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a person's subjective experience of the world and the mind

Cartesian theater

a mental screen or stage on which things appear to be presented for viewing by your mind's eye


how things seem to the conscious person

problem of other minds

the fundamental difficulty we have in perceiving the consciousness of others

mind/body problem

the issue of how the mind is related to the brain and body

the timing of conscious will

experiments suggest that brain wave activity precedes willed movement but that the reported time of consciously willing movement follows the brain activity

four basic properties of consciousness

intentionality, unity, selectivity, and transience of consciousness

dichotic listening

people wearing headphones are presented with different messages in each ear; when you focus on one set of words, you often don't realize changes in the second set of words

cocktail party phenomenon

people tune in one message even while they filter out others nearby; more inclined to select information with special interest to you

unity of consciousness

the consciousness' resistance to division

intentionality of consciousness

quality of the consciousness being directed toward an object

selectivity of consciousness

capacity to include some objects and not others

transience of consciousness

consciousness' tendency to change

minimal consciousness

consciousness that occurs when the mind inputs sensations and may output behavior

full consciousness

know and are able to report your mental state


the person's attention is drawn to the self as an object

mental control

attempt to change conscious state of mind

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

ironic processes of mental control

ironic errors occur because the mental process that monitors errors can itself produce them (e.g. in the attempt not to think of a white bear, the mind is searching for a white bear)

Frued's 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 (e.g. sleeping with a parent)

Frued's repression

a mental process that removes unacceptable thoughts and memories from the consciousness and keeps them in the unconsciousness

cognitive unconscious

the mental processes that are not experienced by the person but that give rise to the person's thoughts, choices, emotions, and behavior

subliminal perception

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

altered state of consciousness

a form of experience that departs significantly from the normal subjective experience of the world and the mind

circadian rhythm

a naturally occurring 24 hour cycle

REM sleep

a stage of sleep characterized by rapid eye movements and a high level of brain activity

electooculograph (EOG)

a device to measure eye movements


difficulty in falling asleep or staying asleep

sleep apnea

a disorder in which the person stops breathing for brief periods while asleep

somnambulism (sleepwalking)

a person arises and walks around while asleep (usually during slow-wave sleep)


a disorder in which sudden sleep attacks occur in the middle of waking activities

sleep paralysis

experience of waking up unable to move (sometimes associated with narcolepsy)

night terrors

abrupt awakenings with panic and intense emotional arousal (usually in boys aged 3-7)

activation-synthesis model

dreams are produced when the mind attempts to make sense of random neural activity that occurs in the brain during sleep

psychoactive drugs

chemicals that influence the consciousness or behavior by altering the brain's chemical message system

drug tolerance

the tendency for larger drug doses to be required over time to achieve the same effect


substances that reduce the activity of the central nervous system (e.g. alcohol, toxic inhalants); sedative or calming effect that produces sleep in high doses and can kill you in extremely high doses

expectancy theory

alcohol effects are produced by people's expectations of how alcohol will influence them in particular situations

balanced placebo design

behavior is observed following the presence or absence of an actual stimulus and also following the presence or absence of a placebo stimulus

alcohol myopia

alcohol hampers attention, leading people to respond in simple ways to complex situations


substances that excite the central nervous system, heightening arousal and activity levels (e.g. amphetamines, ecstasy, cocaine); causes insomnia, aggression, and paranoia

narcotics or opiates

drugs derived from opium that are capable or relieving pain (e.g. opium, heroine, morphine, methadone, codeine); very addictive for a very long time

endorphines or endogenous opiates

neurotransmitters that are closely related to opiates; naturally reduce pain; when people use narcotics, brain's endorphin receptors are artificially flooded


drugs that alter sensation and perception, often causing hallucinations (e.g. LDS, PCP, and ketamine); dramatic and unpredictable changes, but unlikely to be addictive


the leaves and buds of the hemp plant that contain THC; mildly hallucinogenic, affects short-term memory and motor skills and coordination; low addiction potential, no tolerance, maybe psychological dependence


an altered state of consciousness characterized by suggestibility and the feeling that one's actions are occurring involuntarily

hypnotic analgesia

the reduction of pain through hypnosis in people who are hypnotically susceptible

posthypnotic amnesia

the failure to retrieve memories following hypnotic suggestions to forget


the practice of intentional contemplation

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