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Psychology unit 4: Consciousness and Altered States

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Joe Berchtold

on 21 November 2013

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Transcript of Psychology unit 4: Consciousness and Altered States

& Altered States
Our subjective experiences
Awareness of our environment and ourselves
Manifest Content
What you actually see, hear, feel, etc. within a dream
What was the manifest content in that dream?
Latent Content
The hidden meaning in our dreams that reflects our unconscious desires.
Activation Synthesis Theory
During REM sleep, certain areas in the brain fire randomly, particularly in emotional and visual areas
This gives emotional significance to essentially random sensory experiences. This is why it FEELS like our dreams have meaning when there actually isn't any
Stage 1: Our brain and the rest of our body start to slow down and relax.
Stage 2: Further relaxation of the body. During this period is when talking in one’s sleep usually occurs.
Stage 3: The beginnings of slow wave sleep, our brain wave patterns slow considerably.
Stage 4: “Deep Sleep” – Very slow brain wave activity, very difficult to awaken. During this stage is when most sleepwalking occurs.
After descending through all four stages we will go back up through each and when back in the area of stage 1 we will experience
REM sleep
(Rapid Eye Movement)
Latent content?
Sigmund Freud and Dreams
Circadian Rhythm
3 Levels of Consciousness
Stage of sleep characterized by frequent movements of the eyes and vivid, emotionally charged dreams
Sometimes called our "biological clock"
Our natural, built in pattern of alternating between periods of waking activity and sleep
The human circadian rhythm is estimated to be about 24.18 hours
Circadian Release of Cortisol
Do you usually feel sleepy after lunch?

Do you tend to get sleepy when you are sitting quietly in a theater?

Have you sometimes found yourself getting sleepy with the urge to doze off when you drive and are stopped for a few minutes in traffic?

Do you drink more than four caffeinated drinks per day?
Do you sometimes fall asleep when you do not mean to?

Do you sometimes get sleepy when you read?

Do you sometimes get sleepy or doze off when you watch TV?

When you are a passenger in a vehicle on a long trip, do you find yourself dozing off or falling asleep?
Do you sleep longer on the weekends than you do during the week?

On vacations and holidays do you sleep longer than a normal week?

Do you often feel that you lose motivation/ambition during the day?

Do you find it difficult to pay attention to details on routine chores?
Do you need an alarm clock to wake you up in the morning?

Do you usually use the snooze button on your alarm clock, or go back to sleep after the alarm has gone off?

Do you find getting out of bed in the morning is usually a struggle?

Do you sometimes sleep through your alarm?
Freud thought that dreams were filled with hidden meaning and clues to our unconscious desires
Dreams may also...
let us reprocess the things we learned that day
attempt to find solutions to problems in
everyday life
Lucid Dreams
a lucid dream is a dream in which the person who is dreaming becomes aware that they are dreaming
Night Terrors
A trance-like state in which the subject responds much more readily to suggestion
Hypnosis is a social phenomenon where the hypnotized person acts differently because they believe they are supposed to and that “being hypnotized” gives them permission to act abnormally.
Hypnosis is...
Post Hypnotic Suggestion
relax people, narrow focus of attention, engage in fantasies
effect behavior after hypnosis has ended
treat some psychological and medical problems
Cause hallucinations and distort perception
Reduce inhibitions
work on everybody
Make people act in ways that would normally be beyond their physical or mental abilities
Force people to do things against their will
Hypnotic Pain Relief
Hypnosis is used effectively to ...

stop smoking
stop overeating
ease chronic pain
reduce anxiety
provide insight into people's life
Post Hypnotic Amnesia
Hypnosis temporarily divides consciousness, allowing people to focus on more than one thing at a time.
hypnosis is an altered state of consciousness, like sleep and meditation
...an Altered State
Hypnosis is...
an Altered State
Meditation is the practice of conscious, controlled focus of one's mind and thoughts
What is the
What is the
Almost anything can be the focus of meditation.
An perpetual sense of well-being
"Behold! The Jewel in the Lotus!"
A particular word or words
(usually significant words like God, Love, Infinity, etc.)
Sounds and music
Bodily sensations
Mental Imagery
Promote relaxation
Personal and spiritual growth and insight
Increasing traits like love, compassion, patience, generosity, forgiveness
Enhanced awareness of the present moment
Yoga is a good example of this
"The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, worry about the future, or anticipate troubles, but to live in the present moment wisely and earnestly"
the Buddha
a.k.a being fully aware of the present moment
Sleeping pills
Ecstasy (MDMA)
Slow down (depress) the functions of the body, including heart rate and respiratory rate
Relax muscles or relieve anxiety
Some also impair memory functions and judgement
high potential for addiction
Overdoses of these substances can lead to death
Creates a numbing sensation in the body
Relieves feelings of pain
Cause feelings of euphoria at higher doses
However if a person starts using these substances then that person’s brain will stop producing its own natural painkillers
This causes them to have a VERY HIGH potential for addiction
Also have very painful withdrawal symptoms
These substances speed up the functions of the body
increase feelings of alertness
high energy levels
Feelings of euphoria
Feelings of power or invulnerability at higher doses
high potential for addiction
cause hallucinations, or vivid sensory experience without external cues
People have no control over these experiences and may have flashbacks.
-occurs during stage 4 sleep
-people will walk around doing
odd things of various kinds
-they usually appear dazed or groggy
-disorder consisting of a person who has "sleep attacks", will fall asleep instantly and can't control it
-similar to sleepwalking, except the person is terrified and runs away from unseen horrors
Theory #1
Theory #2
Theory #3
This is NOT hypnosis!!!!
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