PSY-P 101 Lecture 14: P101 Lecture 14 Notes (Feb. 28)

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Psychological & Brain Sciences
PSY-P 101
Motz Benjamin

P101 Lecture 14 Notes- Consciousness 2-28-17  Consciousness- subjective awareness of internal and external events o We can never know what’s in someone else’s consciousness o Ex. Do we all see truly the same colors? o Difficult to study (cannot be measured); instead, break consciousness down into different parts of life that require it to look at smaller, simpler problems o Situations in which scientists try to understand consciousness:  Attention and automaticity  Sleeping and dreaming  Altering awareness  Psychoactive drugs  Induced states  Attention- internal processes used to set priorities for mental functioning (what we use our mental energy on); it is limited, but can be measured o Limitation requires prioritization of what we focus on o Drawn to salient (most noticeable/important) stimuli o Selective attention- choosing to focus on “most relevant” information; must work/use effort to search for something o Exp. Drawing attention (Treisman)  Green square pops out among blue circles (known as pop-out effect)  A bit less so among green circles  Much harder to spot it among blue squares and circles and green circles  Dealing with different colors and shapes; too much to handle all at once  Must look selectively (with effort) across set of items o Ex. Pop-out effect also shown when someone makes loud noise in relatively quiet room; sound gets everyone’s attention because it’s sudden o Attention redirects to salient stimuli in unattended channels  Happens quickly and effortlessly (automatically) o Ex. Things in life that take advantage of automatic redirection of attention:  Screaming  Fire alarms  Sirens  Doorbells  Flickering lights o Exp. Cell phones draw attention (2009): How do cell phones ringing in class affect learning?  During first week of class, teacher Jill Shelton pretended to be student (confederate)  Had cell phone on  Dr. Elliott giving lecture on fetal development of auditory system; phone ready to dial Jill’s phone  As slide changed, Dr. Elliott dialed Jill and phone rang  All students looked at phone; attention got redirected to noise  Gave quiz about development of auditory system and control question worded same way about taste system  Overall 64%  70% right on control question about taste  Only 30% right on experimental question on hearing  Possible that hearing question was harder (confounding variable)  Did different lecture and switch topics and questions  Cell phone rang after taste part of lecture  Overall 71%  44% right on experimental question about taste  70% right on control question about hearing  Conclusion: things like cell phones interfere with memory of something just learned, even when teacher is not actively speaking  Even affected by brief instance of drawing attention away  Attention essential to learning  Similarities to laptop study from week 1 involving students sitting behind confederate on (or not on) laptop during lecture:  Had independent variable involving distraction of students from learning  Used test scores as dependent variable  Concluded that distractions impair learning, even if it seems very small; attentio
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