The person�s subjective experience of the world and mind
How things seem to the conscious person in their understanding of
mind and behavior.
Properties of Consciousness
Intentionality Unity of Consciousness
The quality of being directed toward an object
�How long can consciousness be directed toward an object?
�How many objects?
�Consciousness is limited
Unity of Consciousness
Its resistance to division This property is clear when
you try attend to more than one thing at a time
Its capacity to include some objects and not others
Dichotic listening studies Cocktail party
phenomenon People tune one message even while they filter out
Its tendency to change
Focus of attention keep changing �Stream of
consciousness� (James description)
the process of selecting what we become conscious of � a
gatekeeper ex. Cocktail Party
Cocktail Party Phenomenon
Ability to attend selectively to one person�s speech among competing conversations
Levels of Consciousness
Low level kind of sensory awareness and responsiveness
Consciousness on which you know and are able to report your mental state.
You are aware that you are having this experience.
It fluctuates over time, coming and going throughout the day
Consciousness in which the person�s attention is drawn to the self as
Self-consciousness brings with it a tendency to evaluate yourself
and notice your shortcomings.
E.g., when individuals feel embarrassed
�the attempt to change conscious state of mind
�E.g., �What if a can�t get a decent job when I
�the conscious avoidance of a thought
Rebound effect of thought suppression
�The tendency of a thought to return to consciousness with greater
frequency following suppression
An active system encompassing a lifetime of hidden memories, the
person�s deepest instincts and desires, and the person�s inner
struggle to control these forces
a mental process that removes unacceptable thoughts and memories from
consciousness and keeps them in the unconscious
Speech errors or lapses of consciousness
Mental processes that give rise to the person�s thoughts, emotions,
and behavior even though they are not experienced by the person
Thought or behavior are influenced by stimuli that a person cannot
consciously report perceiving
A stimulus that is presented below the threshold for awareness
liking for familiar things
The Sleep-Wake Cycle
A biological cycle that occurs approximately every twenty-four hours,
e.g., sleeping and waking.
�circa� � about �diem� � day
Electrodes measure eye movements EMG
(electromyography) measures muscle tension EEG measures
brain waves A camera may also record body movements.
�Characterized by rapid eye movements and a high level of brain activity
�People awakened during REM sleep tend to report dreams
��Lighter� than other stages
A Typical Night�s Sleep
Typically 4-5 episodes of REM (rapid eye movement) sleep per
night occur. Later episodes are longer and farther
apart. Most �deep sleep� (stages 3 & 4)
occurs early in the night.
theory of sleep proposing that animals and humans evolved sleep
patterns to avoid predators by sleeping when predators are most active
theory of sleep proposing that sleep is necessary to the physical
health of the body and serves to replenish chemicals and repair
�Dreams depart dramatically from reality
�The quality of consciousness in dreaming is also altered
significantly from waking consciousness
Dream Consciousness Characteristics
1) We intensely feel emotion
2) Dream thought is illogical: the continuities of time, place, and
person don�t apply.
3)Sensation is fully formed and meaningful
4)Dreaming occurs without uncritical acceptance, as though the
images and events were perfectly normal rather than bizarre.
We have difficulty remembering the dream after it is over
A semiconscious dream state when sleepers are aware that they are dreaming
Conscious dream content that is remembered after awakening
The unconscious, censored meaning of a dream � usually sexual (a
dream�s true underlying meaning
Dreams result from the brain�s attempt to make sense of random neural
signals that fire during sleep