Psychology 1000 Chapter Notes - Chapter 6: Slow-Wave Sleep, Daylight Saving Time, Circadian Rhythm

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19 Nov 2012
Chapter 6: States of Consciousness
Consciousness moment to moment awareness of ourselves and our environment
Characteristics of Consciousness
-subjective and private
-dynamic (ever changing)
-intimately connected with the process of selective attention
Measuring States of Consciousness
-self reports (people describe their inner experiences)
-physiological measures (correspondence between bodily states and mental processes, i.e. EEG
recordings of brain activity)
Freud’s Levels of Awareness
-conscious: contains thoughts, perceptions, and other mental events that we are aware of
-preconscious: mental events that are just outside our current awareness and can be easily
recalled under certain conditions
-unconscious: content that has been put in the back of the mind and cannot be easily recalled;
can arouse anxiety, guilt, and negative emotions
The Cognitive Unconscious
-reject the idea of an unconscious mind, driven by urges and conflicts
-view conscious and unconscious mentality complementary forms of information processing**
-controlled processing: voluntary use of attention and conscious effort
-automatic processing: carry out familiar tasks under constant circumstances (i.e. eating with
utensils); DISADVANTAGE: reduce chances of finding new ways to approach a problem
-divided attention: ability to perform more than one activity at the same time (multitask);
DISADVANTAGE: can cause accidents (i.e. people driving and talking on their cell phones)
Emotional Unconscious
-emotional and motivational processes operate unconsciously and influence behaviour
Modular Mind
-the mind is a collection of largely separate but interacting modules (information-processing
subsystems within the brain that perform tasks related to sensation, perception, memory,
problem-solving, emotion, motor control, etc.)
Circadian Rhythms
-daily biological cycle in our 24 hour cycles in our lives
-operated by the suprachiasmatic nuclei (SCN) in hypothalamus; the brain’s “clock”
-linked to the pineal gland, which secretes melatonin (relaxing effect on body)
-SCN neurons active during day = less melatonin (increased alertness and temperature)
-SCN neurons are inactive at night = more melatonin (sleep and relaxation)
-free running circadian rhythm: desynchronized from 24 hour day cycle (usually a longer
“natural” cycle of 24.2 to 24.8 hour days)
-influence our tendency if we are “morning” or “night” people
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