5.2—altered states of consciousness: hypnosis, meditation, and disorders of consciousness Flashcards Preview

🚫 PSY100H1: Introduction to Psychology (Winter 2016) with J. Vervaeke > 5.2—altered states of consciousness: hypnosis, meditation, and disorders of consciousness > Flashcards

Flashcards in 5.2—altered states of consciousness: hypnosis, meditation, and disorders of consciousness Deck (12)
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  • hypnosis: a procedure of inducing a heightened state of suggestibility.
  • hypnosis is not a trance, rather, the hypnotist suggests something and the subject is more likely to comply.


Hypnosis Suggestions

  • ideomotor suggestions: are related to specific actions that could be performed, such as adopting a specific position.
  • challenge suggestions: indicate actions that are not to be performed, so that the subject appears to lose the ability to perform an action.
  • cognitive-perceptual suggestions: involve a subject remembering or forgetting specific information, or experiencing altered perceptions such as reduced pain sensations.


Dissociation Theory | Theories of Hypnosis

  • dissociation theory explains hypnosis as a unique state in which consciousness is divided into two parts: an observer and a hidden observer.
  • you enter a state where you are able to perform actions without using as much executive processing.
  • although this behaviour feels familiar and automatic, there is still a "hidden observer" performing executive functions.


Social-Cognitive Theory | Theories of Hypnosis

explains hypnosis by emphasizing the degree to which beliefs and expectations contribute to increased suggestibility.


Applications of Hypnosis

  • hypnosis has been known to be most effective when used in conjunction with other medical treatments and therapy.
  • can also be used to treat pain.



  • meditation is any procedure that involves a shift in consciousness to a state in which an individual is highly focused, aware, and in control of mental processes.
  • can lead being more happy and relaxed.


Meditation Techniques

  • focused attention (FA) meditation: the individual focuses his or her attention on a chosen object, such as a point on the wall or a physical sensation like the feeling related to breathing open monitoring. 
  • (OM) meditation: meditators pay attention to the moment-by-moment sensations without focusing on any particular object.


Brain Death | Disorder of Conciousness

  • brain death: a condition in which the brain, specifically including the brain stem, no longer functions.
  • individuals who are brain dead have no hope of recovery because the brain stem regions responsible for maintaining basic life functions, like breathing and maintaining the heartbeat, do not function.


Coma | Disorders of Conciousness

  • coma: a state marked by a complete loss of consciousness.
  • it is generally due to damage to the brain stem or to widespread damage to both hemispheres of the brain.
  • patients who are in a coma have an absence of both wakefulness and awareness of themselves or their surroundings.
  • typically, patients who survive this stage begin to recover to higher levels of consciousness within 2–4 weeks, although there is no guarantee that the patient will make a full recovery.


Persistent Vegetative State | Disorders of Conciousness

  • vegetative state: a state of minimal to no consciousness in which the patient’s eyes may be open, and the individual will develop sleep–wake cycles without clear signs of consciousness.
  • these patients generally do not have damage to the brain stem.
  • they have extensive brain damage to the grey matter and white matter of both hemispheres, leading to impairments of most functions.
  • if a patient emerges from this state within the first few months, he or she could regain some form of consciousness.
  • if symptoms do not improve after three months, the patient is classified as being in a permanent vegetative state; the chances of recovery from that diagnosis decrease sharply.


Minimally Conscious State | Disorders of Conciousness

  • a disordered state of consciousness marked by the ability to show some behaviors that suggest at least partial consciousness, even if on an inconsistent basis.
  • a minimally conscious patient must show some awareness of himself or his environment, and be able to reproduce this behavior.


Locked-In Syndrome | Disorders of Conciousness

  • locked-in syndrome: a disorder in which the patient is aware and awake but, because of an inability to move his or her body, appears unconscious.
  • this disorder is caused by damage to part of the pons, the region of the brain stem that sticks out like an Adam’s apple.
  • most patients with locked-in syndrome remain paralyzed.

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