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Chapter 05 - Variations in Consciousness

Grant Clay

Period 3



AP Psychology Outline

Chapter 5: Variations in Consciousness


Red – Definition

Blue - Important Points

Green - Important People & Contributions


  1. Nature of Consciousness
    1. Consciousness – the awareness of Internal and External stimuli.

                                                               i.      You’re “Stream of Consciousness” Zig-Zags in all directions.

    1. Variations in Levels of Awareness

                                                               i.      Freud’s Arguments

1.        Unconscious Needs, Wishes, and Conflicts influence Behavior and Feelings.

2.        Conscious and Unconscious are Different Levels of Awareness.

3.        Consciousness is not an All-Or-None process.

4.        When people are asleep or under anesthesia, they remain aware of external events to some degree.

    1. Evolutionary Roots of Consciousness

                                                               i.      Consciousness evolved because it helped ancient humans survive and reproduce.

                                                              ii.      Consciousness allows thinking through courses of action and their consequences. Then to choose the best course without having to try all the bad ones.

                                                            iii.      Forethought and Planning are Valuable Conscious adaptations.

    1. Consciousness & Brain Activity

                                                               i.      Electroencephalograph (EEG) – Measures electrical activity in the Brain.

                                                              ii.      Brain Waves

1.        Measures in Amplitude (Height) and Frequency (Cycles per second (cps).

2.        4 Frequency Bands

a.        Beta – 13-24 cps – Normal Waking thought, problem solving.

b.       Alpha – 8-12 cps – Deep Relaxation, Blank Mind, Meditation.

c.        Theta – 4-7 cps – Light Sleep

d.       Delta – 1-3 cps – Deep Sleep

e.        Consciousness is correlated with Variations of Brain Activity

  1. Biological Rhythms & Sleep
    1. Biological Rhythms – Periodic Fluctuations in Physiological functioning.

                                                               i.      Organisms have internal “Biological Clocks.”

    1. Circadian Rhythms – The 24-hour biological cycles found in Humans and many animals.

                                                               i.      Internal Clocks control many functions like sleep, hormones, urine, etc.

                                                              ii.      Melatonin – Hormone that adjusts Biological Clocks.

    1. Ignoring Circadian Rhythms

                                                               i.      Going to sleep at an irregular time causes poorer quality of sleep. Affecting many Conscious processes.

    1. Realigning Circadian Rhythms

                                                               i.      Taking Melatonin reduces effects of irregular Circadian Rhythms, reducing Jet Lag.

  1. Sleep & Waking Cycle
    1. Electromyograph (EMG) – Records Muscular activity and Tension.
    2. Electrooculograph (EOG) – Records Eye Movement.
    3. Stages of Sleep – Sleep Cycles through 5 Stages.
    4. Stages 1-4 – Non-REM Sleep (NREM)

                                                               i.      Stage 1 – Brief Transitional stage of Light Sleep.

1.        Hypnic Jerks – Muscular Contractions occur during Stage 1.

                                                              ii.      Stage 2 – Brief bursts of higher frequency Brain Waves. (Sleep Spindles)

1.        Respiration rate, Heart rate, Muscle tension, & Body temperature begin to decline.

                                                            iii.      Stage 3 & 4

1.        Slow Wave Sleep – High Amplitude, Low-frequency delta waves become prominent in EEG recordings.

                                                            iv.      Then the Cycle reverses and moves back up stages, and then back down.

                                                             v.      Stage 5/Stage 1

1.        REM sleep – Rapid Eye Movement Sleep. High Frequency, Low Amplitude Brain waves, and Vivid Dreaming.

a.        Deep Stage of Sleep.

b.       Muscles become paralyzed.

c.        Brain Activity dominated by Beta Waves.

                                                                                                                                       i.      Beta Waves are the awake processing thought and Problem solving Brain waves.

d.       Dreaming Occurs in REM sleep.

e.        REM occurs about 4 Times a Night.

                                                                                                                                       i.      Intervals become longer throughout the Night.

    1. Age Trends in Sleep

                                                               i.      Babies spend 50% of sleeping time in REM.

                                                              ii.      Adults spend 20% of sleeping time in REM.

                                                            iii.      Elderly spend more time in Stage 1 Sleep.

    1. Culture and Sleep

                                                               i.      Most Cultures sleep about the same amount of time.

                                                              ii.      Siesta Cultures – Tropical cultures take a mid-day nap around 2:00 PM to avoid the hottest time of day.

    1. Neural Bases of Sleep

                                                               i.      Ascending Reticular Activating System – Fibers in Reticular formation that influence Sleep and rising from Sleep.

1.        Cutting Fibers = Continuous Sleep.

2.        Electric Stimulating Fibers = Awakening.

                                                              ii.      Many different Processes affect Sleep.

    1. Evolutionary Bases of Sleep

                                                               i.      To recharge the Body from daily processes. To learn during Sleep.

    1. Sleep Deprivation

                                                               i.      Impairs reaction time, attention, coordination, decision making, etc.

                                                              ii.      REM Deprivation – In sleep you rebound from being deprived of REM sleep by REM sleeping much more often to balance out.

    1. REM sleep & Learning/Memory

                                                               i.      Memory Consolidation – REM firms up learning that takes place during the day.

                                                              ii.      If you Learn/Train, then sleep, there is a substantial improvement in performance.

                                                            iii.      Sleep Enhances memory of learning Tasks that occurred during the day.

                                                            iv.      Length of Time spent in REM correlates with increments in learning.

                                                             v.      Sleep may foster creative insight the next morning to the previous day learning.

                                                            vi.      Time Spent in specific stages of sleep Stabilize or Solidify Memories formed During the Day.

    1. Sleep Disorders

                                                               i.      Insomnia – Chronic problems in getting adequate sleep. Most common Sleep Disorder.

1.        Caused by Anxiety, Tension, Emotional Problems, and Health Problems.

2.        Sedatives/Sleeping Pills are Medication for Insomnia.

a.        Reduce amount of REM & Leave sluggish effect the next day.

                                                              ii.      Narcolepsy – Disease causing sudden onsets of sleep during waking periods.

                                                            iii.      Sleep Apnea – Frequent reflexive gasping for air that awakens a person and disrupts sleep.

                                                            iv.      Nightmares – Anxiety arousing dreams that lead to awakening, usually from REM sleep.

1.        Nightmares are usually caused by stress, depression, or emotional disturbances.

                                                             v.      Night Terrors - Abrupt awakenings from NREM sleep accompanied by intense autonomic arousal and feeling of Panic. Bolt up with a scream.

1.        Do not indicate an Emotional Disturbance.

                                                            vi.      Somnambulism – Sleepwalking.

1.        Appears to be Genetic. Does not indicate Emotional Disturbance.

  1. Dreams
    1. REM Dreams = More Visual, Vivid, Story-like Dreams.
    2. NREM Dreams = Not as brilliant as REM Dreams.
    3. Lucid Dreaming – People realize they are dreaming in their Dream.
    4. Mental Thought Processes while asleep are close to Conscious Thought Processes.
    5. Contents of Dreams

                                                               i.      Most dreams unfold in familiar settings, with familiar characters.

                                                              ii.      Themes of Dreams are Common

1.        Sex, Aggression, Misfortune.

2.        People usually dream about themselves.

3.        Men and Women have slightly different dreams reflecting their Social Roles.

    1. Links between Dreams & Waking Life

                                                               i.      People often Dream about what is going on in their lives.

                                                              ii.      Dreams are usually waking ideas and emotional worries.

                                                            iii.      Thoughts we try to suppress during the day come out in our dreams.

1.        This is also true in waking Consciousness too.

2.        (ex. You are trying not to think about someone, and it leads you to think about them.)

3.        Dreams can incorporate physical stimuli like having water poured on you being interpreted in the dream as rain, water, etc.

4.        Day Residue – Freud idea that contents of waking life spill over into dreams.

    1. Culture and Dreams

                                                               i.      Themes in dreams are the same across cultures, but the Content of dreams are different because people have to deal with different things.

    1. Theories of Dreaming

                                                               i.      Sigmund Freud

1.        Freud theorized dreams are “Wish Fulfillment”

2.        Manifest Content – The plot of the Dream as surface level.

3.        Latent Content – Hidden and Disguised Meaning of the events in the plot.

                                                              ii.      Rosalind Cartwright

1.        Cartwright theorized dreams are Opportunities to work through everyday Problems and Emotional Issues in waking life.

2.        Sleep Enhances Learning. Giving Credit to Cartwright’s Theory.

                                                            iii.      Hobson & McCarley

1.        Theorized dreams are side effects of Neural-Activation Synthesis. Or just Bursts from the Brain.

2.        Downplays the effect of emotions in Dreams.

  1. Hypnosis
    1. Hypnosis – Systematic procedure that typically produces a heightened state of Suggestibility.

                                                               i.      Some people are more susceptible to Hypnotism than others. Based on Imagination and Absorption as behavioral traits.

    1. Hypnotic Phenomena

                                                               i.      Anesthesia – Hypnosis can be used to relieve Pain.

                                                              ii.      Hallucinations – Subjects “see” things that are not there.

                                                            iii.      Disinhibition – Subjects do things that they normally would not do.

                                                            iv.      Posthypnotic Suggestions – Suggestions made during Hypnosis effect a subject’s later behavior.

    1. Theories of Hypnosis

                                                               i.      Hypnosis as Role Playing – People are just Role-Playing what it is socially acceptable to be hypnotized.

                                                              ii.      Hypnosis as an Altered State of Consciousness

1.        Ernest Hilgard

2.        Dissociation – Splitting off of Mental Processes into two separate, simultaneous streams of awareness.

3.        Divided Conscious – Is a normal experience such as driving a car, but you don’t remember specific things about it. You just do it.

a.        Hypnosis is the same state of Mind.

  1. Meditation
    1. Meditation – Family of Practices that Train Attention to heighten awareness and bring Mental Processes under greater Voluntary Control.
    2. Physiological Effects

                                                               i.      Alpha & Theta Waves become prominent in EEG.

                                                              ii.      Heart Rate, Breathing rate, Skin conductance Decline.

    1. Long-Term Benefits

                                                               i.      Lower Level of Stress

                                                              ii.      Improve Mental Health when resisting Addictions

                                                            iii.      Improve One’s Mood, Self-Esteem, and sense of Control.

                                                            iv.      Led to increased Creativity and Intelligence in a Study.

    1. Same Effects may be achieved just through Relaxation Techniques.
  1. Drugs
    1. Psychoactive Drugs – Chemical substances that modify Mental, Emotional, or Behavioral Functioning.
    2. Drug Types

                                                               i.      Narcotics/Opiates – Drugs derived from Opium that relieves Pain.

1.        Heroin, Morphine.

2.        Who Cares? Attitude.

                                                              ii.      Sedatives – Sleep Inducing drugs that decrease Central Nervous System Activation and Behavioral Activity.

1.        Sleeping Pills, Barbiturates.

2.        Gets rid of Tension or Dejection.

                                                            iii.      Stimulants – Drugs that Increase Central Nervous System activation and Behavioral Activity.

1.        Caffeine, Nicotine, Cocaine, Amphetamines.

2.        “I Can Conquer the World!” attitude.

                                                            iv.      Hallucinogens – Drugs that have powerful effect upon Mental and Emotional Functioning. Causing Distortions in Sensory and Perceptual Experience.

1.        LSD, Mescaline (Shrooms)

2.        Dreamlike “Mystical” experiences. Lead to “Bad Trip.”

                                                             v.      Cannabis – Hemp Plant from which Marijuana, Hashish, and THC are derived.

1.        Marijuana, Hash

2.        Relaxed Euphoria.

                                                            vi.      Alcohol – Beverages containing Ethyl Alcohol.

1.        Beers, Wine, Spirits.

2.        Euphoria, Boosted Self-Esteem, Stress Reliever.

                                                          vii.      MDMA – Compound Drug related to both Amphetamines & Hallucinogens, especially Mescaline.

1.        Ecstasy

2.        Euphoric, friendly, sexual, energetic.

    1. Factors Influencing Drug Effects

                                                               i.      Drug Experiences can be affected by many different things along with expectations of the effects of the Drug.

                                                              ii.      Tolerance – Progressive decrease in a person’s responsiveness to a drug.

    1. Mechanisms of Drug Action

                                                               i.      Stimulants increase level of Dopamine and Norepinephrine activity.

                                                              ii.      Opiates Bind to Endorphins in the Brain.

                                                            iii.      Cannabis binds to Cannabinoid Receptors in the Brain.

                                                            iv.      Mesolimbic Dopamine Pathway – all abused drugs increase activity here.

    1. Drug Dependence

                                                               i.      Physical Dependence – When a person must continue to take a Drug to avoid withdrawal illness.

1.        Common with Narcotics, Sedatives, alcohol, and Stimulants.

                                                              ii.      Psychological Dependence – When a Person must continue to take a Drug to satisfy intense Mental and Emotional Craving for the Drug.

1.        Such as in Cocaine.

    1. Drugs and Health

                                                               i.      Overdose – Death resulting from taking too much of a Drug.

                                                              ii.      Direct Effects – Drugs effect directly like Lung Cancer, Obesity, etc.

                                                            iii.      Indirect Effects – Drugs cause accidents like Car Crashes, violence, etc.

                                                            iv.      Marijuana

1.        Does not reduce ones Immune Response.

2.        Has little impact upon Male Fertility.

3.        Cannabis temporarily decreases Tester one Levels.

4.        Long Term Abuse does mildly affect memory/attention. But after 1 Month of Abstinence from Drug, subject returns to Normal memory/attention.

                                                             v.      Ecstasy

1.        Not Very Addictive.

2.        Associated with Heart Attack, Depression, and Sleep Disorders.

3.        Effects Memory/Learning.

4.        Not much known about it now.


Subject X2: 

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