Ch 7 - Consciousness - Statesof Consciousness Chapter7 1...

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1 States of Consciousness Chapter 7 True or False 1. Consciousness has an unlimited capacity. 2. Most university students are “evening” people whose performance improves throughout the day 3. People who sleep seven to eight hours a night tend to outlive those who are chronically sleep-deprived 4. The most common dreams are those with sexual imagery. 5. The majority of the characters in men’s dreams are female. 6. Most psychologists believe that dreams provide a key to understanding our inner conflicts. 7. Under hypnosis, people can be induced to perform feats they would otherwise find impossible. 8. Under hypnosis, people can be induced to perform acts they would otherwise find immoral. 9. Those given morphine to control pain often become addicted to the drug. 10. In large amounts, alcohol is a depressant; in small amounts, it is a stimulant. 3 Consciousness as Inner Symbolic Communication Selective Attention Sleep and Dreams Hypnosis Overview
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4 Historical Positions: Consciousness is not a natural phenomenon, it is something supernatural and not to be understood by the human mind. Consciousness is a natural phenomenon, but we cannot understand it. Consciousness exists because of the nature of the human brain, but just how it occurs is not know. The construct is too poorly defined to permit investigation. Consciousness is too complex to be understood by our brain. Consciousness is a product of the human brain, and can be investigated by the methods of modern science. What is Consciousness? 5 Consciousness is not the same as the same as the complex mental processes, such as perceiving, remembering or thinking. Consciousness is an awareness of these processes, not the processes themselves. Consciousness is not a thing (though it is a noun), it is a characteristic of human beings (and perhaps of a few animals, and computers). What is Consciousness? 6 Question: Is some purpose served by our ability to realize that we exist, that events occur, that we are doing things, and that we have memories? What is the adaptive significance of having elaborate behavioral abilities, plus consciousness? Nothing fruitful has come from the pursuit of this question. Consider blindsight: The ability to interact behaviorally with objects while remaining consciously unaware of them. Consciousness might be a by-product of another characteristic of the human brain which does have a useful function. What might be this other characteristic? Consciousness: Adaptive Significance
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7 Consciousness may have arisen from our ability to communicate symbolically. We interact with other people, make plans, warn them, express out needs, thoughts, perceptions, memories, intentions and feelings. To accomplish these tasks, we need to be able to translate private events into symbols. The symbols we use must be able to affect other people.
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This note was uploaded on 03/02/2012 for the course PSYC 101 taught by Professor Petergraf during the Fall '09 term at The University of British Columbia.

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Ch 7 - Consciousness - Statesof Consciousness Chapter7 1...

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