Unit 3 Discussions   TopicThreadsPostsLast Post Ch. 10 Sleep & Consciousness

Unit 3 Discussions

TopicThreadsPostsLast Post

Ch. 10 Sleep & Consciousness

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Controversies about Consciousness:  Much controversy exists around the idea of consiousness, how it is defined, and discrepancies between animal and human consciousness.  For this discussion, give consideration to the following:

1)   How would you define the concept of “consciousness”? Do you think there is such a thing, apart from the physiological activity of the brain? Why or why not? (Consider revisiting the material on the mind-brain problem, first encountered in Chapter 1 – how might this concept apply here?)  How does one define where consciousness ends and unconsciousness begins (or vice versa)?  Where does sleep fit into the realm of conscious/unconsciousness (e.g., when you sleep, are you conscious or unconsious)?

2)  Watch both of the following Ch. 10 Films:

  • Dreams: Theater of the Night (30 min)  This film, while older, tends to reflect text material and concepts fairly well.
  • Why Do We Dream?  (50 min.)  This film expands our understanding of sleep and dreaming.
  • For fun – you can self administer the Epworth Sleepiness Scale, and post reflections or ask questions as part of your discussion post.
  • Share your reflections to the films as part of your discussion post and in consideration of Question #2 (above).  What are some key points from the film that you find informative and useful/relative to the material presented in Ch. 10 of your text.  Use specific examples from the film to illustrate your ideas.

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Ch. 11 Motivation

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Chapter 11 covers an array of topics related to the study of motivated behaviors.

  • Watch the following video to compliment your reading of Chapter 11 material and highlight 2-3 key points that you find valuable in your understanding of this topic: Motivation and Emotion (30 min) and/or Motivational Theories: Crash Course (12 min)
  • Which motivational theory seems to reflect your own experience with motivation, i.e., being a student or worker?  Explain your response and give some examples.
  • Take the Self Motivation Quiz and share reflections of your results.
  • Ask questions about the motivational theories as needed, and propose other ideas relative to the material.

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Ch. 12 Stress & Health

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Watch Stress: Portait of a Killer

After viewing, respond to the following:

  • Compare and contrast the physiological vs. sociological/environmental factors associated with the stress response.  Use examples from the film to support your response. (physiological responses are bodily responses that occur at the cellular or biochemical level, where sociological factors would be external social and cultural factors)
  • Consider the theories of stress and/or emotion presented in your text (i.e., James-Lange theory, Selye’s concept, Lazurus’ cognitive appraisal theory).  Do you think these ideas align with or contradict what is being presented in the video with regard to stress and health.  Use examples from film and text to support your response.
  • Consider items in the COPE Questionnaire – How do you view your style of coping?  Are you more emotion focused or problem focused in your coping style?  (see pp. 406-408 in text)
  • Share any other reflections or ideas based on your viewing of the video and reading of Ch. 12 material.  What is your response to this material – what can be learned from this?

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Ch. 13 Conformity & Obedience

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Chapter 13 of your text discusses a number of topics from the field of Social Psychology.  Overall, social psychologists are interested in studying how the power of the group or situation influences behavior, rather than focusing on the individual characteristics of a person.  Social psychologists emphasize that behavior is a function of both the individual and the environment or situation.  These ideas contrast with the usual focus of study, which often emphasizes the individual and her/his internal personality traits.  For this discussion, watch the films from the links provided below as an adjunct to the textbook material, as well as review the relevant concepts in the text, and respond to the questions/ideas that follow.

*Note:  The Stanford Prison Experiment contains footage from an actual study that in today’s time would be considered unethical.  Some of the material can be sensitive.  Students are encouraged to read pp. 442-448 before viewing the videos.

Obeying or Resisting Authority:  Obeying or Resisting Authority (35 min)

Stanford Prison Experiment (30 min): Stanford Prison Experiment

  • What do you think are the positive and negative aspects of group identity?  What are some of the possible behaviors (positive or negative) that may result from being a member of a group?
  • Is there any benefit to having people conform to authority – is obedience and conformity necessary for a successful society?  Are you a conformist or a rebel?  Why or why not?  Explain your response.
  • Imagine you are a participant in the Stanford Prison Experiment – would you be a kind guard or a sadistic guard? Would you be a conforming or rebellious prisoner?  Explain your response.
  • You are also welcome to reflect on any of the concepts presented in Ch. 13.  Present an example from our current culture/society that you think might reflect some of these ideas, i.e., examples of conformity to group norms (like those shown in the Asch, Milgram or Stanford experiment), or perhaps examples of how people respond to different leadership styles (i.e., based on Lewin’s study).  Explain how you think your example fits with the ideas as presented either in your text or in the film.  There are many ideas presented here, select one that is most relevant to you.  Ask questions to extend the discussion forum.

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