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Psychology 1000 Lecture Notes - Hindsight Bias, Stimulant Psychosis, Cultural Learning

Course Code
PSYCH 1000

of 11
Chapter 6
States of Consciousness
Chapter 6:
States of Consciousness
- State of consciousness is a pattern of subjective experience
- Way of experiencing internal and external events
- Altered state of consciousness refers to variations from our normal waking
Puzzle of Consciousness
- Consciousness defines our moment-to-moment awareness of ourselves and
our environment
- Subjective and Private
o People can’t tell what your reality is nor can you enter their personal
- Dynamic (Ever-Changing)
o We drift in and out of various states throughout each day
- Self-Reflective and Central to our Sense of Self
o Mind is aware of its own consciousness
- Intimately Connects with Process of Selective Attention
Measuring States of Consciousness
- Have to find ways to define private inner states in terms of measurable
o Self-report (most common way)
People describe their own inner experiences
Most direct insight into person’s subjective experience
o Physiological measures
Establish correspondence between bodily states and mental
o Behavioural Measures
Performance on special tasks
Levels of Consciousness: Psychodynamic and Cognitive Perspectives
- Conscious mind contains thoughts, perceptions, etc… that we’re aware of
- Preconscious mental events are outside current awareness
- Unconscious events can’t be brought into conscious awareness
o Arouse anxiety, guilt, or other negative emotions
Cognitive Viewpoint
- Rejects notion of an unconscious mind driven by instincts urges and
repressed conflicts
- Conscious and unconscious mental life is viewed as complementary forms of
information processing
Controlled vs. Automatic Processing
- Controlled Effortful Processing
Chapter 6
States of Consciousness
o Voluntary use of attention & conscious effort
o More flexible and open to change
Automatic Processing
- Performed with little or no conscious effort
- Reduce chances of finding new ways to approach problems
Divided Attention
- Ability to perform more than one activity at the same time
- Without this, everything would require our full attention (overwhelm mental
- More difficult when tasks require similar mental resources
- Can have negative consequences
Emotional Unconscious
- Emotional and motivational processes also operate unconsciously and
influence behaviour
Molecular Mind
- Challenges traditional view and propose that mind is a collection of largely
separate but interacting modules
- Modules process information within the brain to perform tasks related to
sensation, perception, memory, problem solving, etc…
- Output from one module can provide input to another
Circadian Rhythms: Our Daily Biological Clocks
- Daily biological cycles are known as circadian rhythms
Keeping Time: Brain and Environment
- Suprachiasmatic Nuclei (SCN) regulate circadian rhythms “brain’s clock”
- Link to the tiny pineal gland secretes melatonin (relaxes body)
- SCN neurons are active during the day, reduce melatonin to keep body awake
- SCN neurons inactive at night, melatonin increases body relaxes, sleepy
- Environmental factors keep SCN neurons on a 24 hour schedule
Early Birds and Night Owls
- Morning people sleep and wake-up earlier (alertness peak earlier in the day)
o Perform mental tasks best in the morning
- Night owls perform best in the late afternoon or evening
Environmental Disruptions of Circadian Rhythms
- Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)
- Sufferers becomes depressed during certain months of the year
o If they’re sensitive to light, when sunrise occurs later in winter, it will
have an effect on their circadian clock
- Jet lag causes insomnia, decreased alertness, and poorer performance
o Adjust around an hour a day to time zone changes
o Flying west is easier (easier to deal with lengthened day)
Chapter 6
States of Consciousness
- Night shiftwork
o Drive home in the mornings (harder to reset biological clocks)
o Days off they fall back into a day-night schedule ruins their hard-
earned circadian cycle
- Rotating Shiftwork
o Easier to extend the hours you’re awake rather than compressing it
Sleeping and Dreaming
- Circadian rhythms don’t promote sleep
- They decrease alertness and promote readiness for sleep
Stages of Sleep
- Every 90 minutes of sleep we go through a different stage
- EEG shows when we’re awake and alert our brain has a pattern of beta waves
o Have high frequency, low amplitude
- When we close our eyes they slow down to alpha waves
Stage 1 through Stage 4
- Stage 1
o Brain wave patterns become more irregular, theta waves increase
o In a light sleep that is easy to wake up from
- Stage 2
o Sleep spindles (periodic 1-2second bursts of rapid brain-wave
activity) appear
o Muscles are more relaxed, breathing and heart rate slows
- Stage 3
o Appearance of slow and large delta waves
- Stage 4
o Once delta waves dominate EEG pattern
- After around 30min. of stage 4, EEG pattern changes back to stage 2,3
- Approximately 90 mins of sleep you’ve gone through stages 1-4
REM Sleep
- Rapid eye movement
o Every half minute or so eye moves back and forth beneath closed
- Usually when we dream
- Physiological arousal may increase daytime levels
o Brain activity resembles that of wakefulness
- REM induced genital arousal isn’t a response to sexual imagery
- Signals sent by the brain make it more difficult for voluntary muscles to
o Muscles are relaxed, may twitch but you’re “paralyzed”
REM sleep paralysis
- Sleep thoughts are mental activity that occurs during non-REM sleep