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PSYC 100 (100)
Chapter 5

Chapter 5


Department
Psychology
Course Code
PSYC 100
Professor
Russell Day
Chapter
5

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PSYC 100 – STATES OF CONSCIOUSNESS
5
THE PUZZLE OF CONSCIOUSNESS
Consciousness: Moment-to-Moment awareness of ourselves and our environment
1. Subjective and Private
2. Dynamic (Ever changing)
3. Self-reflective and central to our sense of self
Selective Attention: Process that focuses awareness on some stimuli to the exclusion
of others
Conscious Pathway is the prefrontal cortex
Consciousness is from the whole brain
MEASURING STATES OF CONSCIOUSNESS
Self-Report Measures: Ask people to describe their inner experiences
Behavioral Measures: Records performance on special tasks
Physiological Measures: Establishes correspondence between bodily processes and
mental states
LEVELS OF CONSCIOUSNESS
The Freudian Viewpoint
1. Driven by instinctive urges and repressed conflicts
2. Three levels of awareness
3. Conscious mind contains conscious thoughts and perceptions
4. Preconscious mind has events that are outside current awareness, but can be
easily recalled
5. Unconscious mind such as sexual drives, aggressive urges
1. These thoughts are repressed
The Cognitive Viewpoint
1. Controlled (conscious) Processing: The conscious use of attention and effort
1. Slower
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Psyc 100 Chapter 1
2. Automatic (unconscious) Processing: Activities performed without
conscious awareness or effort
1. Such as routine tasks
2. Faster
3. Reduces changes of finding new ways of approaching problems (because
you are so ‘machined’ to the task)
4. Automatic Processing also facilitates Divided Attention, or the ability to
multitask
UNCONSCIOUS INFLUENCES
Visual Agnosia: An inability to visually recognize objects
Blind sight: A phenomenon in which people who are perceptually blind in a certain
area of their visual field demonstrate some response to visual stimuli
Priming: Exposure to a stimulus before influences how you subsequently respond to
that same or another stimulus
CIRCADIAN RHYTHMS: OUR DAILY BIOLOGICAL CLOCKS
Circadian Rhythms: Daily biological clocks
1. Body hormonal secretions, sleepiness, body temperature
2. Regulated by the brains suprachiasmatic nuclei (SCN)
3. Links to Pineal Gland, which secretes melatonin, a hormone that has a
relaxing effect on the body
4. SCN is active during the day, increasing body temperature and alertness while
Melatonin is active during night
Our Free-Running Circadian Rhythm is about 25 hours long
Seasonal Affective Disorder: Cyclic tendency t become psychologically depressed
during certain seasons of the year
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