Chat with us, powered by LiveChat Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain:? Is consciousness real or illusory?? What evidence supports your opinion?? (There are multiple senses of ‘real’ one could consider when a - Writeden


Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain:  Is consciousness real or illusory?  What evidence supports your opinion? 

(There are multiple senses of "real" one could consider when answering this question.  Does it have real causal effects on behavior?  Does it have real adaptive value?  Does our subjective experience of it match what is really happening?)

There are multiple sources of evidence you could consider in answering this question, including split brain studies, cognitive neuroscience research on the correlates of consciousness, and behavioral research on the relationship between action and conscious experience.


To sleep, perchance to dream.  How serious a problem is inadequate sleep?  Are there some professions or situations where you think it is particularly problematic?  What (if anything) do you think would be appropriate policies to address the problem?


Natural selection for supernaturalism.  One altered state of consciousness that seems to exist universally across time and cultures is religious experience – experiences that are perceived to have a supernatural origin or explanation.  It seems that we are hard-wired to be religious (or superstitious).  From the perspective of evolutionary psychology, what adaptive function might it serve for us to have evolved this tendency? 

Note that the truth or falsity of any particular religious beliefs are not at issue here (and are not relevant to the question).  The question is, why, from an evolutionary perspective, did we evolve the tendency to believe in the supernatural?  The fact that we evolved to believe it does not make it true (we also evolved to experience all sorts of perceptual illusions), nor does being able to explain in evolutionary terms why we believe it make the belief false.  So please refrain from expressing any opinions about the truth or falsity of religious beliefs, and focus instead on how the tendency to have such beliefs might have increased our ancestors' reproductive fitness – how it could have made them more likely to leave lots of descendants (who would also have that trait). 


By this Monday (Module 4), post a link to an example of a purported report of psychological research in the news or on the web, or something that appears to use psychological research to support its claims.  It can be a particularly good example of research, or a particularly bad example of (alleged) research – either would make for an interesting discussion. Try to find something related to one of the topics we have covered in the course so far.  

Describe it briefly.  Be sure to summarize and paraphrase in your own words.  Identify the type of research that it is based on, and give enough information so that your reader can evaluate the strength of the evidence.

***Each question has to be 150-200 words long.***