Consciousness in Psychology: 8 Theories & Examples (2022)

Consciousness in Psychology: 8 Theories & Examples (1)Consciousness is an enigma.

While vital to the human experience, it remains obscure and hidden – the ghost in the machine(Hofstadter & Dennett, 1982).

An epiphenomenon of the physical brain’s complexity beneath, consciousness appears to rise from the activity of billions of neurons, like bubbles bursting at the top of a glass of champagne.

Consciousness is a vast and complex subject that draws on the latest advances in multidisciplinary research. And while we cannot saw our heads open to comprehend consciousness, we will at least look into the fascinating areas of study that seek to uncover what has, so far, remained hidden. In this article, we will provide a taste of some of the concepts involved and more.

Before you continue, we thought you might like to download our three Positive CBT Exercises for free. These science-based exercises will provide you with detailed insight into Positive CBT and give you the tools to apply it in your therapy or coaching.

This Article Contains:

  • What Is Consciousness in Psychology?
  • Types and Levels of Consciousness
  • 3 Fascinating Theories
  • 5 Examples of Consciousness Research
  • How to Measure Consciousness
  • 5 Books on the Topic
  • A Note on the Meaning of Unconsciousness
  • PositivePsychology.com’s Related Resources
  • A Take-Home Message
  • References

What Is Consciousness in Psychology?

In The Feeling of Life Itself, Christof Koch (2020), chief scientist of the Allen Institute for Brain Science in Seattle, writes, “consciousness is any experience, from the most mundane to the most exalted.”

But more than that, Koch continues, “it is the feeling of life itself,” and without it, “I would be a zombie, a nothing to myself.”

But – and here’s the rub – we don’t reallyknow what it is.

Consciousness is not found lying in physics equations or peering at us from the periodic table. Somehow, it materializes out of the nervous system and endows us with the ability to be aware, have self-knowledge, and hold a set of emotions and beliefs about both the environment and ourselves (Koch, 2020).

Yet, science has firmly discounted the idea that there is something otherworldly about the mind.

Advances in brain-scanning techniques have rejected philosopher René Descartes’s suggestion in 1641 that we might be living in the dream of a malicious demon or that our mind is somehow separate from our body. And the possibility of the existence of homunculi – little people working in the brain that jointly compose the mind, like in Pixar’s movie Inside Out –is beyond implausible (Hofstadter & Dennett, 1982; Jasanoff, 2018).

According to philosopher John Searle in his 2013 TEDx Talk, consciousness is a biological phenomenon like any other, such as digestion or cell division.

Before we disappear too far down the rabbit hole that is philosophy, cognitive science can ground us with two practical questions:

(Video) Consciousness: Crash Course Psychology #8

What is the purpose of consciousness, and what does it do?

It is broadly accepted that consciousness has the following functions (Eysenck & Keane, 2015):

  • Perceiving the environment
  • Socially communicating – engaging with others’ minds and understanding their thoughts
  • Playing a crucial role in controlling our actions
  • Allowing us to think about issues and events outside of the present
  • Integrating and combining various types of information to inform us of what is happening

Perhaps most importantly, consciousness relates to those psychological mechanisms that are presently receiving a level of attention, bringing them into heightened focus and activation (Jasanoff, 2018). In the absence of consciousness, many of our psychological processes continue in the background, unnoticed.

Types and Levels of Consciousness

Consciousness in Psychology: 8 Theories & Examples (2)Degrees of consciousness can vary considerably, from nothing, during a coma, to high, when alert and awake.

For an individual to “experience conscious content or awareness,” they must have a non-zero conscious level (Eysenck & Keane, 2015).

Scientists have distinguished between several different forms of consciousness, described briefly below.

Ned Block (2012), a philosopher at New York University, suggests that accessconsciousness is what can be reported and used by other cognitive processes, such as perception and memory, while phenomenal consciousness remains private, raw, and inaccessible (Eysenck & Keane, 2015).

An alternative view distinguishes between low- and high-level consciousness. Phenomenal consciousness describes feelings and sensations belonging to the present and is “essentially the way living things with brains obtain information about the environment.” While a higher levelof consciousness, possibly peculiar to humans, facilitates reason, reflection, and a sense of self that extends beyond the present (Baumeister & Masicampo, 2010).

However, there are many challenges for our theories of consciousness to overcome. For example, there are times when we are apparently unawareof new information, and yet it still impacts us.

When Troiani, Price, and Schultz (2012) provided stimuli to participants outside their field of vision, they reported not having seen images. However, the unseen scary faces and houses caused increased activation of the brain’s areas associated with fear.

Consciousness and awareness are complex phenomena that are difficult to categorize, and yet theories purporting to explain them must account for all human behavior.

3 Fascinating Theories

Hacking consciousness

While many believe appropriately programmed computers can become conscious, Christof Koch thinks otherwise. In a 2019 interview with MIT Press, he said, “consciousness is not a clever hack. Experience does not arise out of computation.”

Stuart Russell (2020), professor of computer science at the University of California, is less worried about whether a computer system’s behavior is or is not described as conscious. His concern is whether artificial intelligence has the potential to go rogue and harm society.

While several theories have been proposed to understand consciousness (human or otherwise), two in particular stand out and will be discussed below.

Integrated information theory (IIT)

IIT identifies consciousness as emergent;consciousness is believed to emerge out of the complex behavior of the brain.

Koch (2020) describes IIT as linking “the study of the nature of being and phenomenology, the study of how things appear.” It is a deep and complex theory with mathematical foundations that predict new phenomena and recent anesthesia research findings.

IIT attempts to identify the essential properties of consciousness and account for them in the underlying system’s complexity.

Global workspace theory

The global workspace theory is perhaps the most influential theory of consciousness. While there are variations within this model, there are a set of shared assumptions (Eysenck & Keane, 2015).

(Video) Sigmund Freud's conscious mind, preconscious mind, and unconscious mind!(Iceberg Analogy)

  • Consciousness is dependent on many unconscious, specialized processes that operate in parallel; for example, motion, depth perception, and color processing work together in the visual system.
  • Information from each process is integrated during late-stage processing.
  • The content of consciousness affects which processes are active.
  • Attention and consciousness are closely connected. “Attention resembles choosing a television channel and consciousness resembles the picture on the screen” (Eysenck & Keane, 2015).

Research has provided support for the assumptions of the global workspace theory. However, while the approach lends itself to visual perception tasks, it is less easily applied to self-knowledge or other psychological processes (Eysenck & Keane, 2015).

5 Examples of Consciousness Research

Anesthesia

Consciousness in Psychology: 8 Theories & Examples (3)Anesthesia has been crucial to surgery for more than two centuries. And yet, surprisingly, howit turns a conscious individual unconscious has remained unclear.

A 2018 study by Kim, Hudetz, Lee, Mashour, and Lee at the University of Michigan recorded the brain waves of patients undergoing anesthesia.

Their findings confirmed that consciousness is not like a switch – either on or off. Instead, as the anesthesia dosage increases, phi– a measure of consciousness – falls to the point where all awareness is absent, and the patient fails to respond, even to pain.

Research at the University of Oregon suggests that this lowering in consciousness may result from anesthesia’s capacity to turn off arousal within the brain and block information integration (Alkire, Hudetz, & Tononi, 2008).

Suspended animation

Every second counts in an emergency room following major trauma. Research has shown that it is possible to gain extra time by replacing the patient’s blood with ice-cold saline to lower their temperature to the point where life signs and mental activity become almost unreadable.

Despite apparent brain death, the technique has been lifesaving. Patients have been fully restored after the extreme procedure, regaining all functions and, crucially, consciousness. Such research leads to important questions regarding what death means, the nature of consciousness, and how life can continue in its absence (Mohiyaddin et al., 2017).

Simulating consciousness

Peering in at human consciousness from the outside only seems to tell us part of the story.

So why not attempt to build it (Graziano, 2019)?

According to cognitive scientists and neuroscientists, successfully building consciousness results from “specific types of information-processing computations, physically realized by the hardware of the brain” (Dehaene, Lau, & Kouider, 2017).

While some claim that by mirroring such processing, we will arrive at consciousness, others disagree. They say that it is like simulating the weather. No matter how real it appears, you will not get wet. A good simulation may seem like consciousness but will never be conscious (MIT Press, 2019).

However, researchers continue undeterred. A 2019 article reported an artificial neural network able to successfully simulate 77 thousand neurons and 0.3 billion synapses (Rhodes et al., 2019).

Consciousness can be fooled

Consciousness, while crucial to experience and what it feels to be human, is not always reliable. In a classic 1998 study known as the rubber hand illusion, participants had one of their hands hidden from sight and replaced with a lookalike rubber hand (Botvinick & Cohen, 1998). When the fake hand was stroked, the participants reported being consciousof the new hand and experienced a sense of ownership.

When recently repeated in virtual reality, researchers found that a virtual limb could also feel very real, suggesting “our sense of self is not coherent and can be extended to non-body objects” (Alimardani, Nishio, & Ishiguro, 2016).

The nature and content of consciousness may be less clear than we imagine.

Consciousness is like a spotlight in the dark

Cognitive scientists report that humans often experience “inattentional blindness.” The brain, when overwhelmed by information, filters and ignores what it deems unnecessary.

In a 1999 study, subjects were asked to count the number of passes between basketball players. While their attention was focused on keeping track of the ball and the players, most failed to notice the unexpected arrival of a person dressed in a gorilla suit (Simons & Chabris, 1999).

Unbelievably, the experiment has been repeated several times, in different formats, with the same result. We are often not conscious of what we fail to attend to, even if it is in plain sight.

(Video) TSC2022 - Concurrent 8 - Theories of consciousness

How to Measure Consciousness

Traditionally, consciousness has been measured subjectively, that is by asking someone how aware they are of something. After all, to some degree, it is both what you experience (phenomenal consciousness) and what you can report of that experience (access consciousness; Koch, 2020).

However, further research has led to the potential of objectively measuring consciousness and scoring it using units known as phi. In a 2018 study, patients were wired up to an electroencephalogram via electrodes attached to the scalp before anesthesia. As they drifted into unconsciousness, it was possible to record their brain waves and track the reduction in phi (Kim et al., 2018).

Giulio Tononi at the University of Wisconsin describes phi as the amount of consciousness in a system – biological or artificial. Typically, it is “high in a system of specialized modules that can interact rapidly and effectively,” he says. It even appears that phi differs within the brain, with different areas of the brain’s anatomy displaying varying degrees of consciousness (Snaprud, 2018).

5 Books on the Topic

There are many books about consciousness written from multiple perspectives such as biological, artificial intelligence, evolutionary, cognitive, and psychological. The following is a sample of some personal favorites.

1. The Feeling of Life Itself: Why Consciousness Is Widespread but Can’t Be Computed – Christof Koch

Consciousness in Psychology: 8 Theories & Examples (4)

Christof Koch’s 2020 book deserves to be read more than once. Within its pages, Koch describes his new theory of consciousness and how we experience and engage with the world.

Well written and breath taking, this is a journey through our conscious being’s usually hidden workings and the latest insights from cutting-edge science and technology.

Find the book on Amazon.

2. Human Compatible: Artificial Intelligence and the Problem of Control – Stuart Russell

Consciousness in Psychology: 8 Theories & Examples (5)

Stuart Russell explains that while artificial intelligence has many benefits, it also has the potential to do the human race great harm.

While not a targeted discussion on the creation of artificial consciousness, the ethical questions it raises regarding AI are important to consider alongside the human capacities we can bestow on computers.

Find the book on Amazon.

3. Cognitive Psychology: A Student’s Handbook – Michael W. Eysenck and Mark T. Keane

Consciousness in Psychology: 8 Theories & Examples (6)

Regularly updated with the latest theories and research findings, this book remains the go-tofor cognitive psychology.

The chapter on consciousness offers incredible insights and a path to some fascinating research findings into its nature and complexity.

Find the book on Amazon.

4. The Biological Mind: How Brain, Body, and Environment Collaborate to Make Us Who We Are – Alan Jasanoff

Consciousness in Psychology: 8 Theories & Examples (7)

The environment in which the brain finds itself is crucial to the way it functions.

(Video) Defining Consciousness | Psychology

To understand consciousness, we must recognize the evolutionary processes that have led us here and the surroundings in which it exists.

“[O]nly by appreciating how brain, body, and environment collaborate will we be able to grasp the true nature of our humanity.”

Find the book on Amazon.

5. The Rediscovery of the Mind (Representation and Mind) – John R. Searle

Consciousness in Psychology: 8 Theories & Examples (8)

Originally published in 1992, this book on the philosophy of the mind remains a classic text increasingly relevant to today’s challenges.

Searle explains why consciousness relies on the brain’s physical nature and uses thought experiments such as the Chinese Room to uncover why simulating consciousness is not the same as beingconscious.

Find the book on Amazon.

A Note on the Meaning of Unconsciousness

While anesthesia has proven highly successful at causing patients to become unconscious during surgery, unconscious processing is more than merely an absence of consciousness (Kim et al., 2018).

Indeed, according to the unconscious thought theory, our conscious thinking may be constricted by limiting factors. As a result, unconscious thinking sometimes steps in to integrate large amounts of information (Eysenck & Keane, 2015).

While conscious thinking may be vital to rule-based problem solving, unconscious thought processes may work in the background to help us with daily decision making.

PositivePsychology.com’s Related Resources

We have many tools within the Positive Psychology Toolkit©that uncover how the brain approaches everyday problems along with worksheets that can help clients reflect on their thinking while gaining clarity over key decisions.

Why not try out a few of the following?

  • Self-Reflection Behavior Review offers a practical and insightful exploration of a client’s behavior to build consciousness of patterns.
  • The Getting To Know Yourself activity can be used by clients to remind themselves of who they are, encouraging greater self-awareness.
  • Neutralizing Judgmental Thoughts is about stopping habitual, negative self-judgment and can move an individual toward self-acceptance, freeing them to adopt a more balanced way of thinking.
  • 17 Positive CBT Exercises – If you’re looking for more science-based ways to help others through CBT, this collection contains 17 validated positive CBT tools for practitioners. Use them to help others overcome unhelpful thoughts and feelings and develop more positive behaviors.

A Take-Home Message

Understanding consciousness is possibly the most complicated problem humans have yet faced. It’s a bigger challenge than can be tackled by one person alone or even a single team of researchers. Rather, like the approach to mapping the human genome, it will require an army of scientists from a collection of disciplines working at the limits of their knowledge.

Yet, the rewards are enormous. Understanding consciousness can help us understand what it is to be human and the feeling of life itself (Koch, 2020). To do this, sciencemust find a testable theory of consciousness that is rational while reflecting and explaining the brain’s normal and abnormal functioning.

We are likely to come to a deep understanding of the brain by considering its relation to its past and the environment in which it now exists. The consequences of this insight are vast. Such knowledge may strengthen and inform our relationship with the planet on which we live, the animals with which we share so much DNA, and our search for off-world life.

The fields of neuroscience, biology, genetics, and even artificial intelligence continue to provide incredible insights into our brain’s function and, therefore, our psychological processes.

As therapists working with clients, it will become increasingly beneficial to understand how the brain works and the processes involved in attention and experience. Greater clarity of what it means to be aware and how we maintain full engagement in life will inform the therapies we use and our idea of success for the client.

We hope you enjoyed reading this article. For more information, don’t forget to download our three Positive CBT Exercises for free.

(Video) 8. How Does Consciousness Connect us to Reality? Part II

  • Alimardani, M., Nishio, S., & Ishiguro, H. (2016). Removal of proprioception by BCI raises a stronger body ownership illusion in control of a humanlike robot. Scientific Reports, 6(1).
  • Alkire, M. T., Hudetz, A. G., & Tononi, G. (2008). Consciousness and anesthesia. Science, 322(5903), 876–880.
  • Baumeister, R. F., & Masicampo, E. J. (2010). Conscious thought is for facilitating social and cultural interactions: How mental simulations serve the animal–culture interface. Psychological Review, 117(3), 945–971.
  • Botvinick, M., & Cohen, J. (1998). Rubber hands “feel” touch that eyes see. Nature, 391(6669), 756–756.
  • Block, N. (2012). Response to Kouider et al.: Which view is better supported by the evidence? Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 16(3), 141–142.
  • Dehaene, S., Lau, H., & Kouider, S. (2017). What is consciousness, and could machines have it? Science, 358(6362), 486–492.
  • Eysenck, M. W., & Keane, M. T. (2015). Cognitive psychology: A student’s handbook. Psychology Press.
  • Graziano, M. (2019). True nature of consciousness: Solving the biggest mystery of your mind.New Scientist.Retrieved November 25, 2020, from https://www.newscientist.com/article/mg24332480-000-true-nature-of-consciousness-solving-the-biggest-mystery-of-your-mind/
  • Hofstadter, D. R., & Dennett, D. C. (1982). The mind’s I: Fantasies and reflections on self and soul. Penguin.
  • Jasanoff, A. (2018). The biological mind: How brain, body, and environment collaborate to make us who we are. Basic Books.
  • Kim, H., Hudetz, A. G., Lee, J., Mashour, G. A., & Lee, U. (2018). Estimating the integrated information measure phi from high-density electroencephalography during states of consciousness in humans. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 12.
  • Koch, C. (2020). The feeling of life itself: Why consciousness is widespread but can’t be computed. MIT Press.
  • MIT Press (2019). Christof Koch on “The Feeling of Life Itself” and how technology allows us to observe consciousness. Retrieved November 25, 2020, from https://medium.com/@mitpress/christof-koch-on-the-feeling-of-life-itself-and-how-technology-allows-us-to-observe-consciousness-e52b39091ad3
  • Mohiyaddin, S., Nanjaiah, P., Saad, A. O., Acharya, M. N., Khan, T. A., Davies, R. H., & Ashraf, S. (2017). Suspended animation: The past, present, and future of major cardiothoracic trauma. ANZ Journal of Surgery, 88(7–8), 678–682.
  • Rhodes, O., Peres, L., Rowley, A. G. D., Gait, A., Plana, L. A., Brenninkmeijer, C., & Furber, S. B. (2019). Real-time cortical simulation on neuromorphic hardware. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences, 378(2164).
  • Russell, S. (2020). Human compatible: Artificial intelligence and the problem of control. Penguin Books.
  • Searle, J. R. (1992).The rediscovery of the mind: Representation and mind. MIT Press.
  • Simons, D. J., & Chabris, C. F. (1999). Gorillas in our midst: Sustained inattentional blindness for dynamic events. Perception, 28(9), 1059–1074.
  • Snaprud, P. (2018). Consciousness: How we’re solving a mystery bigger than our minds.New Scientist Retrieved November 26, 2020, from https://www.newscientist.com/article/ mg23831830-300-consciousness-how-were-solving-a-mystery-bigger-than-our-minds/
  • Troiani, V., Price, E. T., & Schultz, R. T. (2012). Unseen fearful faces promote amygdala guidance of attention. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, 9(2), 133–140.

FAQs

What is an example of consciousness in psychology? ›

If you can describe something you are experiencing in words, then it is part of your consciousness. Your conscious experiences are constantly shifting and changing. For example, in one moment you may be focused on reading this article.

What is consciousness and example? ›

Consciousness definition

The definition of consciousness is the state of being awake, alert to what is going on around you, or aware of feelings. Any time when you are awake and know what is going on, instead of asleep, is an example of consciousness.

What are some examples of consciousness? ›

Consciousness is dependent on many unconscious, specialized processes that operate in parallel; for example, motion, depth perception, and color processing work together in the visual system. Information from each process is integrated during late-stage processing.

What are the 7 states of consciousness? ›

Individual consciousness

The seven states of consciousness are: waking, dreaming, sleeping, transcendental consciousness, cosmic consciousness, God consciousness and unity consciousness.

How many types of consciousness are there? ›

We can view consciousness as three distinct levels: the conscious, the subconscious (or preconscious), and the unconscious.

What are the 4 types of consciousness? ›

Ultimately, four different gradable aspects of consciousness will be described: quality, abstractness, complexity and usefulness, which belong to four different dimensions, these being understood, respectively, as phenomenal, semantic, physiological, and functional.

What is an example of consciousness quizlet? ›

Consciousness is a person's subjective experience of the world. Identify varied states of consciousness. A person's level of consciousness varies throughout the day and depends on the task at hand. Selective attention, change blindness, and laptops in the classroom are all examples of varied states of consciousness.

What are the 3 types of consciousness? ›

The famed psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud believed that behavior and personality were derived from the constant and unique interaction of conflicting psychological forces that operate at three different levels of awareness: the preconscious, conscious, and unconscious.

What are 3 examples of altered states of consciousness? ›

There are also many common experiences that create altered states of consciousness (ASC), such as sleeping or daydreaming, sleep deprivation, euphoria or panic. Dream state, hypnosis, and meditation are also considered as ASC.

What is an example of class consciousness? ›

Example of Class Consciousness

Treating people in the service industry as less deserving of a living wage.

What are the 5 levels of consciousness in psychology? ›

There are five levels of consciousness; Conscious (sensing, perceiving, and choosing), Preconscious (memories that we can access), Unconscious ( memories that we can not access), Non-conscious ( bodily functions without sensation), and Subconscious ( “inner child,” self image formed in early childhood).

What are the 12 levels of consciousness? ›

Among such terms are: clouding of consciousness, confusional state, delirium, lethargy, obtundation, stupor, dementia, hypersomnia, vegetative state, akinetic mutism, locked-in syndrome, coma, and brain death.

What is consciousness in psychology? ›

Consciousness describes our awareness of internal and external stimuli. Awareness of internal stimuli includes feeling pain, hunger, thirst, sleepiness, and being aware of our thoughts and emotions.

What are the five characteristics of consciousness? ›

William James wrote five characteristics of the streaming way conscious thinking occurs: consciousness is personal and is changing, consciousness has a fringe and focus, consciousness includes the apprehension of relationships, consciousness is selective, and consciousness deals with inner states and external realities ...

What are the stages of level of consciousness? ›

Levels of consciousness
LevelSummary (Kruse)
SomnolentSleepy
ObtundedDecreased alertness; slowed psychomotor responses
StuporousSleep-like state (not unconscious); little/no spontaneous activity
ComatoseCannot be aroused; no response to stimuli
4 more rows

How many states of consciousness are there in psychology? ›

Two common states of awareness exist: conscious and unconscious.

What is stream of consciousness with examples? ›

But it's also a good example of stream of consciousness: it has associative thoughts (moving from the clock chimes to her influenza), unusual syntax (all those semi-colons!), and sensory details (like sound, music, and the feeling of a heartbeat).

Which of the following is an example of a conscious bias? ›

Conscious bias is the biased attitudes about a certain group we are aware of. In conscious bias, we know we are being biased, and we are doing it intentionally. For example, a person prefers to work with men rather than women, or a person who doesn't like to associate people with a different culture.

What is an example of an unconscious thought? ›

Sigmund Freud argued that unacceptable thoughts, memories, and motives could be repressed in the unconscious mind. For example, anger at one's mother, memories of childhood abuse, and hatred of a family member might be repressed in the unconscious.

What are the two theories of consciousness? ›

These include two major and perhaps competing theories, the integrated information theory (IIT) and the global neuronal workspace (GNW) theory, which differ mainly in their level of conceptual abstraction and anatomical specificity.

What are Freud's 3 theories? ›

Freudian theory postulates that adult personality is made up of three aspects: (1) the id, operating on the pleasure principle generally within the unconscious; (2) the ego, operating on the reality principle within the conscious realm; and (3) the superego, operating on the morality principle at all levels of ...

What are some examples of drifting consciousness? ›

Here are some examples of conscious drifting: staring at an ocean, lake, pond, river, waterfall, forest, or garden.

What are the 4 progressive states of consciousness? ›

When you combine the types of focus (internal and external) with the ways we focus (helpful and harmful) you get four distinct states of mind: autopilot, critical, thinking, and engaged.

Why is consciousness important in psychology? ›

Conscious information can have a dominant influence on responses. We tell others about our experiences, write about our experiences, and think about our experiences, so consciousness must contribute to the generation of these behaviors (for example, Blackmore, 2004; Gomes, 2005).

What is an example of false consciousness and class consciousness? ›

Political examples of false consciousness include: People obeying social leaders in the belief they represent god. Working-class people believing that certain politicians and policies will benefit the working class when they actually represent and benefit the ruling elite.

What does Karl Marx mean by consciousness? ›

Marx's Theory of Class Consciousness

According to Marxist theory, class consciousness is an awareness of one's social and/or economic class relative to others, as well as an understanding of the economic rank of the class to which you belong in the context of the larger society.

What is the best definition of class consciousness? ›

class consciousness, the self-understanding of members of a social class. This modern sociological concept has its origins in, and is closely associated with, Marxist theory.

What are the elements of consciousness in psychology? ›

Titchener proposed 3 elementary states of consciousness: Sensations (sights, sounds, tastes), Images (components of thoughts), and Affections (components of emotions).

What are the stages of consciousness Class 11? ›

Solution. Freud divided human consciousness into three levels of awareness: The conscious, preconscious and unconscious. Each of these levels corresponds and overlaps with Freud's ideas of the id, ego, and superego.

What are the highest levels of consciousness? ›

near-death experience; mystical experience (sometimes regarded as the highest of all higher states of consciousness)

What is Freud's theory of consciousness? ›

Freud gave consciousness the quality and capacity to transform experienced activity into unconscious states, similar to how different forms of energy are interchanged in physics. It could also play a part in inhibiting and restricting certain thoughts from becoming conscious.

What is an example of consciousness quizlet? ›

Consciousness is a person's subjective experience of the world. Identify varied states of consciousness. A person's level of consciousness varies throughout the day and depends on the task at hand. Selective attention, change blindness, and laptops in the classroom are all examples of varied states of consciousness.

What is consciousness psychology simple definition? ›

You can define consciousness in psychology simply as awareness, but that doesn't give a complete picture. It's awareness of your internal processes like thinking, feeling, sensing, and perceiving. It knows who you are and what you possess. Consciousness can mean the awareness of memories.

What is conscious behavior in psychology? ›

Conscious behavior in psychology derives from conscious thought processes, those thoughts of which we are actively aware. It is basically any behavior that is completed willingly with intent derived from your own volition.

How do psychologist define consciousness? ›

In fact, psychologists believe that consciousness is the result of the activity of the many neural connections in the brain, and that we experience different states of consciousness depending on what our brain is currently doing (Dennett, 1991; Koch & Greenfield, 2007).

What is stream of consciousness with examples? ›

But it's also a good example of stream of consciousness: it has associative thoughts (moving from the clock chimes to her influenza), unusual syntax (all those semi-colons!), and sensory details (like sound, music, and the feeling of a heartbeat).

What are the 4 types of consciousness? ›

Ultimately, four different gradable aspects of consciousness will be described: quality, abstractness, complexity and usefulness, which belong to four different dimensions, these being understood, respectively, as phenomenal, semantic, physiological, and functional.

What are the 3 types of consciousness? ›

The famed psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud believed that behavior and personality were derived from the constant and unique interaction of conflicting psychological forces that operate at three different levels of awareness: the preconscious, conscious, and unconscious.

What are the 5 levels of consciousness in psychology? ›

There are five levels of consciousness; Conscious (sensing, perceiving, and choosing), Preconscious (memories that we can access), Unconscious ( memories that we can not access), Non-conscious ( bodily functions without sensation), and Subconscious ( “inner child,” self image formed in early childhood).

What is consciousness according to Freud? ›

Freud gave consciousness the quality and capacity to transform experienced activity into unconscious states, similar to how different forms of energy are interchanged in physics. It could also play a part in inhibiting and restricting certain thoughts from becoming conscious.

What is the best definition of consciousness? ›

Definition of consciousness

1a : the quality or state of being aware especially of something within oneself. b : the state or fact of being conscious of an external object, state, or fact.

What is an example of a conscious response? ›

Conscious responses to stimuli occur when a person is awake and aware that s/he is responding. Examples of conscious responses include episodic memory recall, which involves remembering that you experienced something; planning in response to something; and mental manipulation, or changing things around in your mind.

What is conscience according to Piaget? ›

Grasp of consciousness, for Piaget, can be understood as the cognitive process of assimilating one's own functioning or that of the other when interacting with physical objects, people, and oneself.

What is id ego and superego examples? ›

Let's go back to the example where your id takes over and you eat your roommate's cake and then your superego makes you feel really guilty about this. What's really causing you to apologize and to bake a new cake is your ego.

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Phone: +2316203969400

Job: International Farming Consultant

Hobby: Reading, Photography, Shooting, Singing, Magic, Kayaking, Mushroom hunting

Introduction: My name is Eusebia Nader, I am a encouraging, brainy, lively, nice, famous, healthy, clever person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.