Psychology: Consciousness & Memory Flashcards


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
Selectivity Transience


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
other nearby.


Its tendency to change
Focus of attention keep changing �Stream of
consciousness� (James description)

Selective Attention

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

Minimal Consciousness
Full Consciousness

Minimal Consciousness

Low level kind of sensory awareness and responsiveness

Full Consciousness

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
Zoning out


Consciousness in which the person�s attention is drawn to the self as
an object
Self-consciousness brings with it a tendency to evaluate yourself
and notice your shortcomings.
E.g., when individuals feel embarrassed

Mental Control

�the attempt to change conscious state of mind
�E.g., �What if a can�t get a decent job when I

Thought Suppression

�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

Dynamic unconscious

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

�Freudian� slips

Speech errors or lapses of consciousness

Cognitive unconscious

Mental processes that give rise to the person�s thoughts, emotions,
and behavior even though they are not experienced by the person

Subliminal perception

Thought or behavior are influenced by stimuli that a person cannot
consciously report perceiving

Subliminal Message

A stimulus that is presented below the threshold for awareness

Mere Exposure

liking for familiar things

The Sleep-Wake Cycle
Circadian Rhythm

A biological cycle that occurs approximately every twenty-four hours,
e.g., sleeping and waking.
�circa� � about �diem� � day

Measuring Sleep

Electrodes measure eye movements EMG
(electromyography) measures muscle tension EEG measures
brain waves A camera may also record body movements.

REM Sleep

�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.

Adaptive theory

theory of sleep proposing that animals and humans evolved sleep
patterns to avoid predators by sleeping when predators are most active

Restorative theory

theory of sleep proposing that sleep is necessary to the physical
health of the body and serves to replenish chemicals and repair
cellular damage

Dream Consciousness

�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

Lucid Dreaming

A semiconscious dream state when sleepers are aware that they are dreaming

Manifest Content

Conscious dream content that is remembered after awakening

Latent Content

The unconscious, censored meaning of a dream � usually sexual (a
dream�s true underlying meaning

Activation-Synthesis Theory

Dreams result from the brain�s attempt to make sense of random neural
signals that fire during sleep

Sleep Disorders