1. states of consciousness intro
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1. states of consciousness intro 1. states of consciousness intro Presentation Transcript

  • States of Consciousness
    • Consciousness refers to your individual awareness of your unique thoughts, memories, feelings, sensations and environment.
    • Your conscious experiences are constantly shifting and changing depending on your attention.
    • For example, in one moment you may be focused on reading this slide.
    • Your consciousness may then shift to the memory of a conversation you had earlier with a classmate.
    • Next, you might notice how uncomfortable your chair is or maybe you are mentally planning dinner.
    • This ever-shifting stream of thoughts can change dramatically from one moment to the next, but your experience of it seems smooth and effortless.
    • The conscious experience was one of the first topics studied by early psychologists.
    • Structuralists used a process known as introspection to analyse and report conscious sensations, thoughts, and experiences .
    • We will now complete ‘Try it Yourself’ 1.1 on exploring your own consciousness...
    • French philosopher René Descartes (1596–1650) (pronounced ‘Day-Cart’ ) and American psychologist William James (1842–1910) were two highly articulate and influential people who wrote about consciousness. Their work had a profound influence on psychology and is still discussed today.
  • Cogito Ergo Sum
    • Descartes equated the mind with consciousness. The mind creates our real experience of the world and it interacts with our body.
    • In order to study the mind, one’s thoughts and feelings (‘I think’) must be observed because they make us exist in our world (‘therefore I am’ ).
    • American psychologist William James compared consciousness to a stream; unbroken and continuous despite constant shifts and changes.
  • Key Terms and Ideas
    • For the exam, you must know definitions for the following key terms and concepts and be able to relate them to an example where appropriate.
    • consciousness
    • dualism
    • functionalism
    • hypothetical construct
    • materialistic monism
    • mind-body problem
    • monism
    • psychological construct
    • For the exam, you must know:
    • > the reason why consciousness is a psychological construct.
    • > examples of consciousness as a psychological constructs (namely the work of Descartes and James)
    • > the difference between monism (especially materialistic monism) and dualism
    • > the difference between structuralism and functionalism .
    • Define consciousness with reference to internal and external factors
    • In what ways is consciousness personal, subjective, continuous and changing?
    • How does Descarte describe consciousness? To what extent is his view different from contemporary psychological descriptions? Explain your answer.
    • How does James describe consciousness? To what extent is his view different from contemporary psychological descriptions? Explain your answer.
    • In what ways are Descarte and James’ views similar/different.