Chapter%204%20outline - Chapter 4 Varieties of...

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Chapter 4 Varieties of Consciousness Outline I. Toward a Definition A. Consciousness is a commonly used term that is difficult to define with precision. B. It may be best to avoid a precise definition. C. Consciousness has two aspects: 1. a perceptual aspect—an awareness of the external environment, and 2. an introspective aspect—an awareness of one’s own mental processes II. Normal Waking Consciousness A. Consciousness is the awareness of the environment and of one’s own mental processes. B. William James provided a definition of consciousness over a hundred years ago. C. James characterized consciousness as 1. always changing. 2. a very personal experience. 3. sensibly continuous. 4. selective. III. The Freudian View of Levels of Consciousness A. Freud’s vision of consciousness often is depicted as an iceberg nearly totally submerged. 1. Ideas, memories, feelings, or motives of which we are actively aware are said to be conscious . 2. Aspects of our experience that are not conscious, but can easily be brought to awareness, are stored at a preconscious level . 3. Cognitions, feelings, or motives of which we are not aware are said to be in the unconscious . B. Freud theorized that the unconscious mind can and does influence us. C. Contents of the unconscious mind can be found in dreams, slips of the tongue, or humor. IV. Contemporary Investigations of the Unconscious A. Currently, researchers are investigating if and how the unconscious mind can process information. B. Subliminal perception is the process of perceiving and responding to stimuli presented at levels of intensity that are below our absolute threshold—below our level of conscious processing. 1. There is little scientific evidence for the power of subliminal messages. 2. Subliminal messages that are complex and meaningful cannot be processed subliminally; however, more simple stimuli can. C. Blindsight is a phenomenon that occurs in individuals with damage to the primary visual areas of the brain but who can still see simple stimuli. 1. That is, persons without direct vision can be aware of some visually-presented stimuli. 2. There may be intact lower brain centers that can account for blindsight. V. The Stages of a “Good Night’s Sleep” A. We spend nearly 200,000 hours of our lives sleeping. .
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B. Our best indicators of sleep are measurements of brain electrical activity with EEG, and of muscle tone, with the EMG. C. EEG tracings indicate that sleep can be divided into stages. 1. Stage 1 sleep is very light sleep, developing from the waking state. a. This stage is characterized by theta waves of 4-7 cycles per second. b. This stage usually lasts less than ten minutes. 2.
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Chapter%204%20outline - Chapter 4 Varieties of...

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