RESEARCH METHODS Recap. Definition? Mental Processes Thoughts Feelings These are personal, or...

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  • ThoughtsFeelings

    These are personal, or subjective and cannot be observed directly

  • Externally expressed action made by a living person that can be directly observed

  • A particular way of conducting a research study to collect accurate and reliable information about behaviour and mental processes

  • Experimental researchAn experiment is used to test a cause and effect relationship between variables under control conditions

  • Definition:A variable is any characteristic or value that can be changed or manipulated. In psychology experiments, researchers utilize variables to determine if making changes to one thing can result in changes to something else. For example, researchers might look at whether the amount of sleep students get the night before an exam impacts their performance on the test. In this example, the amount of sleep and performance on the test are the two variables of interest.

  • Steps in psychological researchIdentification of the research problemConstruct HypothesisDesign the methodCollection of data.Analysis of the data.Interpretation of the dataReporting of the research method.

  • Independent variable (IV)Variable that is systematically manipulated, changed or varied in some way by the research in order to assess its effect on the participants responses.How the variable is manipulated is decided and planned before the experiment beginsShows any effects of the independent variable.The aspect of a participants behaviour or experience that is observed or measured and is expected to change as a result of the manipulation of the IVDependent variable (DV)

  • Simple ExperimentPage 17 of text

  • States of Consciousness

    Chapter 2

    Things never were the way they used to be.Things will never be the way its going to be someday.Things are always just the way they are for the time being.And the time is always in motion.Alexander Evangeli Xenopouloudakis

  • What is consciousness?


    Awareness of ones own mental activityPersonalCan be selectiveConsciousness is continuousand ever-changing

  • A state of consciousness is characterised by..Level of awareness of internal and external stimulivaring levels of awareness of our internal state and external eventsTwo broad categories:Normal Waking Consciousness(NWC)Altered States of Consciousness(ASC)

  • How to measure?Consciousness is referred to as a psychological construct.A psychological construct cannot be measured or observed and is simply inferred from information gathered from the individual or behaviour demonstrated or from physiological measures.

  • Introducing consciousnessConsciousness has many variationsthere are lots of different levels of awareness as well as variations in the way individuals experience them. There is no precise location for each state of consciousnessconsciousness should rather be viewed as a continuum. Despite the lack of definition between these states, there are qualities that distinguish between different states of consciousness.

  • Qualities that distinguish the different states of consciousnessLevel of awarenessThe content of consciousnessUse of controlled or automatic processes to perform tasksPerceptual abilitiesEmotional awarenessSelf-controlExperience of time

  • In performing an experiment like this one on man attention car it house is boy critically hat important shoe that candy the old material horse that tree is pen being phone read cow by book the hot subject tape for pin the stand relevant view task sky be red cohesive man and car grammatically house complete boy but hat without shoe either candy being horse so tree easy pen that phone full cow attention book is hot not tape required pin in stand order view to sky read red it nor too difficult

  • Attention is often used to measure consciousness. It involves focusing on either external or internal stimuli.

    Normal waking consciousnessSource: StockbyteSelective attention requires focusing on specific stimuli and ignoring others. Divided attention is when we divide our attention to focus on multiple things.When could having divided attention become a problem?

    When could it be advantageous?

  • Normal Waking ConsciousnessLevels of AwarenessControlled processesAutomatic ProcessesLevels of AttentionLimitation of cognitive contentMemoryExperience of time and sensation

  • Normal waking consciousness (NWC)Content limitations:Content is more organised and logical than during altered states of consciousness.Also more restricted as we are able to block out unwanted content. Controlled and automatic processes: Controlled processes require active concentration on the task at hand. Only one controlled process can be undertaken at a time. Automatic processes require little mental effort. These processes can be performed with divided attention.

  • Stroop Effect.Stroop effect demonstrates the effects of automatic processing. American psychologist John Ridley Stroop (1935) found that participants were slower to perform a task and made more errors when they were required to visually process visually incongruent(conflicting or mismatching information)

    Lets have a go..

  • Stroop effect ..research methodsIn the three experiment's Stroop used a different group of research participants and a repeated measures design for each of the three experiments

    What is a repeated measures design?

  • Normal waking consciousness (NWC)Which condition of the Stroop Effect demonstrates an automatic process and a controlled process?

  • Altered states of consciousness..Any state of consciousness that deviates from normal waking consciousness, in terms of marked differences in the level of awareness, perceptions, memoires, thinking, emotions behaviours and sense of time, place and self control..

  • Altered states of consciousnessDisorientations of perception and cognition Altered states of consciousness affect the senses in one of two ways:Enhances the experiences of external stimuli (e.g. a drug induced state may result in more sensations experienced more vividly).Dulls the experiences of external stimuli (e.g. meditation may elevate your pain threshold). Cognitive functioning is often impaired, is illogical and non-sequential and may result in individuals being unable to remember experiences under this state.

  • Time orientationTime passes at different speeds under altered states of consciousnessIf in a meditative state, time may be perceived at a slower rate.

    Give an example of an altered state of consciousness when time would pass more slowly? What about when time would pass more rapidly?

    Altered states of consciousnessSource: Getty

  • Changes in emotional awareness Some altered states of consciousness affect our feelings, which may result in uncharacteristic or unpredictable responses:During an alcohol induced state, some people become more emotional.In a drug induced state an individual may alternate between euphoria or violence without any triggering events.Some states result in individuals feeling less emotion e.g. during meditation.Altered states of consciousnessSource:Corbis

  • Altered states of consciousnessChanges in self control Changes in self-control are often evident in altered states of consciousness. Individuals may have trouble coordinating and controlling their movements, as well as their emotions and responses:During an alcohol induced state individuals often appear uncoordinated and may also behave in a manner that is incongruent with their normal waking consciousness behaviour.When under a state of hypnosis, people may be more susceptible to suggestion, but hypnosis can also help individuals gain more self control over addictions or pain management.

  • Daydreaming as ASCImaginary scenes & events that occur while awakeWhen do they happen?

    Possible functions:Mental rehearsalMental arousal when boredProblem solving (practical & creative)Pleasure

    **Consciousness is simply being aware of something within the realm of psychology, we talk about consciousness as being an awareness of ones sensations, thoughts, and feelings (your mental activity) at any given moment.

    Everybodys consciousness is unique and personal, just like you are. What you are aware of about yourself is obviously something that only you are aware of.

    We are capable of paying attention to certain things, which involves selective attention, which well talk about in a little bit.

    Consciousness is continuous similar to the stream-of-consciousness line of research that was popular at the turn of the century.

    In an interesting study from 1978.*This will vary dramatically over the day affecting your understanding and experience of the world around youHigh end attention is focussed and concentrating on a specific task i.e exam lower end unaware of your thoughts feelings and sensations fatigued, meditating, under the influence of drugs, alchohol, etch*A psychological construct cannot be measured or observed and is simply inferred from information gathered from the individual or behaviour demonstrated or from physiological measures.*Directions: The passage above contains two messages one in red ink, the other in blue. Read only the red-ink message aloud as quickly as possible. Now, without looking back, write down all the blue-ink words you can remember. The result? As in the dichotic listening studies, you probably did not recall many unshadowed words even though the same words appear over and over again.*Problem of divided attention: driving while using a mobile phoneAdvantage: watching your favourite TV show while studying (provided you are act