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Lecture

Consciousness and Moral Reasoning.docx

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Department
Psychology
Course
PSYC 3325
Professor
John Usher
Semester
Fall

Description
Consciousness and Moral Reasoning ● Anderson – reported case of 2 individuals who suffered brain damage to prefrontal area of brain before they were 2 years old  had normal intellectual functioning but no moral or social reasoning ■ inability to recall social and moral knowledge ■ history of poor social and moral adjustment Selective Attention ● not conscious of all stimuli detected by our sense organs ● selective attention – process that controls our awareness of, and readiness to respond to, particular categories of stimuli or stimuli in a particular location ● sensory memory receives moreinformation than it can transfer into short-term memory ● Sperling – found that although people couldn't remember all letters he flashed, they could direct their attention to any of 3 lines and identify them with perfect accuracy ● process of selective attention determines which events we become conscious of ● attention may be controlled automatically (intense stimuli), instructions, or by demands of particular task we are performing ● attention to visual events in particular tends to act like spotlight that highlights events within some spatially contained area ● our attentional mechanisms serve to enhance our responsivness to certain stimuli and to tune out irrelevant information – determines what is stored in short term memory and long term memory ● storage of information in explicit memory dosen't require conscious attention ● Broadbent – brain mechanisms responsible for conscious processing of information have limited capacity so need some system to control flow of information Auditory Information ● Cherry – devised test of selective attention called dichotic listening  dichotic listening – task that requires person to listen to one of two different messages being presented simulataneously, one to each ear, through headphones  asked participants to shadow (continually repeat verbal material as soon as it is heard) message presented to one ear – ensured that they would pay attention to only that message  message that entered unattended ear appeared to be lost – participants recognized they had heard something but could not say what it was and didn't even notice if it was presented in foreign language ● suggest channel of sensory input can be turned off – perhaps neurons that detect sound from unattended ear are inhibited so they cannot respond to sound presented to that ear ● other evidence shows taht selective attention is not achieved by simply closing sensory channel – some information by its very nature can break through into consciousness (will remember hearing name, sexually explicit words) ● filtration must occur after sounds are identified as words ● McKay – showed information presented to unattended ear can influence verbal processing even when listener is not conscious of information  reported sentences related to what words that were presented to in unattended ear – sentences were not the same as onces actually heard; meaning was skewed in relation to what word was presented to unattended ear  participants did not recall hearing those words but obviously affected perception ● Sachs – shown people quickly forget particular words in sentences but remember meaning for much longer ● able to store information as it comes in ● Treisman – showed that people can follow message that is being shadowed even if it switches from one ear to another  even though unshadowed message cannot be remembered later, it produces some trace that can be retrieved if attention is directed to it soon after words are presented ● cocktail-party phenomenon – ability to sort out one voice from another and string together jumble of sounds into meaningful
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