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We Are Unaware of the Influences Acting Upon Us.docx

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University of Toronto St. George
Ashley W.Denton

We Are Unaware of the Influences Acting Upon Us • Ways of studying & understanding personality o Unconscious process  Freud: psychodynamic • Conscious, pre-conscious, unconscious • Id (pleasure), superego(moral), ego(reality) • Defense mechanisms: unconscious mental strategies the mind uses to protect itself o Personal experience  Carl Rogers: humanistic o Trait approaches  Hans Eysenck o Cognitive approaches: look at situational factors  Walter Mischel • Consciousness: moment-by-moment subjective experience of the world (both external & internal) o No single area of the brain is responsible for “awareness” o Pre-frontal cortex, frontal motor cortex, parietal lobe, temporal lobe, occipital lobe o Corpus Callosum: connection between the two hemisphere o Corpus Callosotomy: sever connection to treat those suffering from epilepsy/chronic seizures  Day-to-day interactions remain normal  In some situations the lack of connection becomes evident • Show Teddy bear on right side & a rubber duck on the left side. Ask what do you see? (vocal question) à teddy bear • Show duck on the left & a Teddy bear on the right à then show another group of images à bath tub, books, bed, tree à “Point at the image related to the first image(s)” à left hand = tub, right hand = bed à “Why?” à The teddy bear sleeps in bed with the child. And children have baths before they go to bed • Split Brain, Split Mind [two half brains each with its own perceptions, thoughts & consciousness] o Left hemisphere: vocal (Broca’s Area) o Right hemisphere: spatial relations o Interpreter: a left-hemisphere process that attempts to make sense out of things  Creates a comprehensible story out of events, provides narratives  Tries to find patterns, relationship o Fusiform face area (FFA): recognize faces  Intersection of occipital & temporal; larger on the right side • Right/left brained misconception o The hemispheres could specialize for different tasks = hemispheric specialization, lateralization o Extreme case  Rasmussen’s syndrome: one hemisphere is removed to reduce seizures à the remaining hemisphere will have the job of both hemispheres • Altered state of consciousness o Hypnosis: social interaction during which a person responding to suggestions, experiences changes in memory, perception and/or voluntary action  Depends on the characteristics of the person being hypnotized • Being highly suggestible (does NOT mean the person is stupid or gullible) • Ability to get “lost in activities”, block out distractions  Altered state of consciousness? = True • Proved by fMRI scans o Meditation  Concentrative: focus all attention on one particular thing  Mindfulness: let thoughts flow freely, paying attention to them, but NOT reacting to them • Long term practice can dec reactivity of autonomic NS to stressful events • * One-minute meditation • Limits of consciousness o Shadowing  All incoming info is processed but we are not aware of it o Blind sight patients: have no visual info but they guess the type well (sad vs happy face) o Subliminal perception: outside of conscious awareness; can impact thinking  Priming: activate concepts in someone’s mind without their awareness  Verbal overshadowing: paintings; wine tasting à explain why you don’t like this wine more than the others à hard to describe à come up with some BS description à judgment will be influenced  Experiment • Thirsty (haven’t drunk anything for 3 hours) & non thirsty participants à primed with either drink or neutral words à then provided with something to drink è thirsty & primed with drink words drink more • Sub-audible messages o Memory vs self-esteem self-help tapes: for half the labels were switched à no effect (no actual evidence) à Illusory placebo effect: people believed their memory of self-esteem was better • Power of touch o Server touches (casually) when handing bill  Attractive female servers who touched females got more tips o Librarian: positive evaluation when touched o Survey takers: touched complete long surveys • Forgetting is just as adaptive as remembering. Most forgetting occurs because of interference. o Proactive interference: when prior info inhibits ability to remember new info o Retroactive interference: when new info inhibits ability to remember old info • Memory distortion, misattribution & false memories o Suggestibility: misremembering after being told misleading info  How fast were the cars going when they bumped/smashed into each other? o False memory: easy to plant; hard to piece apart actual memory  Remember the time when you got lost in the mall? o Misattribution: misremembering the time, place person r circumstances involved with a memory  Sleeper effect: disregard info from biased source (not persuaded) but after a while the info is remembered but source is forgotten  False fame effect o Cryptomnesia: believing an idea is yours when really it is based on something you’ve come across previously; unintended plagiarism o Eye witness testimony: difficult to distinguish accurate one from an inaccurate one  Confidence is unrelated to accuracy.  Line ups are more problematic (people assume that the criminal is there)  People tend to focus on weapons or actions not minor details (clothing, appearance)  Witnesses talk with each other à suggestibility • Social influence: impact we have on other people and the impact that others have on us o Presence of someone: at the gym alone vs people are also there (harder, faster); answering Jeopardy questions alone at home vs at the actual show (worse) o Social facilitation: presence of other people increases arousal which results in  Improved performance: facilitation of accessible dominant behaviors à simple, well learned, highly practiced  Impaired performance: less accessible, non-dominant behaviors à complex, new, unpracticed o Social loafing: people work less hard in a group than working alone (motivation is lost)  Reduced if people know their individual efforts can be monitored • Social norms: expected standards of conduct which influence behavior o Conformity: altering one’s opinion or behavior to match those of others or to match social norms  Sherif’s auto-kinetic effect: pitch black room with single point of light; guess alone & in groups  Asch’s line judgment studies: other’s impact on real answerable questions; one real participant & many confederates à mostly people will answer the same way; one other person answers correctly participants also answer correctly • Helping others: Bystander Apathy o Kitty Genovese: 38 witnesses saw her being murdered à “Surely someone else has called the police” o More people à less help  Diffusion of responsibility: responsibility is divided and each person feels less responsible for helping than when alone  Ambiguous situations: influenced by others’action o Latane & Darley: The smoked filled room (audience inhibition effect: not to make a fool of oneself)  Alone: 75%  3 naïve participants: 38%  2 confederates that acknowledged & ignored the smoke: 10% o Gaertner & Dovidio: Out group victims  Alone: more likely to help out groups (not to be considered racist)  3 Bystanders: less out group help Chapter 4: The Mind and Consciousness (Pages 139 ­ 155) • Consciousness: moment-by-moment subjective experience of the world & of mental activity; awareness o Content & level o Dualism: mind & brain are separate o Qualia: subjective experience à difficult to study empirically • By implanting electrodes in the brain, it is possible to control things mentally • Consciousness is a continuous stream of thought; floats from one to another; unified & coherent (has a limit). • It is possible to execute routine/automatic tasks without conscious effort. Difficult & unfamiliar tasks require conscious effort. • Coma: conscious within a few days; longer à sleep-wake cycles: don’t respond to surroundings; longer than a month = persistent vegetative state • M
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