States of - Studies of hypnosis indicate that, although...

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States of Consciousness Consciousness is our awareness of ourselves and our environment. Conscious information processing enables us to exercise control and to communicate our mental states to others. Beneath the surface, subconscious processing occurs simultaneously on many parallel tracks. Virtually everyone daydreams, especially fantasy-prone individuals. Like dreaming at night, daydreaming can be adaptive; it can help prepare us for future events and may substitute for impulsive behavior. Our daily schedule of waking and sleeping is governed by a biological clock known as circadian rhythm. Our sleep also follows a repeating cycle. Awakening people during REM sleep yields predictable "dreamlike" reports that are mostly of ordinary events. Freud's view that dreams can be traced back to erotic wishes is giving way to newer theories, for example, that dreams help us process information and fix it in memory or that dreams erupt from neural activity.
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Unformatted text preview: Studies of hypnosis indicate that, although hypnotic procedures may facilitate recall, the hypnotist's beliefs frequently work their way into subjects' recollections. Hypnosis can be at least temporarily therapeutic and has the potential of bringing significant pain relief. Hypnosis may be both an extension of normal principles of social influence and of everyday splits in consciousness. Psychoactive drugs also alter consciousness. Depressants act by depressing neural functioning. Although their effects are pleasurable, they impair memory and self-awareness and may have other physical consequences. Stimulants act at the synapses by influencing the brain's neurotransmitters. Their effects depend on dosage and the user's personality and expectations. Hallucinogens can distort judgment of time and can alter sensations and perceptions....
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This note was uploaded on 12/04/2011 for the course PSY 2012 taught by Professor Scheff during the Fall '08 term at Broward College.

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