States of Consciousness

Alyssa, Krista, Kelly

consciousness:our awareness of ourselves and our environment

Sleep and Dreams


circadian rhythm: the biological clock; regular bodily rhythms

REM sleep: rapid eye movement sleep; a recurring sleep stage during which vivid dreams commonly occur

NREM sleep: non–rapid eye movement sleep; encompasses all sleep stages except for  REM sleep

sleep theories:

  1. Sleep protects.
  2. Sleep helps us recuperate.
  3. Sleep is for making memories.
  4. Sleep feeds creative thinking.
  5. Sleep may play a role in the growth process.

sleep disorders:

  • insomnia
  • narcolepsy
  • sleep apnea
  • night terrors

manifest content: according to Freud, he remembered story line of a dream

latent content: according to Freud, the underlying meaning of a dream


  • Nathaniel Kleitman's purpose was to discover sleep cycles in adults through electrodes attached to his volunteers
  • William Dement discovered the moment the brain's window to the outside world "shut off" by having the volunteer hit a button whenever a strobe light was flashed into his eyes, he eventually began to miss the flashes


  • a social interaction in which one person suggests to another that certain perceptions, feelings, thoughts, or behaviors will spontaneously occur
  • posthypnotic suggestion: a suggestion, made during a hypnosis session, to be carried out after the subject is no longer hypnotized
  • dissociation: a split in consciousness, which allows some thoughts and behaviors to occur simultaneoulsy


-Can anyone be hypnotized?     Depends on the subject's willingness.

-Can hypnosis enhance recall or forgotten events?     No.

-Can hypnosis force people to act against their will?     No.

-Can hypnosis be therapeutic?     Yes.

-Can hypnosis alleviate pain?     Yes.

Drugs and Consciousness


  • Myth 1. Addictive drugs quickly corrupt; for example, morphine taken to control pain is powerfully addictive and often leads to heroin abuse.
  • Myth 2. Addictions cannot be overcome voluntarily; therapy is required.
  • Myth 3. We can extend the concept of addiction to cover not just drug dependencies, but a whole spectrum of repetitive, pleasure-seeking behaviors.


  • David Abrams and Terence Wilson demonstrated that people when they believe they have been drinking alcohol will act accordingly, even if they never drank any at all
  • Men participated in an "alcohol and sexual stimulation" study where half were told they were drinking alcohol and the other half were not

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