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Altered States of Consciousness Reading.docx

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Western University
Psychology 2011A/B
Imants Baruss

Altered States of Consciousness9132012 24100 PM Chapter 1 Reading NotesHallucinations perceptions that do not correspond to physical reality Consciousness 3 Perspectives of consciousness1 the physiological perspective it is concerned with the physiological processes involved with consciousness as studied in neuroscience2 the cognitive perspective it is concerned with the cognitive processes involved in consciousness such as perception thinking and memory 3 the experiential perspective is concerned with the conscious experience that a person has for herself Taken into account during studies of psychologyIntrospection an examination of a persons own experiences as its primary method of investigationThese three areas can be effected at the same time Example a person who uses Marijuana has effects on her brain but also has effects on the brain and cognition it is important to engage all three of these when investigating consciousness 4 Definitions of consciousness1 refers to the registration of information and acting on it in a goal directed manner2 behavioral consciousness refers to the explicit knowledge of ones situation mental states and actions demonstrated behaviorally2b refers to the experiential stream of events that occurs subjectively for a person 4 refers to the sense of existence of the subject of the experiential stream Example ofbehavioral conscious would be an organism demonstrating substantial explicit knowledge of its own situation states or actionsthis commonly applies to human beings but will eventually also apply to humans William James one of the founders of modern psychology Example of subjective consciousness would be something to do with the experiential stream rdThe 3 meaning of consciousness is the one which is the hardest to understand It is a feeling of existence which accompanies the thought of experience Other examples when drivinga car noticing the traffic light turning red and stopping the car would be the first meaning of consciousnesssaying the light has turned red and moving our foot from the gas pedal to the brake would indicate the presence of behavioral consciousness thinking about the light turning red would be consciousness 2Bconsciousness 3 in this situation would refer to the fact that we experience an experiential stream at all irrespective to what we are thinking about Altered states of consciousness we can use the definitions of consciousness to say that altered states of consciousness are changes to the registration of information and acting on it in a goal directed manner the explicit knowledge of ones situation mental states and actions is behavioral consciousness 2 the stream of thoughts feelings and sensations that one has for ones self is subjective consciousness 2 and the sense of existence of the subject of mental acts is consciousness 3Tart created a definition and criteria for distinguishing an altered state of consciousnessthe 12 dimensions if we accept his theory or definition one persons altered state could be another persons ordinary waking state should be noted that the altered state is not an explanation for psychological events but a shorthand descriptions of the complexity of psychological processes characterizing any given altered state in other words Use of the term altered is not essential Altered states of Psychopathology ordinary in the west world to regard the waking state as the most optimal state and the rest of that states with the exception of sleep to be a form of mental illnessMaterial versus Transcendent beliefsRobert moore and the prof found an empirical study that there is a material transcendent dimension within the western intellectual traditionA material pole is the sense that the world is essentially a machine that functions in a deterministic mannerthe materialists believe that all phenomena including consciousness result from physical process A transcendent pole consists of the notions that consciousness is an ontologically primitive and that the physical world is a byproduct of consciousnessMaterialists would be interested in the cognitive and physiological aspect of the world Dualists people who are in the middle tend to emphasize the subjective experiential aspects of consciousness andbelieve that consciousness gives meaning to reality and gives evidence to a spiritual dimensionExtraordinarily transcendent the other extreme of the scale are more likely to believe that they have had an unusual experience and emphasize altered states of consciousness to understand self transformationAnomalous Information TransferGanzfeld proceduretried to demonstrate the existence of extrasensory perceptionidea is to seek to minimize the somatic and sensory noise this is done by having the participant in the study and the receiver recline in a chair in an acoustically isolated and electrically shielded room the environment created is called the ganzfeld experiment designed in such a way that there is no possibility that either the receiver or experimenter could know the identity of the target that has been used the results demonstrated a high probability of the presence of anomalous information transfer or extrasensory perception when using the ganzfeld procedure
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