ch5 - Chapter 5 States of Consciousness I. The puzzle of...

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Chapter 5 States of Consciousness I. The puzzle of consciousness A. Characteristics of consciousness - Consciousness : is often defined as our moment-to-moment awareness of ourselves and our environment. Subjective and private: can’t assess other’s consciousness Dynamic : changing over time Self-reflective and central to our sense of self : be able to reflect on the fact. - Consciousness is intimately connected with the process of selective attention, which is the process that focuses awareness on some stimuli to the exclusion of others. B. Measuring States of Consciousness Method Description Limitation Self-report Ask people to describe their inner experiences, offering insights to questions. Not verifiable, not possible to obtain when people are asleep. Behavioral measures Record performance on tasks Objective method Require scientists to infer the person’s state of mind. Physiological measures Establish the correspondence between bodily processes and mental state. Brain-imaging techniques allow scientists to examine brain regions and activity that underlies various mental states. Lack of people’s subjective experiences, invaluable for probing the inner workings of minds. C. Levels of Consciousness i) The Freudian Viewpoint - The conscious mind contains thoughts and perceptions of which we are currently aware. - The preconscious mental events are outside current awareness but can easily be recalled under certain conditions. - Unconscious events cannot be brought into conscious awareness under ordinary circumstances. Repressed events are kept out of conscious. - Limitations: Behaviorists seek to explain behaviors without invoking conscious mental processes. Cognitive psychologists and psychodynamic take parts of it. ii) The Cognitive Viewpoint - They view conscious and unconscious mental life as complementary forms of information processing that work in harmony. Consciousness as controlled processing : the conscious use of attention and effort. Example: Studying, planning Unconsciousness as automatic processing : it can be performed without conscious
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awareness or effort. Routine activities, well-learned tasks. With practice, performance becomes more automatic and certain brain areas involved in conscious thought become less active. Facilitates divided attention : the capacity to attend to and perform more than one activity at the same time. (think while talk and walk) - Limitations: Automatic processing has a key disadvantage because it can reduce our chances of finding new ways to approach problems. Controlled processing is slower than automatic processing, but it is more flexible and open to change Many well-learned behaviors seem to be performed faster and better when our mind is on autopilot, with controlled processing taking a backseat. D.
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This note was uploaded on 10/17/2011 for the course EDUC 220 taught by Professor Ann during the Spring '11 term at Simon Fraser.

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ch5 - Chapter 5 States of Consciousness I. The puzzle of...

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