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Introductory Psychology : Consciousness

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  1. Introductory Psychology:Consciousness AP Psychology: Unit iv Topic: States of Consciousness

  2. Activity: Fact or Falsehood? • Consciousness has an unlimited capacity • False • Most university students are “evening” persons whose performance improves throughout the day • True • People who sleep seven to eight hours a night tend to outlive those who are chronically sleep deprived • True

  3. Activity: Fact or Falsehood? • The most common dreams are those with sexual imagery • False • The majority of characters in men’s dreams are female • False • Most psychologists believe that dreams provide a key to understanding our inner conflicts • False

  4. Activity: Fact or Falsehood? • Under hypnosis, people can be induced to perform feats they would otherwise find impossible • False • Under hypnosis, people can be induced to perform feats they would otherwise find immoral • False

  5. Activity: Fact or Falsehood? • Those given morphine to control pain often become addicted to the drug • False • In large amounts, alcohol is a depressant; in small amounts, it is a stimulant • False

  6. Consciousness: The Basics Part one

  7. Consciousness: The Basics • Consciousness • Awareness of oneself and one’s environment • Both internal & external stimuli • Contents are continuously changing • Consciousness rarely comes to a standstill • Allows for organization, reflection and planning

  8. Consciousness: The Basics • Includes… • Your awareness of external events • “Oh crap! My professor just asked me a question about medieval history…that I know NOTHING about…” • Your awareness of sensations • “My heart is racing & I’m starting to sweat…” • Your awareness of yourself as the unique being that is having these experiences • “Why me??” • Your awareness of your thoughts regarding these experiences • “I’m going to make a fool out of myself!”

  9. Consciousness: The Basics • Waking Consciousness • State in which thoughts, feelings & sensations are clear and organized; person feels alert • Theories of Waking Consciousness • The Stream of Consciousness • William James • “Sweeping or scanning” • 40 times per second; each sweep results in a single image or “moment of consciousness” • Iceberg Theory • Sigmund Freud • Consciousness is NOT an all-or-nothing phenomenon

  10. The conscious mind processes information sequentially; it is slow and limited The unconscious mind processes information simultaneously on multiple tracks

  11. Consciousness: The Basics • Altered States of Consciousness • State in which there is a shift in the quality or pattern of mental activity as compared to waking consciousness • Is it possible to divide one’s conscious awareness? • YES!

  12. Consciousness: The Basics Altered States of Consciousness

  13. Consciousness: The Basics • Most common altered state? • Sleep; humans spend approximately one-third of their lives sleeping • Do humans maintain awareness during sleep? • YES; some stimuli are able to penetrate awareness during sleep • Examples?

  14. Consciousness: The Basics • Where does consciousness come from? • Most psychologists believe that it arises from activity in networks of neural pathways in the brain • How do scientists “measure” consciousness? • Electroencephalograph (EEG) • Summarizes electrical activity in terms of brain waves • Brain waves vary in: • Amplitude (height) • Frequency (cycles per second, cps)

  15. Consciousness: The Basics Brain Wave Patterns Chicken-or-Egg Puzzle: If you become drowsy while reading your textbook (which I’m sure you never do), your brain-wave activity will probably change. But are these changes causing your drowsiness, or is your drowsiness causing the changes in brain-wave activity?

  16. Reading Quiz Provide an example of a biological rhythm, other than sleep, that is found in humans. During which stage of sleep do humans often experience the sensation of falling or sudden jerking movements? In stage 3 and 4, humans experience _____ waves. Explain why REM is often referred to as paradoxical sleep. Does REM increase or decrease as the night goes on?

  17. Consciousness: Biological Rhythms & Sleep Part two

  18. Consciousness: Biological Rhythms • Biological Rhythms • Periodic fluctuations in physiological functioning thatthe body MUST go through • Impact body temperature, blood pressure, production of certain hormones, effectiveness of medications, etc. • Annual cycles • 28 day cycles • 24 hour cycles • 90 minute cycles

  19. Consciousness: Biological Rhythms • Annual Cycles • On an annual cycle, geese migrate, grizzly bears hibernate & humans experience seasonal variations in appetite, sleep and mood… • Example • Seasonal Affective Disorder(SAD) • Mood disorder; dark winter months • 28-day Cycles • Menstrual cycle • Also known as an Infradian Rhythms

  20. Consciousness: Biological Rhythms • 24-hour cycles • 24-hour cycles of varying alertness (sleep-wake cycle), body temperature and growth hormone secretion • Also known as Circadian Rhythms; controlled by the brain • 90-minute cycles • Humans experience various stages of sleep in a 90-minute cycle

  21. ***All approximations; some variation does exist!!

  22. Consciousness: Biological Rhythms • The Hypothalamus’ Role • The Suprachiasmatic Nucleus (SCN) • A structure located deep within the hypothalamus; sensitive to changes in light; internal clock • As daylight fades the SCN tells the pineal gland to secrete melatonin; SLEEPINESS! • Melatonin • A hormone that helps regulate daily biological rhythms • Others? • Serotonin? Body temperature? (both correlational…)

  23. Consciousness: Biological Rhythms • Sleep, the “Gentle Tyrant” • Two Kinds of Sleep • REM Sleep (Rapid Eye Movement) • NREM Sleep (Non-REM) • Stage 1 • Stage 2 • Stage 3 • Stage 4

  24. Consciousness: Biological Rhythms • Why do we spend a third of our lives sleeping? • Preservation & Protection Theory • Elimination of waste products • Repair of cells and brain tissue • Strengthens immune system • Preserves energy • Restoration Theory • General wear & tear; recuperation; muscles & brain relax • Memory • Strengthens/rebuilds fading memories

  25. Consciousness: Hypnosis Part three 8 out of 10 people can be hypnotized 4 out of 10 people will make “good” subjects Altered consciousness or role playing?

  26. Consciousness: Hypnosis • Hypnosis • State of consciousness in which the subject is especially susceptible to suggestion • Four Steps in Hypnosis • Focus on what is being said • Relax and feel tired • “Let go” and accept suggestions • Use vivid imagination • Alternate Definition: “Merely a blend of conformity, relaxation, imagination, obedience, suggestion and role-playing…”

  27. Consciousness: Hypnosis • Posthypnotic Suggestion • Suggestion made during session; carried out after hypnosis • Has been shown to help to alleviate headaches, asthma, skin disorders etc. • Dissociation • A split of mental processes into two separate, simultaneous streams of awareness • Has been shown to provide hypnotic pain relief

  28. Consciousness: Hypnosis

  29. Consciousness:Theories of Hypnosis Part four

  30. Theory: Divided Consciousness • Ernest Hilgard (1994) • Also know as The Hidden Observer Theory • Hypnosis is a special state of dissociated, or divided consciousness • Hypnosis works on the immediate consciousness, while another part of the subject’s mind (the “hidden observer”) remains aware of all that is going on • Similar to behavior that occurs on autopilot

  31. Theory: Social-Cognitive • Irving Kirsch (2000) • Also known as Social Influence Theory • People who are hypnotized are not in an altered state consciousness, but rather playing the role expected of them in the given situation • Subjects might actually believe that they are hypnotized; often unaware that they are role-playing • Highlights the power of social influences

  32. Consciousness:Meditation Part five

  33. Consciousness: Meditation • Meditation • A family of practices that train attention to heighten awareness and bring mental processes under greater voluntary control • A deliberate effort to alter consciousness • Rooted in what?

  34. Consciousness: Meditation • Two Primary Approaches • Focused Attention • Attention is concentrated on a specific object, image, sound or bodily sensation • Intent is to narrow attention & clear mind of its clutter • Open-Monitoring • Attention is directed to one’s moment-to-moment experience; nonjudgmental • Intent is to become a detached observer

  35. Consciousness: The Sleep Stages Part three

  36. Consciousness: Sleep Stages • Stage 1: Light Sleep • Brain Activity • Alpha waves decrease; theta waves increase • Characteristics • Breathing slows; brain waves become irregular • Occasional twitching • Hypnagogic images • Hypnic jerks • Non-REM Easy to wake an individual in Stage 1 sleep; will insist that he or she WAS NOT sleeping!

  37. Consciousness: Sleep Stages • Stage 2: Sleep Spindles • Brain Activity • Brain wave (theta) cycle slows • EEG sleep spindles develop; last 1-2 seconds • Characteristics • Sleep-talking • The first time through Stage 2 lasts approximately 20 minutes • Non-REM Still relatively easy to wake an individual in Stage 2 sleep

  38. Consciousness: Sleep Stages • Stages 3 & 4: Deep Sleep • Brain Activity • Delta waves increase (larger & slower waves) • Stage 3: 20-50% of total brain activity • Stage 4: 50%+ of total brain activity; deepest stage • Characteristics • Growth hormones are released & peak during Stage 4 • The body is at its lowest level of functioning • Non-REM Very difficult to wake an individual in Stage 4 sleep; will be confused and disoriented…

  39. Consciousness: Sleep Stages • REM Sleep (Rapid Eye Movement) • Brain Activity • Brain waves resemble beta (waking) waves • Characteristics • Body temperature rises to near-waking levels • Eyes move rapidly & heart rate increases • REM Paralysis • Voluntary muscles are paralyzed during this stage • 90% of dreams take place during REM Sleep • ***Sometimes referred to as paradoxical sleep

  40. Consciousness: Sleep Stages • Within any given night, humans generally pass through several 90-minute sleep cycles • Stage 1 • Stage 2 • Stage 3 • Stage 4 • Stage 3 • Stage 2 • REM

  41. Consciousness: Sleep Stages • NREM versus REM? • NREM – physical needs • REM – emotional needs • Potential function of REM dreams? • Age and time spent in REM sleep? • Age and differences in REM sleep? • REM Rebound?

  42. Consciousness: Sleep Issues Part four

  43. Quiz: Are you Sleep Deprived? I need an alarm clock to ensure that I wake up at the appropriate time I struggle to get out of bed in the morning I hit the snooze button several times before I get up I feel tired, irritable and stressed out during the week I have trouble concentrating and remembering I frequently feel slow with regards to critical thinking, problem solving and being creative I often fall asleep while watching TV I often fall asleep during meetings or in warm rooms

  44. Quiz: Are you Sleep Deprived? I often fall asleep after heavy meals I often fall asleep while relaxing after dinner I often fall asleep within five minutes of getting into bed I often feel drowsy while driving I often sleep extra hours on weekend mornings I often need a nap to get through the day I have dark circles under or around my eyes

  45. Consciousness: Sleep Issues • Sleep Deprivation… • Decreases the efficiency of the immune system • Decreases productivity & the efficiency of memory • Increases safety and accident issues • Contributes to hypertension, impaired concentration, irritability, etc. • Potential impact on weight?