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Chapter 5

Chapter 5 Psychology

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Steve Joordens

Psychology Chapter 5: Consciousness -Most of the time we cherish consciousness >>Consciousness: a person’s subjective experience of the world and the mind -ppl also think that it is being awake but it focuses on EXPERIENCE, and you can get that when you’re not awake and in a dream -it is a private world, that only you can know ->psychology also studies objects, ppl, and their brains and behaviours; though it’s unique because it tries to make sense of subjects -> Psychologist hope to include an understanding of phenomenology >> Phenomenology: how things seem to the conscious person -> one of the biggest mystery is called the problem of other minds >> Problem of the other minds: the ultimate difficulty we have in noticing the consciousness of others -> There is no clear way of distinguishing a conscious person from a person who does things that a conscious person would do, and isn’t philosophers called this hypothetical consciousness -> the consciousness meter that anesthesiologist use doesn’t work -> so basically we lack the ability to directly notice the consciousness of others  ->PPl judge minds by the capacity of experience (ability to feel pain, hunger, anger, fear…) and agency (ability of self-control, memory, planning…) -> the problem with the mind is that when one scientist observes a mind, it should be available to be observed by other scientists, but isn’t not (that’s why it’s is questioned how it can be a scientific study) -solution to this is eliminating consciousness from psych. but it’s so cool that they can’t ignore it -> Another mystery of consciousness is the mind/body problem >>Mind/Body Problem: issue of how the mind is related to the brain and the body -Rene Descartes>> says that the body is like a machine (physical matter) and the soul & mind is made of “thinking substance” -he said mind has effect on brain & body through PINEAL GLAND (small thing located near center of brain) < a study found that the brain begins to show electrical activity around half a second before a voluntary action (so like the brain reacts and then voluntarily you do action ½ second later) -our minds are leading our brains and bodies -> there are four properties of consciousness st -1 one is intentionality: quality of being directed to an object -conscious attention is limited, even though you see a bunch of stuff, you only take in a small amount of -2 one is unity: resistance to division -Ex. Studying and watching tv at the same time it’s hard to give attention to both at the same time. The error rate is greater when attending two rates at the same time rd -3 one is selectivity: capacity to include some objects but not others -this property is shown through the studies of dichotic listening >> Dichotic listening: task in which ppl wearing headphones hear different msg’s presented to each ear -consciousness filters out some information; in this study of participants wearing nd headphones; they were presented w/ 2 different msg’s in each ear, and they ignored the 2 one, not even realizing that the msg even changed from English to German!!! :O -the consiousness usually selects stuff that the person is interested in >> Cocktail Party Phenomenon: ppl tune in one msg while they filter out the others nearby th -4 one is transience: tendency to change -the mind constantly wonders; and it flows like a wild animal because the conscious mind has a limited capacity (we don’t got an infinite memory system, so when one info is picked up the other is dropped of like what a player does w/ his girls) -Necker’s Cube: the face of the cube changes every 3 sec’s ->levels of consciousness can change also: from, minimal consciousness to full consciousness to self- consciousness (and they all go under conscious on the wakefulness meter) -these lvl’s aren’t degree of brain activity, but the quality of awareness of the world and self -consciousness is connection b/w person and world >> Minimal Consciousness: consciousness that occurs when the mind inputs sensations and may output behaviour -this lvl is sensory awareness and responsiveness Ex. Someone poking u when u sleep, u might turn or move, but not think about having had the experience -human’s consciousness is often more than minimal >>Full Consciousness: you know and are able to report your mental state -being fully conscious means that you are aware of the experience EX. Leg hurts and u rub it; you realize the pain and the pain becomes fully conscious (so you will feel the pain; like when you are distracted by something else the pain isn’t conscious and you don’t feel it much) >> Self-Consciousness: a distinct lvl of consciousness in which the person’s attention is drawn to the self as an object -this usually happens when the person is embarrassed; when they feel they are the focus of attention (when they deeply introspective about their thoughts and feelings or personal qualities) -this also brings the tendency to evaluate yourself Ex. The Gallup experiment: chimp is marked with a red dot and put in front of a mirror and it recognizes it’s self in the mirror and tries to get the dot off ->daydreaming: a state of consciousness of purposeless flow of thoughts come to mind -the brain is still active, even though there isn’t a specific task ->current concerns that populate consciousness can transform daydreaming and everyday thoughts to worry, and rumination (thoughts that come up again and again, will dominate consciousness) when this happen ppl exert mental control >> Mental Control: the attempt to change conscious states of mind -> when questions or thoughts are wanted to be avoided because it causes stress and w/e ppl engage into thought suppression >>Thought Suppression: the conscious avoidance of a thought ->suppression of thoughts really didn’t work when it was tested in an experiment >> Rebound Effect of Thought Suppression: tendency of a thought to return to consciousness w/ greater frequency following suppression >> Ironic Processes of Mental Control: mental processes that can produce ironic errors because monitoring for errors can itself produce them Ex. Not wanting to t
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