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How is consciousness defined in psychological terms?

How is consciousness defined in psychological terms?

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Asked by I.Helen, Last updated: Oct 09, 2018

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2 Answers

L. Sevigny

L. SevignyDoctor, Las Vegas
Doctor, Las Vegas

Answered on Jul 10, 2018

To be conscious, you need to be in a state of awareness. The exploration of the concept of consciousness has occupied philosophers, scientists and religious thinkers for decades. There has been a fierce debate about whether consciousness is merely physical, or whether it is a state lying outside the physical. Since the stte cannot be observed in any form or manner, consciousness is not truly available for scientific analysis.

A psychologist regards consciousness as an awareness of sensations, thoughts, ideas and feelings and is concerned with the area between stated perception and neural activity. Whereas perception can occur at lower levels, a higher level involving the primary cortex is necessary for consciousness, for consciousness allows introspection, an examination of our thought processes or mental activity.

Some psychologists (possibly arrogantly) have assumed that humans are the only beings capable of this; other species being merely aware of physical sensations. I am not including Freudian theory of consciousness as this is one defined field that would not be regarded as sufficiently rigorous by scientific analysis. Subliminal perception and differing mental states offer interesting aspects in the study of consciousness. Currently the most productive research into consciousness involves two professions;psychology and neurology, the realm of neropsychology.

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S. Hughes

S. Hughes

Answered on Jun 11, 2018

In psychological terms, consciousness really doesn’t have a “universally accepted operational definition”. It has been described as an “individual’s awareness of their own internal states as well as the events going on around them. If you can describe something you are experiencing in words, then it is part of your consciousness.”

It has also been described as “your individual awareness of your unique thoughts, memories, feelings, sensations, and environment”. Additionally, it has been said, “Pure consciousness is a fundamental principle, which means it cannot be explained by any other phenomenon or combination of phenomena. It is uncaused.”

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