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Dax Urbszat (681)
Chapter 5

Psychology Chapter 5.docx

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Dax Urbszat

Psychology – Consciousness October 12, 2011  William James o Consciousness is a constantly moving stream of thoughts , feeling and emotions  Consciousness can be viewed as our subjective awareness of mental events  Functions of consciousness o Monitoring mental events o Control: consciousness allows us to formulate and reach goals o Consciousness may have evolved to direct or control behavior in adaptive ways  Cortex and consciousness o The dorsolateral prefrontal cortex is activated during conscious control tasks  Subjects asked to name the ink color in the stroop task below have difficulty when the word name and color are different  This color naming task was associated with the activation of dorsolateral prefrontal cortex  Attention o Our conscious awareness is limited in capacity and we are aware of only a small amount of stimuli around us at one time o Attention refers to the process by which we focus our awareness o Three functions  Orienting function towards the environment – (avoiding threat but looking for reward)  Control of the content of consciousness – (I will think about this issue but not that one)  Maintaining alertness  Subliminal Perception o Notion that brief exposure to sub – threshold stimuli can influence awareness o Study: the subject are shown aggressive (A – boy chocking someone) or positive (B- giving someone cake) stimuli  And then rate a neutral stimuli (C – boy standing)  Subjects shown panel A first subsequently rated the boy in the panel C more negatively  Unconscious cognitive process o Information processing view can be extended to analyses of unconscious processes o Notion is that the many brain mechanisms operate in parallel  Some of these mechanisms operate outside of the level of consciousness  Mostly outside the level of consciousness o Functional significance of unconscious mechanisms
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