UNIT III STUDY GUIDE
Body Rhythms, Mental States,
Sensation, and Perception
Course Learning Outcomes for Unit III
Upon completion of this unit, students should be able to:
3. Recognize factors that influence human behaviors and cognitions.
3.1 Define circadian rhythms.
3.2 Explain how the body’s biological clock works (and what happens when it does not).
3.3 Detail four psychological factors that influence how we perceive the world.
Body Rhythms and Mental States
Sensation and Perception
Chapter 5: Body Rhythms and Mental States
How often do you find yourself daydreaming? Have you caught yourself drifting in and out of a conversation
only to realize that you have somehow found yourself in a hypnogogic state? Research purports that
consciousness ebbs and flows instead of remaining in a constant, discrete state as many have argued. Wade
and Tavris (2017) explain that our conscious thoughts in one state can directly filter over into another area of
consciousness. For instance, Cartwright (1974) posited that our conscious thoughts can have a direct
correlation to our dreams. She argued that if one spent a great deal of the day contemplating a particular
thought, in all likelihood that same thought or a slight variation would manifest in the individual’s dreams that
night (Cartwright, 1974). What do you think? Have you ever been in such a situation? As you read this
chapter, you will gain better insight into our conscious thoughts and behaviors as well as sleeping patterns.
Are these areas somehow intertwined? Are there linkages that actually exist which can explain why we have
certain dreams? What is the true function of our dreams?
As you further your studies of the information, begin to examine your sleeping patterns. Do you ever find
yourself feeling drowsy for seemingly no reason at all? Many argue that our industrialized society might
possibly be the culprit behind our sleep deprivation. One’s biological clock sometimes gets out of sync due to
exposure to bright lights. Research has studied the effects of too much exposure to bright lights and one’s
internal clock. Furthermore, experiments have even been conducted that capitalize on this theory to positively
affect seasonal affective disorder. As you go through your day, begin to notice when you feel sleepiness
creeping upon you. Are you usually tired around 9 p.m.? Has watching your favorite late night talk show
become a daily ritual? What happens if you do not get to bed at your normal hour? How is the next day
altered if you did not get an adequate amount of rest?
Are you more productive in the mornings? Do you hit your stride in the afternoons? We all have preferred
times in which we are more prone to greater productivity. However, research has discovered that most
adolescents require more sleep than fully developed adults. In fact, many have argued that schools should
have later start times to compensate for these differences. Take a few moments to contemplate this issue.
Would your teen do better in school if he or she could get an extra hour of snoozing? Could more sleep
possibly improve your son or daughter’s level of comprehension?
PSY 1010, General Psychology
Have you ever driven while drowsy? According to Wade and
Tavris (2017), there are warning signs of drowsy driving that exist.
How do you handle this issue? Do you crack a window if you are
sleepy behind the wheel? Have you ever blasted the radio in an
attempt to stay awake? Would it be more effective to simply pull
over and take a short nap? More advancements have arisen to
address this issue; in fact, BMW has a warning system that
monitors drivers’ eye fluctuations to assess alertness levels. Does
your vehicle have this capability?
Do you believe in hypnosis? Many argue that some individuals are
more prone to hypnosis than others. According to Wallace (1993),
individuals who tend to be most productive during the day hours
are more prone to hypnosis in the evening hours. Conversely,
those who are most alert in the evening hours are more
susceptible to hypnosis early in the morning (Wallace, 1993).
Keeping this in mind, have you ever been under the influence of
hypnosis? Could you remember anything that you said or did
Should it be illegal to drive while drowsy?
Some states have advisory signs to encourage
drowsy drivers to get off of the road.
Should certain drugs be legalized? As you conclude your study of
this chapter, begin to examine your thoughts on mind-altering
drugs. For example, in 1935, the United States government
opened a drug treatment center to rehabilitate individuals who were addicted to illegal drugs. The official
name for the institution was the Narcotic Farm. Located in Lexington, KY, the treatment center was actually a
federal prison. By utilizing the settings of a rural farm, researchers believed that inmates and other patients
could successfully overcome their addictions and return to society as functioning, productive citizens;
however, well-meaning the original plan was, there was much controversy surrounding treatment practices.
Many individuals who had successfully stopped using drugs such as heroin were addicted to other drugs in
order for researchers to study the process of withdrawal. These volunteers were often rewarded for their
research participation by being given access to certain drugs for recreational purposes. Research on LSD
was also funded by the CIA to ascertain its effectiveness as a truth serum to be utilized during interrogations
(Choi, 2008). What do you think about the farm? Do you think this research was ethically sound? Ponder this
scenario as you conclude your examination of the chapter.
Chapter 6: Sensation and Perception
How can you determine if something is warm? When do you know
that your mouth is parched? What triggers you to feel nauseated,
fatigued, or various elements of pain? Wade and Tavris (2017)
report that our bodies possess three different types of sensory
systems: exteroceptors, interoceptors, and proprioceptors. Each
sensory system has a different function. Notice how each system
affects one’s daily activities. What would you do if one was not
functioning properly? How would you adjust?
As you continue your examination of this chapter, pay particular
attention to the section related to vision. Have you ever had an
eye exam? What were your thoughts as the doctor asked you to
determine differences between your visions in lens one versus
lens two? In essence, the doctor was checking for just noticeable
difference. If he rushed you, were your perceptions altered? Many
argue that our perceptions and sensations are affected by more
than just psychophysical laws alone. Many scholars purport that
our emotions greatly affect our perceptions as well. What do you
think? Can one’s emotions affect how the individual sees or hears
something while also altering the way in which the meaning is
perceived? How does your state of mind influence your
perception of the world around you?
PSY 1010, General Psychology
Does our perception of a situation influence the
outcome? This cartoon illustrates this concept.
“Can you hear me now? Can you hear me now?” This common phrase from a popular television commercial
provides great insight into further examination during this chapter. Scientists have discovered that as we get
older, damage done to hair cells in the cochlea impact our ability to hear. For example, have you noticed that
teens can generally hear sounds that older individuals cannot discern? Do you hear as well now as you did
ten years ago? Have you ever found yourself asking others to repeat statements quite often? Keep this in
mind while you read the section on hearing.
If you smell an obtrusive odor, what is your reaction? Have you noticed that certain smells influence your
behavior? Baron and Thomley (1994) argue the affirmative. They conducted an experiment in which
participants were instructed to perform certain tasks under low and moderate stress while some had a
fragrant air freshener present and others did not. Some of the participants also received a small candy-filled
bowl for their efforts. It was noted that the participants were able to recall the words more easily if the air
freshener was present along with the small candy. In fact, the effects of the air freshener and the gift were
seen as comparable motivators for completing the voluntary experiment (Baron & Thomley, 1994). As you
peruse this chapter, you will identify other senses that affect one’s perception. Take note of these areas and
your thoughts while reviewing the data.
As you end your examination of this unit, begin to reflect upon the influences of sensations and perceptions
on our daily lives. In essence, does one’s external surroundings affect one's reaction during a stressful
situation? Can women truly embrace dichotic listening better than men? Is it possible to actively listen to two
conversations at once? Has your perception of the world around you changed over the years? What truly
impacts our abilities for various perceptions? Can others truly alter our perceptions and senses?
Baron, R. A., & Thomley, J. (1994). A whiff of reality: Positive affect as a potential mediator of the effects of
pleasant fragrances on task performance and helping. Environment and Behavior, 26, 766-784.
Cartwright, R. (1974). A primer on sleep and dreaming. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley.
Choi, C. (2008, October 24). Reaping a sad harvest: A "narcotic farm" that tried to grow recovery. Scientific
American. Retrieved from http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=narcotics-recovery-farm
Konstantin, P. (2007, October 15). Utah sign by Phil Konstantin [Image]. Retrieved from
Wade, C., & Tavris, C. (2017). Psychology (12th ed.)[VitalSource Bookshelf version]. Retrieved from
Wallace, B. (1993). Day persons, night persons, and variability in hypnotic susceptibility. Journal of
Personality and Social Psychology, 64, 827–833.
Wansink, B. (2004). Bottomless bowl-Wansink [Image]. Retrieved from
The links below will direct you to both a PowerPoint and PDF view of the Chapter 5 and 6 Presentations,
which will summarize and reinforce the information from these chapters in your textbook.
Click here to access the Chapter 5 PowerPoint Presentation. (Click here to access a PDF version of the
Click here to access the Chapter 6 PowerPoint Presentation. (Click here to access a PDF version of the
In order to access the following resources, click the links below:
PSY 1010, General Psychology
The following are psychology articles found within PsycARTICLES database located in the myCSU library.
The articles discuss the topics of bodily rhythms and sensation.
Copen, R. G. (1993). A phenomenological investigation of the experience of insomnia. The Humanistic
Psychologist, 21(3), 364-369. Retrieved from
Freier, L., Mason, L., & Bremner, A. J. (2016). Perception of visual-tactile colocation in the first year of life.
Developmental Psychology, 52(12), 2184-2190. Retrieved from
Learning Activities (Non-Graded)
Non-graded Learning Activities are provided to aid students in their course of study. You do not have to
submit them. If you have questions, contact your instructor for further guidance and information.
The short quizzes below are a great way to self-test your knowledge of the concepts learned in this unit. Take
a few minutes to complete these quizzes to check your understanding. They are located in the textbook on
the page(s) given. The answers are provided in the document below the quizzes, but try to answer the
questions before checking the answers.
Quiz for Module 5.1 (page 148)
Quiz for Module 5.2 (page 155)
Quiz for Module 5.3 (page 160)
Quiz for Module 5.4 (pages 165-166)
Quiz for Module 5.5 (page 172)
Chapter 5 Quiz (pages 175-176)
Quiz for Module 6.1 (page 186)
Quiz for Module 6.2 (pages 198-199)
Quiz for Module 6.3 (page 203)
Quiz for Module 6.4 (page 211)
Quiz for Module 6.5 (pages 215-216)
Chapter 6 Quiz (pages 219-220)
Click here for the Chapter 5 answer keys.
Click here for the Chapter 6 answer keys.
PSY 1010, General Psychology
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