Intro to Psychology - States of Consciousness

Intro to Psychology - States of Consciousness - States of...

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States of Consciousness Introduction to Psychology
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Consciousness Consciousness refers to a general state of being aware and responsive to stimuli within the internal and external environments; Aware of self Allows one to think and plan Enables concentration “...full activity of the mind and senses, as in waking life. The mental activity of which a person is aware, as contrasted with the unconscious mental processes”
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Stream of Consciousness Refers to the continuously changing flow of consciousness Levels of awareness – range from: High levels: highly aware/sharply focused Lower levels: daydreaming Minimal/no awareness: unconscious or comatose
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Controlled/Automatic Processes Controlled processes: (high awareness) Activities which require focused attention and usually interfere with other activities Automatic processes: (lower awareness) Require minimal attention; generally don’t interfere with ongoing activities E.g.: driving a car
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Characteristics of Altered States of Consciousness (ASC) Time perception may be altered or rendered meaningless Changes in memory functioning (for worse) Judgment and decision-making skills may be impaired It seemed like a good idea at the time… Changes in emotional feeling/self-control Become very emotional/lack emotion, lose inhibition, act impulsively
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Circadian Rhythms Many of our behaviors display rhythmic variation Daily rest-activity cycle is about 90 minutes Circadian rhythms The term circadian comes from the Latin circa , meaning "around" and dies , "day", meaning literally, "around a day". Body temperature, Wakefulness are examples One cycle lasts about 24 hours (e.g. sleep-waking cycle) Light is an external cue that can set the circadian rhythm Some circadian rhythms are endogenous (do not require light) suggesting the existence of an internal (biological) clock Monthly rhythms Menstrual cycle Seasonal rhythms Aggression, sexual activity in male deer, SAD
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Sleep Sleep is a behavior AND an altered state of consciousness; AN ACTIVE PROCESS! Sleep is associated with an urge to lie down for several hours in a quiet environment Few movements occur during sleep (other than eye movements) The nature of consciousness is changed during sleep We experience some dreaming during sleep We may recall very little mental activity that occurred during sleep We spend about a third of our lives in sleep A basic issue is to understand the function of sleep “Natural periodic state of rest for the mind and body, in which the eyes usually close, and consciousness is completely or party lost , so that there is a decrease in bodily movement or external stimuli.”
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Myths of Sleep Everyone needs 8 hrs of sleep per night to maintain good health Learning of complicated subjects such as calculus can be done during sleep Some people never dream Dreams last only a few seconds
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Intro to Psychology - States of Consciousness - States of...

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