1.) Explain how the use of substances alters a person’s state of consciousness, including depressants, stimulants, and hallucinogens. Include in this explanation what happens to the neurotransmitters and body chemicals as well as how you might recognize if a person at work or in your family is in an altered state of consciousness due to the influence of drugs.
The use of substances can alter the person’s state of consciousness in many ways. The depressants, stimulants, and hallucinogens affect the level of consciousness in different ways due to their specific alterations in the level of brain chemistry in brain cells. When the substances taken breach the blood/brain barrier and reach the brain, they cause alteration in the normal levels and activities of neurotransmitters that include dopamine, endorphins, and serotonin. Any alteration in the level and functioning of neurotransmitters can cause changes in the body chemistries that in turn can cause changes in the normal functioning of the body.
Every neurotransmitter has roles to play in the control of level of consciousness. Alterations in the level of neurotransmitters can trigger temporary arousal or relaxation that affect the functioning of the body (Sheldon, n.d.). For instance, low levels of monoamines that include norepinephrine, epinephrine, dopamine, and serotonin can cause depression. Excessive levels of dopamine level, underactivity of glutamate, and abnormal levels of serotonin and amino acids for can cause psychomotor excitement. Altered state of consciousness caused by drugs can be recognized through observation of the person’s behavior. For instance, by taking stimulants, the levels of monoamines will be increased causing temporary arousal or stimulation effects in the body functioning.
The person under the effects of stimulants will manifest some signs of unusual sudden and temporary excitation and increase in energy level. The person under the effects of stimulants can be observed on emotional high, with flooding of ideas that may be full of irrationality, and highly energetic that can cause long sleeplessness. The use of depressants that include barbiturates can cause relaxation and sedative effects than can make the person less tensed, less anxious, less active, emotionally low, sleepy, and with very low level of energy. The use of hallucinogens can make the person feel unusually elated with heightened senses giving temporary pleasurable experiences.
2.) This question has five parts. One of the cornerstones of Freudian theory is the concept of the unconscious not to be confused with the state of being knocked unconscious by a blow to the head. (a) What did Freud mean by the concept of the unconscious? Freud concept of the unconscious refers to the hidden part of the human mind beyond the person’s capability to bring them out into conscious awareness. The hidden information is stored like the invisible part of an iceberg.
The unconscious part of the human mind refers to the id mainly seeking for the satisfaction of pleasurable desires that come from biological instincts and primitive urges (McLeod, 2009). The stored information in the unconscious mind is beyond the person’s awareness yet can significantly influence human behavior. b) When is it beneficial for much of our behavior to be unconscious?
The unconscious behavior can be a source of power and creativity. The development of good skills and habits where the mastered skills got stored in unconscious mind makes much of the unconscious behavior beneficial. For instance, the skills learned in playing guitar or piano turns as a habit. The formed habit becomes stored in unconscious mind. Playing guitar and piano can later performed out of unconscious behavior. There is no need to think much as the behavior becomes automatic. In the same way, learning the skills of better understanding of life and others can also help in making unconscious behavior of putting control on impulsiveness. The skills can help in making better decisions and dispositions in day to day situations. It can help in influencing others and produce better judgments that enhance better relationship and social life. (c) When is it not beneficial?
The unconscious mind that comes out into uncontrolled unconscious behavior can be significantly disturbing. When being unable to control behavior that comes from unconscious mind, the unconscious behavior becomes not beneficial. The unconscious mind is the center that operates pleasure principle. It seeks satisfaction of the instinctual and primitive desires. The behavior can be disturbing to others, can be destructive, or and be out of morals and acceptable norms set by the society. The person’s behavior driven by unconscious mind produces action done without sound judgment inviting troublesome and chaotic situations.
The developed bad habits that are expressed in unconscious behavior are definitely not beneficial. The habit of bickering, telling lies, and smoking for instance are done out of unconscious behavior and all brings no good effects or impacts to the person and the society. (d) If much of our behavior is unconscious, can you recognize unconscious behavior in yourself and in others? If much of our behavior is unconscious, yes, you can still recognize the unconscious behavior in yourself and others. Human mind is not under the total control of unconscious but the subconscious and conscious aspects will help every person to realize the way he acts. Behavior mostly driven by the unconscious mind tends to produce unwanted consequences that can make the individual resentful, guilty, confused, and unhappy. A point will be reached when an individual will start to understand what drives the behavior to bring trouble and unhappiness. The subconscious and conscious parts of the mind help in modulating the behavior driven by primitive and instinctual desires. (e) How would you know behavior was unconsciously driven?
The unconscious mind drives the person to act unconsciously. He may not know why and how he acted such way. The actions are done without prior thinking or good judgment. The behavior comes out of control that can be impulsive, irrational, and lack of thinking. Unconsciously-driven behaviors are usually followed by wondering and regrets in most instances. The question “Why I behaved such way?”, “Why I did that?”, or “How I behaved such way?” are among the questions that follow after any behavior that was unconsciously driven.
3.) Group think is a concept that involves individuals abandoning their critical sense and agreeing to group process even when they know it will have disastrous consequences. (Challenger disaster, Enron, Iraq war, etc.). Your will encounter these pressures in your work life and need to be prepared. Have you ever done something in a group that you would not have done if you were alone? What happened? How did you feel? What have you learned from this chapter that might help you avoid this behavior in the future, and avoid group think?
Due to pressures, yes, I have done something in a group that I would have not done if I were alone. On the next steps I felt not happy with what the group has been doing according to the plans. My decision to agree under the influence of group think made me feel uncomfortable as I realize that I could hardly convince myself to do what the group has agreed unanimously. Along the way, I felt dissatisfaction and lost any motivation to participate in carrying out the group activity. I felt like doing the activity under control like an operated machine.
From the chapter reading, I learned that you may need to allow yourself to think impartial on group ideas. Every planned action in the group requires critical evaluation. Every member must be given the chance to have their voices heard and air the differences. The decision made by the group must be well discussed and consider critiques from outside experts when needed. The decision made by the group must be made with free participation of every member. The voice of every group member is valuable as the group needs coordinated efforts to successfully accomplish something. 4.) How does prejudice develop and how might it be supported in families and in the work place? Do you believe that you are free of prejudice? The biased prejudgment influenced by stereotypes and discrimination play huge roles in the development of prejudice. For instance, seeing a senior new member in the workplace will already make some young members to underestimate the capabilities of the aged member.
The prejudice drives them to think that the new senior co-worker is not different from old staffs that are less productive. Prejudice has strong powers to change the perception. Under the influence of prejudice, the good can become bad while the bad can become good before he eyes of anyone. The biased treatments driven by prejudice can be supported in families and workplaces by keeping the mind free of stereotypes and discrimination. Every person is unique and deserves fair treatment and judgment based on his personal character and abilities. Well, I think it is within the inherent human behavior to be sometimes driven by unconscious mind to think out of control that sometimes allow the mind to be influenced by prejudice. I can say I am not an exception as prejudice sometimes plays in my mind when I look at other people. For instance, when I see a funky guy walking in the street at night, I develop some fear as I think that the guy might be a rapist or a theft. The thought usually comes from the unconscious mind.
McLeod, S. (2009). Unconscious mind. Retrieved from
Sheldon, J. (n.d.). Motivations for drug use. Retrieved from