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Flashcards in 5.2 altered states of consciousness Deck (36)
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female students dreams

tended to dream about failing
losing control and menacing animals
(negative things)


male students dreams

having supernatural powers
meeting aliens
(positive dreams)
less fear based than student females dreams


why do we dream?

sigmund freud (1st idea of dreams)
dreams as wish-fulfillment
(two main categories of goals we desire are sexuality and aggression)
we are not able to express these desires most of our lives, freud says dreaming allows us to let of steam which reality doesn't allow us to express


dreams as wish-fulfillment

if true the content of our dreams provide us with insight with what we want deep down inside of our conscious minds
(two main categories of goals we desire are sexuality and aggression-according to freud)
manifest content
latent content
dream work


manifest content

the actual images and experiences we have while dreaming
(that we would like to happen)
manifest content matches the wish you would enjoy fulfilling


latent content

the true meaning of our dreams - our deep unconscious desires - lying at the root of the symbols that form the manifest content of our dreams


dream work

a psychoanalysis technique in which the client records their dreams and the analyst tries to interpret their true meaning


interpretation of dreams flowchart

one of the many criticisms is that freudian dream analysis is inherently gender biased and overly focused on childhood experiences
(appeals to common sense a lot-no scientific way to prove the content of the dream is what freud claims it means)
there could be more than one interpretation


psychoanalysis is now considered



the activation-synthesis hypothesis

(most excepted theory-dreaming serves no purpose at all)
while we sleep and particularly during the REM stage of sleep the pons in our brain stem sends random bursts of neural activity up to the rest of the brain this activity causes rapid eye movements and stimulates the visual auditory and other centres of the brain that we rely on to experience real world sensations, as a result the activity causes us to have detailed sensory experiences even without any actual sensory inputs. that is the activation part of the process, the synthesis part comes from higher parts of the brain, probably our frontal lobes,organizing the sensory experiences activated by the pons into a coherent story, which can be difficult given the randomness of the activity that the pons generates, sometimes the more sophisticated parts of our brains succeed in putting things together in a dream that isn't to absurd and has sort of a sensible structure, but other times the synthesis fails and results in dreams that are chaotic


the activation-synthesis hypothesis
support for the theory comes from evidence that:

1. the pons produces bursts of activity that result in the characteristic features of REM sleep
2. the pons connects with precisely the brain areas that provide us with visual, auditory and tactile sensations
3. the majority of dreams occur during the REM stage of sleep, which is also when the pons is most active


problem solving theory of dreaming

perhaps dreams provide a way to work through life problems?
(however there is no definitive explanation for what dreaming is for


disorders of consciousness

brain death
persistent vegetative state
minimally conscious state
locked in state


brain death

a condition in which no part of the brain is functional, but life support machines may keep vital organs going (eg. heart and lungs)



the brain still functions somewhat, but the person still remains unconscious and unaware of their surroundings


persistent vegetative state

the persons conscious awareness ranges from none to minimal, but they remain almost completely unaware of themselves or their surroundings
(usually involves functional brain stain, but major damage to higher brain areas)
a person who has remained in a persistent vegetative state for more than 3 months are in a permanent vegetative state. any recovery of brain function is exceedingly rare after this amount of time


minimally-conscious state (MCS)

patients occasionally exhibit actions that suggest some minimal awareness
(may sometimes be able to answer yes/no questions, perform actions on request, or express emotional reactions)


locked-in state

the person is very aware of their surroundings, yet are unable to do anything that would make them appear conscious to others
seems to arise from damage to the pons



a set of procedures causes people to transition into a state of high suggestibility
hypnosis occurs because of a context that a hypnosis creates
(It is not magic of special powers)
the hypnotist simply creates a situation that encourages a person to alter their state of consciousness and give their free will and their perceptions of the world over to suggestions made by the hypnotist
some people are easier to hypnotize than others


types of hypnotic suggestions

ideomotor suggestions
challenge suggestions
cognitive perceptual suggestions


ideomotor suggestions

suggestions about physical actions


challenge suggestions

suggestions about actions that cannot be performed
(ex. cannot lower their arms or say their names)


cognitive perceptual-suggestions

suggestions to forget of remember something or suggestions that alter their perceptions of reality
(hypnotherapy programs to help people stop smoking seek to convince people that they dont like or crave smoking)


two processing systems

1. unconscious processing system
2. executive processing system


unconscious processing system

or hidden observer
contains our unconscious thoughts and guides our behaviours without the involvement of our conscious mind


executive processing system

the part of our conscious mind that maintains our awareness of events, reflects critically about the current situation, and plans and initiates our actions


dissociation theory of hypnosis

hypnosis severs the link b/w the hidden observer that reside in the unconscious processing system and replaces it with the suggestions of the hypnotist


social cognitive theory of hypnosis

the hypnotist creates expectations that the executive processing system of the hypnotized person incorporates into the conscious experience of events and into the planning and initiation of behaviours
evidence: response expectancy
the hypnotized subjects expectation that the hypnosis will be effective. this is one of the main factors that determine whether a person can be successfully hypnotized


positive uses of hypnotherapy:

in combination with other treatments, hypnosis can be effective for treating:
eating disorders
acute pain


a problem with hypnotherapy

hypnosis is a poor method of retrieving details about past life experiences
heightened suggestibility makes it quite likely that the hypnotized person will create detailed memories for events that never actually happened to them
the case of nadean cool-nadean went to therapy to seek help, the hypnotist used hypnosis to dig out old memories and she started telling stories of eating babies, being in the satanic cult. he planted false memories in her
people end up in prison for memories that never actually happened

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