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States Of Consciousness Essay

  • Submitted by: madison8
  • on August 23, 2008
  • Category: Psychology
  • Length: 1,448 words

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Below is an essay on "States Of Consciousness" from Anti Essays, your source for research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

Normal waking conscious (NWC) is the state of conscious associated with being awake and aware of our thoughts, memories, feelings and sensations we experience from the outside world. It is constantly changing, but these changing thoughts are constantly organised. In normal waking consciousness we have a heightened awareness and we perceive the world as real, although we are constantly changing between different states involved in with NWC. Attention is the concentration of mental activity that involves the focusing on specific stimuli, and ignoring other stimuli. It can be focused on the internal (how sick you feel) or external stimuli (the exam you are taking). This can be divided into the subgroup of selective attention, which is the attending to certain stimuli while ignoring other stimuli by choice, or divided attention which is our ability to distribute our attention and undertake two or more activities simultaneously.

Generally, the content held in our NWC is restricted or more limited than when we are in an altered state. We can monitor what we allow into our conscious, such as blocking information that could make us feel embarrassed or sad; however, during an altered state of conscious, we cannot control it. The content is also more organised and clearer as to an altered state. A controlled process is the processing that requires conscious, alert awareness and mental effort, usually when an object is complex or new, whereas an automatic process requires little attention or focus, usually if an activity is easy or familiar.

An altered state of conscious (ASC) is used to describe any state of consciousness that is different from normal waking conscious like level of awareness, sensations, feelings and memories. ASC shows mental processing as having distinct changes according to the particular state. Cognitive processes or perception of yourself or the surrounding environment is also affected. In comparison to NWC, ASC is different in the ways we...

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