PSYA01H3 Lecture Notes - Lecture 15: Observational Learning, Habituation, Epiphenomenon

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16 Nov 2016
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PSYA01
Lecture 15: Consciousness
Attention
- When we are really attending to something, it is easy to miss other things
Consciousness
- Some kind of entity controlling our behaviour (us)
- It is hard to talk about in psychology because the word is used in different
ways
- Definitions of consciousness
o Medical doctors define it as being alert
Psychologists think this is too extreme
o Psychologists think consciousness is what you are aware of
Don’t think we should use the word consciousness at all
Consciousness is more of a state that something has or doesn’t
have
- Selective attention
o Intentionality
Consciousness is directed towards something
o Unity
Consciousness is very hard to divide… Conscious of one thing
at a given time
o Selectivity
Only certain aspects of stimulants are brought into
consciousness
o Transience
It is difficult to keep consciousness from moving
o A lot of these reasoning’s allow us to think about something deeper
- Challenges of Consciousness
o Many people say that conscious experience is how things feel
Familiarity without knowing where it comes from (a qualia)
Feelings are hard to study
o Connections between thoughts and the mind, and consciousness is
about the thoughts, which makes it hard to study it biologically
o Epiphenomenon
Some psychologists believe we are completely material beings
and we respond the way we do because of our experiences
We are just machines reacting based on our learning
Arises out of activity but doesn’t contribute to it
Our consciousness is a symptom of the brain
o How do you know you’re not the only conscious being
You are the only one that is a conscious being that you know of
You are the only one with subjective experiences
- Human/animal consciousness
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