Unit 5 - States of Consciousness


Module 22

Defining Consciousness

• What does it mean to be conscious?


• What is hypnosis?

Module 23

Biological Rhythms and Sleep

• How do biological rhythms affect everyday life?

Sleep Theories

• Why do we sleep?

Module 24

Sleep Deprivation and Sleep Disorders

• If sleep is so important, why do some people avoid it?

• How do sleep disorders affect daily life?


• Are dreams important to daily life?

Module 25

Tolerance and Addiction

• How does the misuse of drugs affect daily life?

Types of Psychoactive Drugs

• Why is it important to know about the different types of psychoactive drugs?


A. Sleep and Dreaming

B. Hypnosis

C. Psychoactive Drug Effects

Understanding consciousness and what it encompasses is critical to an appreciation of what is meant by a given state of consciousness. The study of variations in consciousness includes an examination of the sleep cycle, dreams, hypnosis, circadian rhythms, and the effects of psychoactive drugs.

AP students in psychology should be able to do the following:

• Describe various states of consciousness and their impact on behavior.

• Discuss aspects of sleep and dreaming: — stages and characteristics of the sleep cycle; — theories of sleep and dreaming; — symptoms and treatments of sleep disorders.

• Describe historic and contemporary uses of hypnosis (e.g., pain control, psychotherapy).

• Explain hypnotic phenomena (e.g., suggestibility, dissociation).

• Identify the major psychoactive drug categories (e.g., depressants, stimulants) and classify specific drugs, including their psychological and physiological effects.

• Discuss drug dependence, addiction, tolerance, and withdrawal.

• Identify the major figures in consciousness research (e.g., William James, Sigmund Freud, Ernest Hilgard).

Unit Readings

Unit Videos

Crash Course Episode 8 - Consciousness

Crash Course Episode 9 - Sleep & Dreams

Crash Course Episode 10 - Altered States




Module 22

Defining Consciousness and Hypnosis

Module 23

Biological Rhythms and Sleep and Sleep Theories

Module 24

Sleep Deprivation & Sleep Disorders and Dreams

Module 25

Tolerance and Addiction and Types of Psychoactive Drugs