Chapter 5: States of Consciousness

VOCABULARY

1. Consciousness: an organism’s awareness of its own self and surroundings

2. Alternate States of consciousness: mental states, other than ordinary waking consciousness, found during sleep, dreaming, psychoactive drug use, hypnosis, and so on

3. Unconsciousness: Freud’s term for thoughts, motives, and memories blocked from normal awareness; Freudian slips, repressed memories, dreams that are too harmful to psyche

4. Preconsciousness: Freud’s term for thoughts, motives, or memories that can voluntarily be brought to mind; available memories

5. Subconsciousness: ignore, select, and reject incoming stimuli; ex. Notice music in the next room and then it fades but can notice if it gets louder

6. Controlled processes: mental activities requiring focused attention that generally interfere with other ongoing activities

7. Automatic processes: mental activities requiring minimal attention and having little impact on other activities

8. Circadian Rhythm: biological changes that occur on a 24-hour cycle; determine alertness, body temperature, hormones; controlled by the suprachiasmatic nucleus in hypothalamus and pineal gland (hormone melatonin) in endocrine system

9. Jet Lag: decreases in alertness, mental agility, and efficiency; exacerbation of disorders; worse when we fly eastward because it is easier to go to bed later than earlier

10. Microsleep: occurs when people have not slept in about 72 hours; people slip unwillingly into brief repeated periods of this microsleep that lasts a few seconds at a time

11. EEG: Electroencephalograph; measures brain waves

12. EOG: electrooculograph; measures eye movements

13. EMG: electromyography; measures muscular activity

14. Hypnogogic state: characterized by feelings of floating, weightlessness, visual images (such as flashing lights or colors), or swift, jerky movements and a corresponding feeling of slipping or falling; explain alien abduction, remembered in the morning, fragmented into dreams; “pre-sleep” period

15. Stage 1: breathing becomes more regular, heart rate slows, blood pressure decreases but can still be readily awakened

16. Stage 2: noted on EEG by occasional short bursts of rapid, high-amplitude brain waves known as sleep spindles; become more relaxed and less responsive to the external environment

17. Stage 3: marked by the appearance of slow, high-amplitude delta waves (20-50%); very hard to be awoken; transitional stage

18. Stage 4: marked by the appearance of slow, high-amplitude delta waves (>50%); about 30 minutes long; children wet bed and sleepwalking occurs; still attend to external stimuli

19. REM: rapid-eye movement; a stage of sleep marked by rapid eye movements, high-frequency brain waves, paralysis of large muscles, and dreaming; also called paradoxical sleep because the body is completely paralyzed and inactive yet the brain is the most active during this stage of sleep

20. Beta Waves: when you are awake and alert; low voltage, random, fast

21. Alpha Waves: when you are awake and drowsy/relaxed 8-12 cps

22. Theta Waves: Stage 1 sleep; 3-7 cps

23. Sleep spindles: rapid and high amplitude brain waves; occurs during stage 2 of sleep

24. Delta Waves: Stages 3-4 sleep; .5-2 cps

25. Repair/Restoration Theory: Sleep serves a recuperative function, allowing organisms to repair or replenish key factors

26. Evolutionary/Circadian Theory: As a part of circadian rhythms, sleep evolved to conserve energy and as protection from predators

27. Freud’s Wish Fulfillment Theory: the main purpose of dreams is wish fulfillment and the dreams allow the person to express their innermost desires because it is safe in the dream; the desires are expressed through symbols (manifest content) than actually mean something in reality (latent content)

28. Manifest Content: according to Freud, the surface content of a dream, which contains dream symbols that distort and disguise the dream’s true meaning

29. Latent Content: the true, unconscious meaning of a dream, according to Freudian dream theory

30. Activation-synthesis hypothesis: Hobson’s theory that dreams are by-products of random stimulation of brain cells; the brain attempts to combine (or synthesize) this spontaneous activity into coherent patterns, known as dreams (the biological view)

31. Cognitive Perspective on dreams: dreams are an extension of everyday life—a form of thinking during sleep; dreams are a type of information processing and help us sift and sort our everyday experiences and thoughts; mental housecleaning

32. Sleep apnea: repeated interruption of breathing during sleep because air passages to the lungs are physically blocked or the brain stops activating the diaphragm

33. Insomnia: persistent problems in falling asleep, staying asleep, or awakening too early

34. Narcolepsy: sudden and irresistible onsets of sleep during normal waking hours

35. Nightmares: anxiety-arousing dreams generally occurring near the end of the sleep cycle, during REM sleep

36. Night Terrors: abrupt awakenings from NREM sleep accompanied by intense physiological arousal and feelings of panic

37. Parasomnias: category of sleep disorders including abnormal sleep disturbances, such as nightmares and night terrors

38. Dyssomnias: category of sleep disorders including problems with the amount, timing, and quality of sleep

39. Psychoactive Drugs: chemicals that change conscious awareness, mood, or perception

40. Drug abuse: drug taking that causes emotional or physical harm to the drug user or others; the drug consumption is compulsive, frequent, and intense

41. Addiction: broad term describing a compulsion to use a specific drug or engage in a certain activity

42. Psychological dependence: desire or craving to achieve the effects produced by a drug

43. Physical Dependence: bodily processes have been so modified by repeated use of a drug that continued use is required to prevent withdrawal symptoms

44. Withdrawal: discomfort and distress, including physical pain and intense cravings, experienced after stopping the use of addictive drugs

45. Tolerance: decreased sensitivity to a drug brought about by its continuous use

46. Cross-tolerance: when the use of one drug increases tolerance for another

47. Depressants: psychoactive drugs that act on the central nervous system to suppress or slow bodily processes and reduce overall responsiveness; desired effects: tension reduction, euphoria, disinhibition, drowsiness, muscle relaxation; ex. Alcohol, barbiturates, antianxiety drugs (valium) rohypnol (roofies), ketamine (special K), CoHB

48. Stimulants: drugs that act on the brain and nervous system to increase their overall activity and general responsiveness; ex. Cocaine, amphetamine, methamphetamine, MDMA,/ caffeine, /nicotine; desired effects: exhilaration, euphoria, high physical and mental energy, reduced appetite, perception of power, sociability/ increased alertness/ relaxation, increased alertness, sociability

49. Opiates (Narcotics): drugs derived from opium that function as an analgesic or pain reliever; ex. Morphine, heroin, codeine; desired effects: euphoria, rush of pleasure, pain relief, prevention of withdrawal discomfort

50. Hallucinogens: drugs that produce sensory or perceptual distortions called hallucinations; ex. LSD/marijuana; desired effects: heightened aesthetic responses, euphoria, mild delusions, hallucinations, distorted perceptions and sensations/ relaxation, mild euphoria, increased appetite

51. Antagonist: drugs that are similar enough to occupy the same sites as neurotransmitters but dissimilar enough that they do not cause a response in the receiving neuron; prevent the real neurotransmitter from getting its message through; during reception

52. Agonists: drugs that have a molecular structure similar to the body of the neurotransmitter and produces similar effects; during reception

53. Hypnosis: a trancelike state of heightened suggestibility, deep relaxation, and intense focus

54. Role Theory: theory of hypnosis; states that hypnosis is not an alternate state of consciousness but the person is only acting the role of a hypnotized person; they follow suggestions because it is what is expected

55. Dissociation Theory: another theory of hypnosis by Hilgard; states that hypnosis causes us to divide our conscious voluntarily; one part responds to suggestions of the hypnotist and the other part retains awareness of reality; can’t do something you wouldn’t do in real life

56. Meditation: a group of techniques designed to refocus attention, block out all distractions, and produce an alternate state of consciousness

57. Bio-feedback: A training program designed to develop one’s ability to control the autonomic (involuntary) nervous system. After learning the technique, the patient may be able to control heart rate, blood pressure, and skin temperature or to relax certain muscles.

OUTLINE

· UNDERSTANDING CONSCIOUSNESS

o How Do We Define It? The Participant as the Inquirer

§ consciousness is being aware of ourselves and of our surroundings

§ further studies and advanced technology like the EEG, PET, and fMRI have contributed to studies on consciousness and more contributions to psychology

§ These machines study the brain activity called alternate states of consciousness (ASCs) – mental states, other than ordinary waking consciousness, found during sleep, dreaming, psychoactive drug use, hypnosis, etc

§ Conscious/Unconscious Continuum

· Subconscious

o Ignore, select, and reject incoming stimuli

· Preconscious

o Available memories

· Unconscious

o Repressed memories and dreams

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o How Do We Describe It? Flowing Stream with Varying Depths

  • William James, the first American psychologist, said that the consciousness constantly changes and that we use a process called selective attention to control what our conscious is giving it’s full attention to and what it’s not

  • The stream of consciousness exists along a continuum from high awareness to middle levels, to being completely unconscious

  • Controlled Versus Automatic Processes

· the consciousness works in controlled and automatic processes

· controlled processes – focused attention; interferes with ongoing activities

· TIP:(like the focus needed to take a test since you would rather be doing something else)

· automatic processes – minimal attention; little impact on other activites

· TIP: (like driving a car… or an AUTOmobile)

  • 3 levels of awareness –

· High – involves controlled processes

· Middle – involves automatic processes and daydreaming

· Minimal or no awareness – involves being unconscious (sleeping)

· Sleep and Dreams

o The Power of Circadian Rhythms: Sleep and the 24-hour Cycle

  • Human sleep pattern is based off of our circadian rhythms which spans over 24 hours each day because of rotation around the sun

CONTROLLED BY:

  • the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) in the hypothalamus

  • pineal gland (endocrine system) - the hormone melatonin acts like a light sensor. lets you know what time of day it is

o Disrupted Circadian Rhythms

  • shift workers: more accidents, lack of concentration and productivity

  • melatonin is used to treat “jet lag”

  • studies show that sleep deprivation can decrease concentration and productivity

  • flying across several time zones can greatly affect one’s circadian cycle which is what “jet lag” is

o Sleep Deprivation

  • Periods of “micro sleep” occur after a human being goes about 72 hours without sleep

  • Sleep deprivation is the cause of bad moods, decreased self-esteem, reduced concentration and motivation, reduced motor skills, and increased signs of stress

o Stages of Sleep: How Scientists Study Sleep

  • There are 4 to 5 cycles that can occur during sleep and each had its own rhythm and changes in brain activity

  • Scientist are able to use a tool called the electroencephalograph (EEG) to record a person’s brain waves

  • The EEG works by using small dislike electrodes on the scalps that can pick up electrical changes in the nerve cells of the cerebral cortex

  • Cycling Through the Stages of Sleep

· Scientists have discovered the stages of sleep through devices like the EEG, the EMG, and the EOG

· The EMG (electromyography) measures muscular activity

o TIP: eMg—measures Muscle activity

· The EOG (electrooculography) measures eye movement

o TIP: eOg—measures your eye (Optics)

  • Early Stages of Sleep · Beta waves show that you are in a normal wakefulness state

· Alpha waves shows that you are in a drowsy state of relaxation, characterized by feelings of floating, visual images, or feelings of falling which is called the hypnogogic state

· Stage 1breathing becomes regular, heart rate slows, blood pressure decreases. Can still be awoken easily; theta waves. lasts about 2 minutes.

· Stage 2 start going into sleep spindles, “occasional short bursts of rapid, high amplitude brain waves”. Become more relaxed and less responsive to the external environment

· Stage 3 high-amplitude delta waves. Very hard to be awaken

· Stage 4 delta waves. Children wet their bed for sleep walk

- people usually go through 4 to 5 cycles of light to deep sleep, each lasting about 90 minutes long

· TIP: In remembering the order of the type of waves from wakefulness to state 4 of sleep remember… Boys (Beta) Are (Aplha) The (Theta) Dumbest (Delta).

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  • REM Sleep

· There is a point in your sleep where you almost get to stage 1 but not quite, and brain waves are of small-amplitude and fast-wave activity as if your awake

· During this point the body is also showing signs of arousal

· Some say this is actually the deepest stage of sleep but also the lightest in some ways giving REM sleep the name of “paradoxical sleep”

· REM (rapid eye movement) sleep–“ a stage of sleep marked by rapid eye movements, high-frequency brain waves, paralysis of large muscles, and dreaming”

· NREM (non-rapid –eye-movement) – stages one through four

· REM sleep is important but NREM is even more important and the bodies works to satisfy it first

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  • Two Major Theories of Sleep

    • Repair/restoration theory- allowing sleep to act as a replenishing and recuperative function, meanwhile allowing outside factors and or organisms to patch up or repair major factors.

      • TIP: Our bodies always feel better after we have had a nice long sleep.

    • Evolutionary/circadian theory- sleep came about to save energy and also to serve as a safekeeping from outside predators

      • animals and humans need to save up there energy when they were not serving as predators

      • also helps explain variations in sleep patterns

      • TIP: If we lived in Africa, we would get eaten by the wild animals because we could not see them in the dark, so we sleep as protection.

    • Both theories have pros and cons; conserving energy is vital in this dangerous environment

  • Three Major Theories of Dreams

    • Freud’s Psychodynamic view (wish fulfillment theory)-specific desires that lay in the unconscious come about to the conscious state while dreaming.

      • Main purpose of dreams may be wish fulfillment.

      • Manifest content- surface content of a dream which holds that certain dream signs or symbols may contort the dreams actual meaning. Also known as the story line

      • TIP: think of “Manifest Destiny” achieving something so perfect and out there it can distort what we are actually doing

      • Latent content- the actual, real and true unconscious interpretation or meaning of a dream, stated by the Freudian dream theory.

      • Freud’s ideas are backed up with little or no support

      • Highly subjective

    • Biological View

      • Activation-synthesis hypothesis- dreams are products of unplanned stimulation of particular brain cells whereby the brain undertakes activity to make reasoned patterns. (Hobson Theory)

      • Amygdala is a particular brain region connected to powerful emotions, for example fear.

        • TIP: think of a girl named Amy being really emotional

      • However, dreams are specific to the individual (i.e. motivations, memories, personality and life experiences)

    • Cognitive View

      • Dreams are a growth continuation of normal every day life.

      • Can be known as another example of information processing.

      • dreams in the cognitive view can be seen as mental housecleaning

      • REM sleep deepens after periods of high stress. For example, “examination-anxiety dreams” are often experienced by college students

  • Dream Variations and Similarities

    • Men and women tend to dream about different things due to their gender.

    • women often dream about children and families, houses, and household objects.

    • men often dream of violence, weapons, sex and personal achievement.

    • a common similarity about dreams that can be found through all cultures- basic and standard needs such as sex aggression and death

    • Dreams across the globe tend to have an unhappy ending rather than a pleasant one, many dreamers dream of being the personal victim.

  • Sleep Disorders

    • Separated into 2 major categories: dyssomnias (problems in amount and quality of sleep) and parasomnias (unusual disturbances while sleeping).

    • Dyssomnias

      • Insomnia- having little or no sleep. People that have insomnia have difficulty and trouble falling asleep, or perhaps may wake up too soon or too early.

        • Often people with insomnia may also experience other psychological and medical disorders.

        • Most used method to treat insomnia is drugs such as tranquilizers and barbiturates

        • Sleeping pills can be helpful for short-term sleep, but in the long run, the user may end up with more problems than they started with.

      • Sleep Apnea

        • Literally not being able to breathe.

        • People that have sleep apnea may not be able to breathe for a minute or longer during sleep. They wake up gasping for air.

        • Most times, people with sleep apnea snore

        • Effects of sleep apnea-the person may have trouble staying awake during the day and appear to be tired and sleepy.

        • Where does sleep apnea originate? The answer is simple: blocked airway passages or due to the brain not being able to send signals to the diaphragm which will ultimately cause the breathing to stop.

        • Another downside of sleep apnea: kills neurons in the brain which are important and vital for memory

        • How to solve sleep apnea: dieting, surgery, dental procedures or breathing machines

      • Narcolepsy

        • Sudden outbursts of sleeping when awake during the day.

        • REM sleep will kick in when person with narcolepsy is in state of consciousness.

        • Weakening of muscles

        • How to reduce narcolepsy attacks: daily naps, antidepressant drugs.

        • Research has been conduction on specially bred dogs with narcolepsy. The causes and cures are still yet to be found.

    • Parasomnias

TIP: think of Paranormal Activity and what a NIGHTMARE that would be

      • unusual sleep disturbances, for example nightmares and night terrors.

      • Nightmares- bad dreams that arise during REM sleep

      • Night terrors- less common than nightmares but more scary and horrifying. Occur during Stage 3 or 4 of NREM sleep.

      • Examples of night terrors: panicking, hallucinations, screaming.

      • Sleepwalking- literally walking in sleep also arises during NREM sleep.

      • Sleeptalking-equal amount or probability in REM and NREM sleep. Includes long sentences, or unrecognizable or hazy words

      • Sleeptalking, sleepwalking, night terrors and nightmare are mostly found in young children, but can also arise in adults.

  • How to prevent Sleep Problems

    • Exercise- physical activity can ease away the tensions that can often lead to sleeping problems

    • Avoiding stimulants- i.e. caffeine, chocolate, or nicotine

    • Avoiding later meals and constant drinking

    • DON’T WORRY! Be stress free!

    • Rituals before sleep-same routine every night before you go to bed

    • Muscle relaxation

    • Yoga positions

    • Deep breathing

    • Relaxing, warm bath

· Psychoactive Drugs: Misconceptions and Confusing Terminology

o The terms “drug abuse” and “addiction” are commonly misused

  • Drug abuse: drugs that cause damage (whether emotional or physical) to the individual using them or to others

  • Addiction: a condition where a person is compelled to use a drug in order to function “normally”

o Psychological dependence and physical dependence have replaced these terms because of the common misuse of the words

Psychological dependency: the mental craving for the effects produced by a drug

· TIP: mentally married to marijuana.

· Can sometimes be more dangerous than physical dependence

o The user may ingest the drug so frequently that they are rarely not in a drug induced state

  • Physical dependence: when a person physically changes to where drugs are necessary in order to function properly

· TIP: I can’t think straight or do my homework before I have my coffee due to the caffeine. Caffeine is like a chair, you depend upon that physical support.

· Withdrawal, when a drug is withheld from someone with a physical dependency, can cause severe cravings and even pain

  • After a prolonged use of a specific drug, more of a drug may be needed in order to produce the same effect that was once received with a smaller dosage. This is called tolerance.

· Cross tolerance occurs when the use of one drug increases the tolerance of another drug

· Four Major Categories of Psychoactive Drugs: Depressants, Stimulants, Opiates, and Hallucinogens

TIP: mnemonic Device: Deprived Stanley Operates Hungover

o Depressants

- Depress the central nervous system and results in:

· Relaxation

· Sedation

· Loss of consciousness

· (sometimes) death

- is the most used and abused type of drug

- voluntary action can be impaired if the drug is over-used

- men’s bodies break down alcohol quicker and more efficiently than women’s bodies

- barbiturate-and-alcohol mixture: extremely dangerous because it causes the diaphragm to relax to a point where it stops functioning all together. The person actually suffocates because of this

o Stimulants

§ Increase activity in the central nervous system and therefore for create a “high”

§ Stimulants produce:

· Alertness

· Excitement

· Elevated mood

· Decreased fatigue

· (sometimes) increased motor activity

- Nicotine:

· A legal stimulant that is widely used

· Cigarette smoking is considered the number one single most preventable cause of death

- Cocaine:

· A very powerful stimulant

· Extracted from the leaves of the coca plant

· Can cause severe physical damage as well as psychological dependence

· Interferes with the electrical system of the heart

· Smokeable cocaine is the most attainable and the cheapest

· Cocaine is so dangerous because its extreme potency makes it much more addictive

o Opiates (Narcotics)

- Numbs the senses and are used medically to reduce pain

- Derived from the opium poppy (plant)

- Create feelings of euphoria and relax the user

- It copies the body’s natural endorphins, creating a dangerous pathway to drug abuse

· The brain will resort to discontinuing the production of its own opiates if artificial ones are introduced into the body

· Withdrawal is extremely painful once this happens

- When used medically, addictions are rarely formed but when used for recreation, there is a high chance of addiction

o Hallucinogens

- TIP: Luci loves to smoke marijuana, a hallucinogen with her friend Mari.

- Change a person’s view of their consciousness

- Produce sensory or perceptual distortions

- Have been used in the past for religions

· To experience “other realities”

- Experiences can be good but “bad trips” can also occur when the user has a bad experience on the drug

- Include mescaline, psilocybin, phencyclidine, and LSD

- LSD

· Dramatically alters sensation and perception

· LSD experiences are very extreme and powerful and therefore users don’t find it necessary to use it on a regular basis

· “bad trips” on LSD can be extremely frightening

· TIP: Like Sudden Death

  • Marijuana

· Is commonly classified as a Hallucinogen BUT also has some characteristics of a Depressant

· Produces mild euphoria

· One of the most popular of illegal drugs

· THC (tetrahydracannabinol) is the active ingredient in marijuana

· Attaches to the receptors throughout the brain

o There are already receptors in the brain which means that the brain produces some sort of THC on its own

- There is no full understanding of this

· Is highly debated and many doctors argue that it can be beneficial in that it is therapeutic

· Some users report impaired memory, attention, and learning

· Marijuana’s effects on the brain are somewhat similar to those produced by drugs like heroin, cocaine, alcohol, and nicotine on the brain

· Is not as habit-forming as other drugs that are abused

o Club Drugs

- MDMA (ecstasy) causes increased blood temperature and blood pressure and can lead to seizures and heart attacks

- Chronic use can affect the neurons that release serotonin

- Purchasing these drugs can be extremely dangerous because there can be no buyer protection (the buyer cannot know exactly what they are buying)

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· Explaining Drug Use: Psychoactive Drugs and ASCs

o How Drugs Work

- Psychoactive Drugs affect the nervous system in different ways depending on the drug.

- Most drug action occurs in one of the four steps of neural transmission.

· Step 1: Production or synthesis

o Psychoactive and therapeutic drugs can alter the production or synthesis of neurotransmitters.

· Step 2: Storage and Release

o The drugs can change the amount of neurotransmitter stored or released by a neuron.

· Step 3: Reception

o Drugs can change the effect of the neurotransmitters on the receiving site of the receptor neuron.

- Agonists: mimic neurotransmitters

- Antagonists: block the real neurotransmitter

TIP: In novels, the antagonist is the enemy who BLOCKS the hero of the story with obstacles.

· Step 4: Deactivation

o After the neurotransmitter’s message is carried across the synapse, the neuron will deactivate the leftover neurotransmitter in 2 ways: reabsorption or enzymatic breakdown.

o Drugs may prohibit the leftover neurotransmitter to be deactivated so the receiving neurons will continue to respond.

· TIP: this may be gross but to help remember the steps in neural transmission, think of a baby and the birth of a baby. Step 1: The baby is produced in the mother’s womb. Step 2: The baby is released out of the mother’s body. Step 3: The doctor or mother receives the baby in his or her arms. Step 4: The umbilical cord is “deactivated.”

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· Research Highlight: Addictive Drugs as the Brain’s “Evil Tutor”

o People may continue to take harmful drugs because the brain learns to be addicted.

o The addictive drugs manipulate the brain to want more of the drugs.

o Both dopamine and glutamate are neurotransmitters that may be involved in this.

- Dopamine is known to have an effect on the brain’s reward system.

- Glutamate “tells” the brain to want more of the harmful drugs.

· Glutamate’s message causes addiction and this message is not easily forgotten.

o The addicted brain has cravings at the sight of drug-related items because glutamate is released. This explains drug relapse.

· Healthier Ways to Alter Consciousness

o Bio-feedback: a training program to develop the ability to control the autonomic nervous system; can learn to relax muscles, control body temperature and heart rate

o Getting “High” on Meditation: A Positive Route to Altered Consciousness?

- Meditation is used to refocus attention, eliminate distractions, and produce an alternate state of consciousness.

- Meditative techniques can include body movements or stances such as in t’ai chi and hatha yoga.

- In other meditations the body is motionless and breathing is observed.

- Meditation is said to lead to a higher and more enlightened form of consciousness and allows the person to have control over their bodies.

- Meditation can produce changes in brain waves, heart rate, oxygen consumption, and sweat gland activity

o The Mystery of Hypnosis: Recreational and Therapeutic Uses

- Hypnosis is a state of intense relaxation, increased suggestibility, and keen focus.

- 5 characteristics:

· Highly focused attention

· Increased imagination

· Receptive attitude

· Less responsiveness to pain

· Increased suggestibility

- Therapeutic Uses

· Hypnosis has been used and abused for years

· Franz Anton Mesmer used hypnosis by moving a magnet over the relaxed patient and told them that their problems would be gone

o Origin of the term “mesmerized”

· James Braid put his patients into this deep relaxed state before surgery and founded the term “hypnosis”

· Hypnosis is still used today in surgery and involving pain but the best use is with patients with anxiety, fear, and misinformation.

· Hypnosis has had most success in psychotherapy in treating weight loss, phobias, smoking, and study habits\

Athletes use self-hypnosis

5 Common Myths and Controversies

· 1. Forced Hypnosis

o People cannot be hypnotized against their will. The participant must be willing and even if they are willing they still may not be able to be hypnotized

· 2. Unethical behavior

o People will not go against their will or their strong beliefs while being hypnotized. Participants are aware of their surroundings and can say no to the hypnotist—dissociation theory

· 3. Exceptional memory

o Being hypnotized does not allow people to recall certain things they could not before being hypnotized. Relaxation may allow the participant to remember something. However, hypnosis can also create errors in memory because the participant cannot separate fact from fiction.

· 4. Superhuman strength

o Hypnotized people are not any stronger than non-hypnotized people.

· 5. Fakery

o Are participants just playing along and pretending to be hypnotized?

- They are not consciously faking but some results are from conformity, relaxation, suggestion, and role-playing.

o Are they actually in a special state of consciousness?

- Relaxation/role-playing theory

· Hypnosis is a normal mental state and the participants allow the hypnotist to direct their behavior and thoughts

- Altered State Theory

· Hypnosis results in a special state of consciousness

- Unified Theory

· Believes both of the above theories

§ TIP: You saw your boyfriend kissing another girl. He tries to explain and here are his excuses. He was sitting in the park and a hypnotist FORCED him and another girl to be hypnotized. The hypnotist told him to kiss the other girl and he went against his strong beliefs and kissed her because he was hypnotized. The girl suddenly remembered that she saw him when they were 2 years old and therefore are meant to be together. She was so strong from being hypnotized so he could not push her away from him. He is lying about all of this. Dump him.

*All pictures were obtained from:

Huffman, Karen. Psychology In Action. 8th ed. Danvers: John Wiley & Sons, 2007.



IMPORTANT PEOPLE

Rosalind D. Cartwright: Cartwright argued against Freud’s theory that the dreams are solely subconscious workings. He proposed the cognitive view, which is information processing or mental housecleaning. Cartwright noted that during times of crisis people who seemed to have more REM activity and dream more seemed to recover from their crisis much quicker than those who had little REM activity and did not dream as much. This theory insinuates that the activity occurring during REM sleep can include subconscious activity but also largely incorporates conscious thoughts as well.

William C. Dement: Known for his studies of sleep deprivation. He is the leading authority on the treatment of sleep disorders, like sleep apnea and narcolepsy. Dement and his colleagues at Stanford bred a colony of narcoleptic dogs, which has increased our understanding of the genetics of this disorder

Sigmund Freud: Psychoanalytic/Psychodynamic Theory of Dreams. Freud says that dreams act as an outlet to releasing our repressed and unacceptable desires in the unconscious. He says that dreams have a manifest content, meaning symbols that disguise the true meaning of the dream, and they also have latent content, meaning the true, unconscious meaning of the dream. There is little evidence to support this theory.

Hernest Hilgard: Famous for his research on hypnosis. Came up with the Dissociation Theory which states that hypnosis causes us to divide our consciousness voluntarily. One part responds to the suggestions of the hypnotist and the other part retains awareness of reality.

John Allan Hobson and Robert McCarley: were two Harvard University psychiatrists that proposed the biological theory on dreams and came up with and tested the activation-synthesis theory. This theory states that dreams are a result of brain activity that occurs during REM sleep. From their research they proposed that certain neurons in the brainstem fire spontaneously ONLY in this REM sleep stage. This theory states that dream interpretation is not random but rather it is dependent on personality, motivations, life experiences, and memories. Criticisms are: Hobson and McCarley do not have an absolute idea of whether or not dreams have any meaning to them.

John Watson: Formed a group called the behaviorists. Believed that behavior should be the focus of psychology instead of consciousness. His most famous study was the “Little Albert” study. He wanted to prove that fear, rage, and love can be artificially conditioned in children.

William James: one of the most famous early psychologists. He translated consciousness to a stream that’s constantly changing, yet always the same. Described consciousness as a “flowing stream.”

Franz Anton Mesmer: believed that all living things were consumed with magnetic energy. Claimed to use this knowledge to cure diseases. Term “mesmerized” is derived from him passing magnets over people’s bodies to make their problems go away. Mesmer’s theories were later discredited

Albert Hofman: Swiss chemist. He first synthesized lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) in a lab. Wrote over 100 scientific articles and numerous books about the drug. Called LSD “medicine for the soul.” Fun fact: died at the age of 102!

INTERESTING FACTS

1. In the United States, about 1 in every 2000 people have narcolepsy. However, in Japan about 1 in 600 people have narcolepsy and in Israel about 1 in every 500,000 people have the sleeping disorder (“Narcolepsy Fact Sheet”).

2. People who become blind after birth can see images in their dreams. (“Top 10 Amazing Facts About Dreams”).

3. Caffeine video.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o2R_1ZanJLk&feature=related

4. Sleep video.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9sy8xX4dy0Q

5. Complex behavior can result from sedative-hypnotic drugs, including severe allergic reactions, where the risks can be potentially dangerous because the reactions occur when the taker of the drug is asleep (“Sleep Drugs”).

Works Cited"Narcolepsy Fact Sheet." 30 March 2011. <http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/narcolepsy/detail_narcolepsy.htm>."Sleep Drugs." 30 March 2011. <http://www.fda.gov/ForConsumers/ConsumerUpdates/usm107757.htm>.

"Top 10 amazing Facts About Dreams." 30 March 2011. http://listverse.com/2007/11/14/top-10-amazing-facts-about-dreams/.