Psych - Normal waking consciousness
  • Normal waking consciousness (NWC) refers to the states of consciousness experienced when awake and aware of thoughts, memories, feelings, and the sensations experienced from our external environment.
  • Attention is a concentration of mental activity that involves focusing on a specific stimulus and ignoring other stimuli.
  • Selective attention is choosing to focus on one activity and ignoring other stimulus. e.g. reading a novel and not noticing noise in the background.
  • Divided attention refers to the ability to undertake two or more activities simultaneously. e.g. washing the dishes while talking to a friend on the phone.
  • Content limitations: the content processed in NWC is more restricted compared to ASC. We are able to control what we allow into out normal waking consciousness (through selective attention).
  • Controlled process requires full awareness and mental effort to perform a required task. e.g. learning to drive a car.
  • Automatic process requires little awareness and mental effort to perform a task and therefore it does not interfere with the performance of other activities.
Psych - Consciousness
  • Consciousness is the awareness of our mental experiences (thoughts, feelings and perceptions) and external stimuli (surroundings) at any given moment.
  • Conscious experience is described as being personal, selective, continuous and changing.
  • Personal: relies on our thoughts, feelings and perceptions
  • Selective: we can choose to focus on one thing and ignore others.
  • Continuous: thoughts flow from one topic to the other without interruption (not isolated).
  • Changing: constantly changes as we become aware of new information