PSY1010 Columbia Southern University Unit III Circadian Rhythms Essay


Columbia Southern University

Question Description

Unit III Essay

Wade and Tavris explain that each person’s body experiences ups and downs throughout the typical day. In fact, biological rhythms, the fluctuations that occur in one’s biological system, dictate numerous factors within one’s body, including hormones, urine output, blood pressure, and our reactions to stimuli. Most of the time, our biological rhythms are in sync with the external environment, and they typically occur within a 24-hour cycle known as circadian rhythms. In this assignment, you will keep an hourly record of your mental alertness level for a minimum of three days using the following five-point scale:

1–extremely drowsy or mentally lethargic

2–somewhat drowsy or mentally lethargic

3–moderately alert

4–alert and efficient

5–extremely alert and efficient At the end of your observation period, you should compose an essay that defines circadian rhythms and explains how one’s biological clock works. Additionally, you should describe what happens when it does not work properly.

You must also address the following questions in your essay:

Did your level of alertness follow a certain pattern or circadian rhythm? Did you reach a noticeable high and low point once every 24 hours, or did you have a shorter rhythm? Did your level of alertness rise and fall numerous times throughout the day? If you performed this activity on the weekend, were your cycles the same as during the week?

Finally, think about how this experiment affects your life and your perception. What other factors influence your perception? To conclude your essay, you should discuss four psychological factors that could be used to explain how you perceived the world around you.

Draw on the research from the textbook as you compose your essay. In addition to your textbook, you must use at least one other academic source. Your response should contain an introduction and conclusion and be at least one page in length, but it can be longer if necessary to address all aspects of the assignment. All sources used, including the textbook, must be referenced; paraphrased and quoted material must have accompanying citations.

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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. Reading Assignment Chapter 5: Body Rhythms and Mental States Chapter 6: Sensation and Perception Unit Lesson 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 1 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 while hypnotized? 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 (Konstantin, 2007) 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. (Wansink, 2004) 2 “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? References 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 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 Suggested Reading 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 presentation.) Click here to access the Chapter 6 PowerPoint Presentation. (Click here to access a PDF version of the presentation.) In order to access the following resources, click the links below: PSY 1010, General Psychology 3 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 t=true&db=pdh&AN=1994-21986-001&site=ehost-live&scope=site 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 t=true&db=pdh&AN=2016-56613-011&site=ehost-live&scope=site 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. Knowledge Check! 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. Chapter 5  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) Chapter 6  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) Answer Keys Click here for the Chapter 5 answer keys. Click here for the Chapter 6 answer keys. PSY 1010, General Psychology 4 ...
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Final Answer




The Circadian Rhythm
Course Code:


The Circadian Rhythm

The Circadian Rhythm is a 24-hour internal clock or schedule within an
individual’s brain that dictates sleepiness or alertness. It is also known as the sleep/wake cycle.
The cycle is dictated by the hypothalamus, the portion of the brain responsible for sleep
(Morgenthaler, Kolla & Auger, 2012).
The stimuli related to sleep are the determinants of the Circadian rhythm. Certain
factors like lighting and time of day determine the same. When it is dark, an individual’s eyes
send a signal to the hypothalamus. The hypothalamus, in turn, sends another message to the
muscles and joints. The muscles and joints in turn release melatonin, the hormone responsible for
the tiredness sensation. This release is mainly the reason why people who work in shifts find it
hard to sleep during the day and stay awake at night (Morgenthaler, Kolla & Auger, 2012).
The cycle works best when an individual has regular sleeping routines; sleeping
through the night and waking up in early in the morning. Events like jet lag, staying up late and
daylight savings time get in the way of one’s circadian rhythm. These events result in a reduction
in an individual’s attention span, irritability and in some rare cases, anxiety (Morgenthaler, Kolla
& Auger, 2012).
Circadian Rhythm: A personal experience
The beauty of the rhythm is it is perhaps the most straightforward psychological
and physiological concept to investigate in academia. An assessment of the idea was conducted,
over a period of 3 days (72 hours). Within this period, the level of alertness was record...

DrPrinsen (5221)
University of Virginia

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