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Chapter 6

PSYC 100 Chapter Notes - Chapter 6: Sexual Dysfunction, Shift Work, Circadian Clock

Course Code
PSYC 100
Russell Day

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Unit 7 (chapter 6) Consciousness, Sleeping, Dreaming, Hypnosis, Drugs Study Guide
State of consciousness a subjective experience and how someone experiences external &
internal events
Altered state of consciousness variations from our normal waking state
our awareness of the present moment of ourselves and environment.
Subjective and private (no one else knows what reality is for you)
Dynamic, constantly changing
Our perception is selective
Self reflective, only aware of self
States of consciousness
Self reports allow insight into subject’s mind, but not verifiable
Physiological measures (EEG recordings) find correspondence between body and mind.
Objective, no insight into subject’s subjective experience.
Behavioural measures (eg. Rouge test) are objective, however one must infer the
subject’s state of mind
Controlled vs. automatic processing
Controlled (effortful) processing is the voluntary use of attention & effort
(eg. Planning a vacation, studying)
Open to change, more flexible
Automatic processing involves little/no conscious effort (eg. eating, driving, typing)
Disadvantage: decreased chance of finding new solutions to problems; less flexible
Advantage: less time consuming, less mental exertion
Divided attention multitasking
Advantage: do >1 thing w/o overwhelming mental capacity
Disadvantage: difficult to do tasks requiring the same mental processes (doing two
similar things at the same time)
Multitasking in some situations (driving & talking on the phone) result in serious

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The Emotional Unconscious
Unconscious processes can have an effect on your mood (eg. Feeling upset for no reason,
possibly influenced by something in your environment)
The Modular Mind
Theories propose that the mind is a single entity, rather, it’s a collection of separate but
interacting modules
Circadian Rhythms
Circadian rhythm: daily biological cycles, regulated by (SCN) suprachiasmatic nuclei, located
in the hypothalamus
SCN neurons link to the pineal gland, which secretes melatonin, which makes the body
SCN neurons become active in the day and inactive at night, allowing melatonin levels to
increase and decrease accordingly
Circadian clock biological, but influenced by day-night schedule
o Subjects who sleep without a schedule tend to sleep and wake up later, gradually
going to bed at noon and waking up at midnight
o Because of this, blind people can suffer from insomnia and daytime fatigue
Early Bird/Night Owl
o Morning people’s body temperature, BP, and alertness peak early in the day;
common among older adults
o Same thing applies to nigh people, except later in the day
Environmental disruptions of circadian rhythms
SAD (seasonal affective disorder) makes people psychologically depressed during the
winter/fall months because of shorter periods of daylight
Jet lag is caused by flying across several time zones in one day
o Causes insomnia, decreased alertness, poor performance until body adjusts
o Body adjusts one hour or less per day
o People adjust faster when flying west, because it lengthens the travel day
Daylight savings timg
Night shiftwork

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o Can cause accidents and job performance errors as our bodies are programmed to
be tired in the early morning
o Since its easier to extend the waking day than to compress it, some schedules take
advantage of “rotating shiftwork”
Spend 1/3 of our lives asleep
Every 90 minutes of sleep, we go through different cycles
EEG recordings show beta wave patterns when you are awake (15-30 cycles/sec)
Alpha waves appear when you are relaxed and drowsy (8-12 cycles/sec)
Stages of sleep
Stage 1-4:
1) slow theta waves increase, and you enter a light sleep. A few minutes or less will be spent in
stage 1. Images and body jerks can be experienced.
2) sleep spindles (periodic 1-2 sec bursts of brain-wave activity) indicate the 2nd stage.
Breathing and muscles relaxed, harder to awaken.
3) slow and large delta waves (0.5-2 cycles/sec). Said delta waves will appear more frequently.
Referred to as slow wave sleep.
4) When delta waves dominate EEG. Referred to as slow wave sleep. After 20-30 min of this
stage, you go back to stage 3 and 2.
After 1-1.5 hrs of sleep, these stages will have been completed : 1-2-3-4-3-2.
REM sleep
Rapid eye movements occur every half minute. Eyeballs move vigorously beneath closed
eyelids. Dreams are always reported when subjects are awoken from REM sleep.
Physiological arousal can increase to daytime levels
Heart rate & breathing quickens, brain-wave activity resembles wakefulness
Men get erections and women get vaginal lubrication, however genital arousal isn’t
always a response to sexual imagery
Muscles become relaxed and twitch. Because your body is aroused, yet your muscles are
relaxed, REM sleep paralysis is also called paradoxical sleep.
REM dreams are vivid and realistic, compared to non-REM dreams.
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