You can become aware of your sense of consciousness while reading this text.
William James, the author of the first psychology textbook, was interested in consciousness.
The study of consciousness faded because no tools existed to examine it scientifically.
Increased emphasis on cognitive psychology and more sophisticated brain scanning tools have made consciousness a more common research area.
The competing theories of dualism and monism are the subject of a historical discussion about consciousness.
Humans and the universe in general are thought and matter according to dualists.
Everything has substance.
Thought is a nonmaterial aspect that is independent of a brain.
Humans have free will, according to dualists.
Some philosophers believe that thought continues after the brain and body die.
Monists believe that thought and matter are aspects of the same substance.
When the body dies, thought stops being a result of brain processes.
The debate between the dualists and monists is not a scientific one.
Experiments and theories are used to describe some of the processes or elements of consciousness.
Our level of awareness about ourselves and our environment is called consciousness.
We are aware of what is happening inside and outside of us.
The psychological definition implies that consciousness is not an on/off switch.
Different levels and states of consciousness are referred to by psychologists.
We don't consciously know that we experience different levels of consciousness in our daily life.
While you are reading this text, you could be moving your leg to listen to the music you are listening to.
One level of consciousness is controlling your pen or leg, while another is focused on reading the words.
There are more subtle and complex effects of different levels of consciousness.
The mere-exposure effect occurs when we prefer stimuli we have seen before over novel stimuli, even if we don't consciously remember seeing the old stimuli.
A researcher may show a group of research participants a list of nonsense terms.
Later, the same group is shown another list of terms and asked which one they prefer.
Even though the group could not remember the first list of nonsense terms, the mere-exposure effect predicts that they will choose the terms they saw previously.
The group knows the first list.
priming is a closely related concept.
Even if they don't remember seeing the questions, research participants respond more quickly and accurately to questions they have seen before.
Blind sight is a fascinating phenomenon that shows levels of consciousness.
One level of consciousness isn't getting any visual information, while another level is able to see what's happening.
The concept of consciousness is well established.
Some of the possible types offered by researchers are shown in the following.
As a student, sleep is something you care about.
A large percentage of high school and college students are sleep deprived, meaning they don't get enough sleep.
Being asleep as being unconscious is incorrect to a psychologist.
One of the states of consciousness is sleep.
According to the psychological definition of consciousness, sleep is a state of consciousness because, while we are asleep, we are less aware of ourselves and our environment than we are when we are awake.
Drugs, hypnotism, and so on are states of consciousness for similar reasons.
You are familiar with the term.
Our metabolism and thought processes follow a certain pattern during the day.
Some of us are more active in the morning than others, some of us get hungry or go to the bathroom at certain times of the day, and so on.
Our sleep cycle is part of our rhythm.
Our pattern of sleep is our sleep cycle.
Researchers can record how active our brains are during sleep and describe the different stages of sleep we progress through each night.
When we are falling asleep, it is called sleep onset.
There is a stage between wakefulness and sleep.
Alpha waves are produced by our brain when we are sleepy.
We might experience mild hallucinations before falling asleep and entering stage 1.
Our brains produce theta waves when we are awake in stages 1 and 2.
The theta waves get slower and higher as we go from wakefulness to stages 1 and 2.
Sleep spindles are short bursts of rapid brain waves and can be seen in stage 2.
Delta waves occur in stages 3 and 4, which are sometimes called slow-wave sleep, because of this.
The deeper the sleep, the less aware we are of our environment.
A person in sleep is hard to wake up.
If you are awakened out of sleep, you may be very confused.
Delta sleep is important for the body's chemical supplies, releasing growth hormones in children, and fortifying our immune system.
A person who doesn't get enough sleep will be more susceptible to illness.
The amount of time we spend in stages 3 and 4 will be increased by increasing exercise.
After a period of time in delta sleep, our brain waves start to speed up and we go back through stages 3 and 2.
As we reach stage 1, our brain produces a period of intense activity, our eyes dart back and forth, and many of our muscles twitch.
This is rapid eye movement.
Our brain waves are as active when we are awake as they are when we are asleep.
Some effects of REM are known.
Dreams can happen in any stage of sleep but are more likely to happen during REM sleep.
The next time a person is deprived of REM sleep, they will experience a REM rebound.
The longer our periods of REM sleep are, the more stress we experience.
When we get closer to morning, we spend more time in stages 1 and 2 and less in stages 3 and 4.
The pattern is affected by age.
Babies spend more time in REM sleep than we do.
The amount of time we spend in REM sleep decreases as we age.
Information about our sleep cycle provides clues as to why we spend so much of our life in this altered state of consciousness.
Many of us will experience sleepless nights.
These isolated periods of sleep disruptions give us an idea of how sleep disorders can affect people's lives.
Sleep researchers identify and diagnose sleep disorders.
Insomnia affects up to 10 percent of the population and is the most common sleep disorder.
Insomniacs have problems getting to sleep or staying asleep.
Most people will experience occasional bouts of insomnia, but some people have trouble sleeping.
Insomnia can be treated with suggestions for changes in behavior, such as the reduction of caffeine or other stimulants, exercise at appropriate times, and maintaining a consistent sleep pattern.
Doctors and researchers advise insomniacs to use sleeping pills only with caution, as they can disrupt sleep patterns during the night and prevent truly restful sleep.
Insomnia occurs in less than 1 percent of the population.
It is possible to fall asleep at unpredictable and inappropriate times.
If they are doing something at the time, they may fall into REM sleep.
One of my students was a preadolescent when he was diagnosed with a sleep disorder.
He estimated that before he was diagnosed, he was sleepy for most of the day except for a few hours in the afternoon.
Changing sleep patterns, such as introducing naps at strategic times during the day, can be used to treat narcolepsy.
It is almost as common as insomnia and may be more serious.
A person stops breathing for a short time during the night.
The person wakes up slightly and gasps for air as they sleep.
The process robs the person of deep sleep and can cause interference with attention and memory.
Severe apnea can be fatal.
Since these individuals don't remember waking up during the night, it's often undiagnosed.
Overweight men are more likely to have apnea.
A machine that provides air for the person as he or she sleeps can be used to treat Apnea.
We experience dreams as we sleep.
Some people remember dreams more than once a night, while others don't know if they dream or not.
Some of us report dreams in which we know we are dreaming and can control the storyline of the dream.
Dreams are hard for psychologists to research because they rely on self-reports.
Researchers know that if people are awakened during or shortly after an REM episode, they often report they are dreaming.
Researchers theorize about the meaning of dreams.
It is difficult to prove these theories with limited access.
Sigmund Freud used dreams in his therapy.
Dream interpretation is a method of uncovering information in the unconscious mind.
According to Freud, dreams are wish fulfillment, meaning that we act out our unconscious desires in our dreams.
Two levels of dream content are emphasized in this type of dream analysis.
The content of our dreams is called manifest content.
If you want to show up at school naked, the manifest content is your nudity, the room you see yourself in at school, the people present, and so on.
The unconscious meaning of the manifest content was more important to Freud.
Freud believed that our ego protected us from the material in the unconscious mind by presenting our repressed desires in the form of symbols.
It is possible that showing up naked at school is a symbol of vulnerability or anxiety.
This is a common type of dream analysis.
You can find multiple dream interpretation books in any bookstore.
popularity does not mean validity.
This theory is hard to prove or invalidate.
The theory can't be tested.
This analysis is used in pop psychology rather than research.
The activation-synthesis theory looks at dreams as biological phenomena.
Brain scans show that our brain is active during REM sleep.
The brain's interpretations of what is happening during REM sleep is what this theory suggests.
Our minds are very good at explaining events even when they are not related to the body.
Sometimes patients with split-brains make up elaborate explanations for their behavior.
The brain activity during REM sleep can cause a literary part of our mind to make up dreams.
According to this theory, dreams have no more meaning than any other part of our body.
Between the Freudian and activation-synthesis theories lies the information-processing theory of dreaming.
Stress during the day will increase the number and intensity of dreams.
Most people say their dream content relates to daily concerns.
Proponents of information processing theorize that the brain deals with stress and information during REM dreams.
REM may be used to integrate information from the day into our memories.
Babies may need more REM sleep than adults do.
The high school where I teach hires a stage hypnotist to entertain at the party.
The day after students see the hypnotist's show, I can expect a lot of questions about the process of hypnotism and whether it is a valid psychological phenomenon or a trick.
Some of the questions are about the powers hypnotism seems to have.
Posthypnotic amnesia is when people forget events that happened while they were hypnotized.
A posthypnotic suggestion is a suggestion that a hypnotized person behave in a certain way after he or she is brought out of hypnotism.
Many questions about hypnotism are not completely answered.
There are at least three theories that attempt to explain what happens during hypnotism.
According to the role theory, hypnotism is not an alternate state of consciousness.
Some people are more likely to be hypnotized than others, according to this theory.
They tend to have richer fantasy lives, follow directions well, and be able to focus on a single task for a long period of time.
It is possible that hypnotism is a social phenomenon.
People acting out the role of a hypnotized person are following the suggestions of the hypnotist because that is what is expected of the role.
State theory is used to explain hypnotism.
Some parts of the definition for an altered state of consciousness include hypnotism.
According to hypnotists, we become more or less aware of our environments.
Dramatic health benefits from hypnotism include pain control and reduction in physical ailments.
In his dissociation theory, researcher Ernest Hilgard explained hypnotism in a different way.
Hilgard says that hypnotism causes us to divide our consciousness.
One part of our consciousness responds to the suggestions of the hypnotist, while another part remains aware of reality.
Hilgard hypnotized participants and asked them to put their arm in an ice water bath.
The hypnotized participants reported no pain after they were hypnotized.
Most participants lifted their finger when Hilgard asked them to if they felt the pain.
A hidden observer is a part of our consciousness that watches what is happening while another level obeys the hypnotist's suggestions.
Psychoactive drugs change the chemistry of the brain and the rest of the body and cause an altered state of consciousness.
Some of the behavioral and cognitive changes caused by these drugs are due to their effects on the body.
The placebo effect is similar to the expected effects of the drug if you think you took it.
All drugs change our consciousness through the same processes in the brain.
thicker walls surrounding the brain's blood vessels protect it from harmful chemicals in the bloodstream.
The barrier is called the blood-brain barrier.
The small molecule drugs that make up psychoactive drugs can pass through the blood-brain barrier.
The brain has naturally occurring neurotransmitters.
Drugs that mimic neurotransmitters are called agonists.
The drugs fit in the sites where the neurotransmitter is normally received on a neuron.
Drugs that block neurotransmitters are called antagonists.
The molecule also fit into a neuron.
Instead of acting like the neurotransmitter, they prevent the natural neurotransmitters from using that site.
Natural neurotransmitters are prevented from being reabsorbed back into a neuron by other drugs.
Prozac is a kind of drug called a "selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor" because it prevents Serotonin from being absorbed back into the neuron.
Drugs gradually change the levels of neurotransmitters in the brain.
If the amount of a neurotransmitter is influenced by a drug, the brain will produce less of it.
This change causes a need for more of the same drug in order to achieve the same effect.
Users will experience withdrawal symptoms as a result of tolerance.
There are different withdrawal symptoms from drug to drug.
They range from the headaches I might get if I don't drink any coffee or tea during the day to the dehydrating and potentially fatal night sweats that heroin users experience during withdrawal.
Dependence on drugs can be either psychological or physical.
A person dependent on a drug feels an intense desire for the drug because they are convinced they need it in order to perform.
Persons dependent on a substance have a tolerance for the drug, can experience withdrawal symptoms without it, and need the drug to avoid them.
Four common categories of psychoactive drugs are stimulants, depressants, hallucinogens and opiates.
Stimulants include cocaine, amphetamines, and nicotine.
Stimulants speed up body processes.
A sense of euphoria accompanies the dramatic increase.
The more powerful stimulants, such as cocaine, can make a user feel very confident and self-assured.
Stimulants produce tolerance, withdrawal effects, and other side effects to a greater or lesser degree that correspond with the power of the drug.
The effects of alcohol on our nervous system is what makes it a depressant.
Expectations about alcohol and the lowering of inhibitions are to blame for the energizing effect.
Nicotine stimulates the nervous system, but some smokers smoke to relax.
Stimulating body systems are slowed down by depressants.
Depressive drugs include alcohol, barbiturates, and anxiolytics.
Alcohol is the most commonly used drug.
Depression and euphoria are accompanied by tolerance and withdrawal symptoms.
Alcohol slows down our brain processes.
Behavioral changes are caused by the inhibition of brain regions.
When alcohol affects the cerebellum, it can make it difficult or impossible for the user to stand.
More research has been done on alcohol than on any other drug.
Hallucinogens don't speed up or slow down the body.
Drug use can cause changes in perception of reality.
Marijuana, peyote, and LSD are some of the common hallucinogens.
Hallucinogens have one notable feature.
The drugs may stay in the body for a while.
If an individual ingests the hallucinogen again during this time period, the new dose of the chemical is added to the linger amount, creating more profound and potentially dangerous effects.
The second dose may be less than the first but still cause the same or greater effects.
The effects of hallucinogens are not as predictable as those of depressants.
Opiates are similar in structure to opium, a drug derived from the poppy plant.
Powerful painkillers and mood elevators can be found in the opiates.
High endorphin levels cause euphoria and cause drowsiness.
The opiates are some of the most physically addictive drugs because of their rapid change in brain chemistry.
Five suggested answers or completions are followed by each of the questions or incomplete statements.
Pick the one that is the best.
A group of people are shown a set of geometric shapes.
The group is shown a larger set of shapes that include the first set of geometric shapes randomly distributed among the other images.
Even though they can't remember which images they've seen before, the participants choose shapes from the first group more often than the new ones.