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Self-Quiz for a Chapter on Consciousness

Revised 4/4/2004. Welcome to the self-quiz on Consciousness. These questions are about topics related to the scientific study of consciousness (such as the study of sleep and hypnosis). Read the question and click on an answer. You will jump to a correction or (if the answer is correct) a confirmation. No total score is provided for this quiz because it is meant to be browsed; you can scan the responses to wrong answers as well as right answers. If you run into problems or have a question, read the introductory paragraphs on the self-quiz index page.

  1. Some psychologists, echoing Watson, point out that consciousness is subjective and "if you can measure it..."
  2. What is true of NON-REM sleep, in contrast to REM sleep?
  3. What is the hypnagogic state?
  4. What is a lucid dream?
  5. Most psychologists agree hypnosis involves...
  6. Which would be categorized as a "leading question" when interviewing somebody under hypnosis?
  7. Many forms of meditation involve...
  8. Which of the following is a narcotic?
  9. "Alcohol myopia" is said to be...
  10. What is "anandamide"

End of multiple choice questions for States of Consciousness

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ANSWERS AND DISCUSSION SECTION

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You picked...

"then, and only then, will you have a science"

No...it is easy enough to get indirect measurements of consciousness. For example, you can ask somebody to tell you about their consciousness (call it "self-report" or "introspection"). Many such measurements will not add up to a science.

Watson's point was that consciousness could not be directly measured. So, when people said they were measuring consciousness, they were actually measuring something else...

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You picked...

"that will only be the beginning of a long, uncertain validation process"

No... It is true that if somebody claimed to have a way of measuring consciousness, it would provoke a lot of double-checking by other scientists. But Watson's point was a bit different from this.

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You picked...

"I'll be a monkey's uncle...no offense to Darwin"

No, Watson did not make this clever statement.

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You picked...

"you just have neural activity, not consciousness"

This is probably the second best answer, but Watson was not known for talking about "neural activity." His focus was on observable behavior.

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You picked...

"you are in fact studying behavior"

Yes. Behavior is activity. As an outside observer you measure consciousness only indirectly, by measuring some sort of activity (speech, brain activity, reaction time...) performed by another person. So (the argument runs) you cannot measure consciousness directly, and if you can measure something, it is behavior. You can study brain activity, or verbal self-reports of consciousness, or reaction times, but all those things are behaviors.

There are various retorts to this argument. Do you have an appetite for a further discussion of this issue? We could easily put up a discussion page about it and invite contributions from other psychologists. Send me a feedback note if you would like a deeper discussion of the possibilitiy or impossibility of investigating consciousness.

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You picked...

no mental activity

No, non-REM sleep is accompanied by "sleep mentation" (mental activity during sleep) almost as often as REM sleep, about three-quarters of the time. (This is determined by awakening sleepers and questioning them.)

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You picked...

total relaxation of muscles below the neck

No, that happens during REM sleep. However, during non-REM sleep people can move around or even sleepwalk.

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You picked...

desynchrony or "noise" on the EEG

No, that is REM sleep. During non-REM sleep the EEG is more likely to show large, slow waves indicating synchronized firing of many neurons. Non-REM sleep is often called "slow wave sleep" for this reason.

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You picked...

slower and more regular breathing

Yes. Non-REM sleep is likely to be accompanied by slow, deep breathing. REM sleep, by contrast, is characterized by irregular breathing.

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You picked...

irregular pulse

No, that would be REM sleep. During REM sleep both heart rate and respiration rate fluctuate.

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You picked...

a state closely resembling hypnotism

No...they both begin with "hyp" but the hypnogogic state is not related to hypnotism.

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You picked...

a state during which it is particularly easy to talk to someone in their sleep

No, if you talk to someone in the hypnagogic state, they will probably answer normally, because they are not yet fully asleep.

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You picked...

the state of transition into sleep

Yes. The hypnagogic state is the "half-asleep" state during which one can experience fragments of dream-like activity. People probably would not remember hypnogagic experiences at all, if they did not wake up after having one. So (almost by definition) a hypnagogic experience is a brief period of near-sleep followed by enough wakefulness to remember the whole thing later.

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You picked...

a state of confusion and disorientation

No, confusion and disorientation are more characteristic of the hypnopompic state, produced by awakening from a deep stage of sleep.

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You picked...

a state "halfway between sleep and hypnosis"

No. You could say, however, that the hypagogic state is "halfway between stage 0 (wakefulness) and stage 1 (the first definite stage of sleep)."

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You picked...

a dream with unusually clear meaning

No, as far as I know there is no special term for that (except "meaningful dream").

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You picked...

what Pieron called a "limpid" dream

No...Pieron investigated substances in the blood which might cause sleep; he is not known for studying dreaming.

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You picked...

a dream where you know you are dreaming

Yes. A lucid dream is a dream in which it occurs to the sleeping mind, "This is a dream.." Sometimes the awareness of dreaming alters the course of the dream itself, or makes the dreamer wake up. A few people claim they can remain asleep long after becoming lucid about a dream, participating in their own interactive dream adventure.

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You picked...

a type of nightmare

No... lucid dreams are usually pleasant.

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You picked...

a dream vision of the future

No...dreams sometimes seem to express an anxiety, concern, or hope for future events, but this is not the meaning of "lucid dream."

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You picked...

synchronization of brain waves

No, in fact, no distinctive brain pattern indicating hypnosis has been documented.

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You picked...

eye fatigue

No, the idea that eye fatigue causes hypnosis was the theory of Braid, back in the mid-1800s, not modern psychologists.

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You picked...

the locus coeruleus

No, the locus coeruleus is the area of the brain Michael Jouvet removed, which caused his cats to move around during REM sleep. It does not cause hypnosis.

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You picked...

split personality

No...hypnosis is often described as a dissociative state, meaning that part of the brain's activity is "split off" from the rest of the brain's activity, but the phrase "split personality" is not would not be used to label this.

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You picked...

hypersuggestibility

Yes...for many psychologists, hypersuggestibility is a synonym for "hypnosis." About the only thing everybody agrees about hypnosis is that people are very open to suggestion during this state.

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You picked...

What did you do last night?

No, that question does not lead the hypnotized persn to any particular answer, so it would not be considered a "leading question."

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What do you remember?

No, that would not be a leading question, because it does not point to any particular answer.

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You picked...

Do you remember the face of the intruder?

No, that should not encourage a person to remember any particular face.

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What do you see when you turn the corner?

No, that might inspire a hypnotized person to make something up (confabulate) but it would not lead them in any particular direction (except maybe around the corner).

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Did the robber seem nervous?

Yes...this is a "leading question" because it proposes a specific answer and asks the hypnotized person to verify it. A hypnotized person asked this question might be stimulated to imagine a nervous person. After that it would be difficult to determine whether this was a genuine memory or a false memory (confabulation).

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stopping or diverting the inner voice

Yes. In order to do any form of meditation, one has to stop talking to oneself. This can be very difficult! Common techniques for quieting or diverting the "inner voice" include repetitive chanting or concentration upon breathing.

A correspondent wrote: "The question on the States of Consciousness, #7, that deals with meditation is a bit...well wrong. Meditation does not strive to shut down the inner voice. It tries not to react to it. Plainly put you hear it, and let it pass without giving it time or emotion. This is based on Buddhist teachings and personal experience." That is a good point...if one is striving to stop the inner voice, then one is striving, not meditating. I'm not sure this answer said that, but it should not imply effort directed against the inner voice!

Another correspondent suggests, "Perhaps mediation is about 'gently stilling the inner voice'."

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You picked...

hypnosis by an expert, to get started

No, I am not aware of any meditation advocate who recommends starting with hypnosis.

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the period of calmness right after a meal

No, in fact, you are probably more likely to go to sleep at this time, rather than meditating while awake.

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You picked...

explorations of the thought processes, using the "inner voice"

No, typically the idea is to stop the inner voice, not explore it.

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a form of waking REM sleep

No, REM dreaming involves wild imagined stories, not the inner quiet of meditation.

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You picked...

cocaine

No, cocaine is a stimulant drug, not a narcotic. Police often use the word "narcotic" to refer to any illegal drug, but technically this is incorrect.

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marijuana

No, marijuana is variously categorized as a "hypnotic" or "hallucinogen" although it bears no exact relationship to other drugs labeled with those words, so probably it should be in a category by itself. It is not a narcotic, however, because it is not an opiate.

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PCP

No, PCP is "animal tranquilizer" and is not an opiate.

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morphine

Yes; morphine is derived from the opium poppy (like heroin) so it is properly termed a narcotic.

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You picked...

LSD

No, LSD would usually be categorized as a hallucinogen or psychedelic drug. It is not an opiate so it is not a narcotic.

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a "myth"

No, "alcohol myopia" is a fairly recent concept (from the 1990s) used to describe the psychological effects of alcohol. Guess again...

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a reason alcohol consumption is a "risk factor" for sexually transmitted diseases

Yes. "Alcohol myopia" refers to the tendency of alcohol to increase a person's concentration upon immediate events and reduce awareness of events which are distant (hence the reference to myopia which is nearsightedness). People are more likely to participate in unsafe or unwise sexual practices when drunk, while discounting risks such as unwanted pregnancy and disease, which are more distant in time.

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You picked...

a factor which makes social interaction seem "larger and close up"

No, alcohol myopia might produce a "loose tongue" or reduced awareness of later consequence of unusual social behavior...but I would not call that seeing things "larger and close up."

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You picked...

the reason for blurry vision during intoxication

No, the reference to "myopia" (nearsightedness) is not meant to be taken literally.

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similar in effect to "marijuana myopia"

No, as far as I know, nobody has discussed "marijuana myopia."

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a brain chemical which appears in the frontal lobes and hippocampus

Yes. "Anandamide" is the name given by researchers to the neurotransmitter (nerve cell chemical) influenced by marijuana. This transmitter is found (among other places) in the frontal lobes and hippocampus. The hippocampus is involved in the formation of memories, so the effect of anandamide there might help explain why people under the influence of marijuana have short-term memory problems such as forgettng what they were saying in the middle of a sentence.

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You picked...

the active ingredient in nitrous oxide

No, anandamide is the neurotransmitter influenced by marijuana, not nitrous oxide. Nitrous oxide influences opiate receptors.

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You picked...

a chemical which counteracts or antagonizes the effect of marijuana

No, just the opposite. Anandamide is stimulated or released by marijuana.

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a hallucinogenic "designer drug"

No, not yet. No doubt somebody will try to synthesize anandamide at some point, but to the best of my knowledge this has not been done yet for legal or illegal purposes.

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a chemical relative of morphine

No, anandamide is not an opiate receptor; it seems to be in a class by itself, having a chemical action unlike other known drug-related transmitters, and influencing parts of the brain different from those most affected by other drugs.

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