can SleepwalkingBe a Crime Defense? • Steven Steinberg case • Kenneth Parks case • Scott Falater case

  13. Problems During Sleep • Insomnia - the inability to get to sleep, stay asleep, or get a good quality of sleep. • Sleep apnea - disorder in which the person stops breathing for nearly half a minute or more. • Continuous positive airway pressure device. • Narcolepsy - sleep disorder in which a person falls immediately into REM sleep during the day without warning. • Cataplexy – sudden loss of muscle tone.

  14. Psychology: An Exploration Ciccarelli © 2010

  15. Problem-Solving • Problem solving - process of cognition that occurs when a goal must be reached by thinking and behaving in certain ways. • Trial and error (mechanical solution) – problem-solving method in which one possible solution after another is tried until a successful one is found. • Algorithms - very specific, step-by-step procedures for solving certain types of problems.

  16. Problem-Solving • Heuristic - an educated guess based on prior experiences that helps narrow down the possible solutions for a problem. Also known as a “rule of thumb.” • Means–end analysis - heuristic in which the difference between the starting situation and the goal is determined and then steps are taken to reduce that difference. • Insight - sudden perception of a solution to a problem.

  17. Problem-Solving Barriers • Functional fixedness - a block to problem solving that comes from thinking about objects in terms of only their typical functions. • Mental set - the tendency for people to persist in using problem-solving patterns that have worked for them in the past. • Confirmation bias – the tendency to search for evidence that fits one’s beliefs while ignoring any evidence that does not fit those beliefs.

  18. Figure 6.5 The Solution to the String Problem Psychology: An Exploration Ciccarelli © 2010

  19. Creativity • Creativity- the process of solving problems by combining ideas or behavior in new ways. • Convergent thinking - type of thinking in which a problem is seen as having only one answer, and all lines of thinking will eventually lead to that single answer, using previous knowledge and logic. • Divergent thinking – type of thinking in which a person starts from one point and comes up with many different ideas or possibilities based on that point (kind of creativity).

  20. Menu Psychology: An Exploration Ciccarelli © 2010

  21. Language • Language - a system for combining symbols (such as words) so that an unlimited number of meaningful statements can be made for the purpose of communicating with others.

  22. Elements and Structure of Language • Grammar - the system of rules governing the structure and use a of language. • Syntax - the system of rules for combining words and phrases to form grammatically correct sentences. • Morphemes - the smallest units of meaning within a language. • Semantics - the rules for determining the meaning of words and sentences.

  23. Elements and Structure of Language • Phonemes - the basic units of sound in language. • Pragmatics - aspects of language involving the practical ways of communicating with others, or the social “niceties” of language.

  24. Language and Cognition • Linguistic relativity hypothesis - the theory that thought processes and concepts are controlled by language. • Cognitive universalism – theory that concepts are universal and influence the development of language.

  25. Animal Language • Studies have been somewhat successful in demonstrating that animals can develop a basic kind of language, including some abstract ideas. • Controversy exists over the lack of evidence that animals can learn syntax, which some feel means that animals are not truly learning and using language.

  26. Psychology: An Exploration Ciccarelli © 2010

  27. Ways to Improve Thinking • Mental activity that requires creativity and the use of memory abilities, such as working crossword puzzles and reading books, can help to keep the brain fit.