To be conscious means to be aware of something. We are aware of not only the objects present in the outside environ but also of the processes taking place in ourselves. Thus we are aware of the diverse sensations, perceptions, memories, and feelings that take place in ourselves. You will agree that we spend most of our lives in the state of waking consciousness, a state of clear, organized alertness.
In waking consciousness, we perceive time, place, and events as real, meaningful and familiar. However, the states of consciousness related to conditions such as fatigue, delirium, hypnosis, drugs, and ecstasy may differ markedly from the state of "normal" awareness. They are called "altered states of consciousness". Everyone experiences at least some kinds of altered states of consciousness such as sleep, dreaming and daydreaming. In everyday life, changes in consciousness may also accompany long distance running, listening to music, making love or other circumstances.
During an altered state of consciousness, changes can occur in the quality and pattern of mental activity. Typically, there are shifts in perceptions, emotions, memory, time- sense, thinking, feelings of self-control and suggestibility.
1.2 Linkages across Psychological processes:
Psychologists study a wide range of issues related to mental and behavioral functioning. The knowledge generated provides not only basic understanding but also helps people to understand personal and social problems. This kind of effort is known as the application.
Human beings are biological as well as socio-cultural beings, who are growing and developing. Psychologists study how the biological system works and socio-cultural bases shape human behaviors. Contemporary psychologists study these processes from a lifespan perspective. The basic psychological processes are parts of a dynamic regulated system. Thus, in order to attend to and perceive the information received from environment organisms engage in attention and perception. These are important topics for study. The effect of the flow of information needs to be retained in the memory system for future use. It will be of use only if you are able to recall it whenever the need arises. All these processes are interconnected and together help the organism to adapt to the environment and grow. At times you must have been astonished by the complex feats that are performed by the pilots of air, mathematicians, scientists, authors, and engineers. It's really intriguing how people attain such levels of accomplishment. The tremendous range of adaptability and potential to ac various skills, languages, and concepts is the outcome of learning. This has made the study of learning essential.
Knowing the environment requires several mental processes, which together are called cognition. Psychologists study how information is used in thinking, reasoning, decision-making, communicating, and solving problems. Psychologists also study the causes of behaviors. The why of behavior is as important as the how of behavior. Such questions are covered under the theme of motivation. The feelings and emotions provide color to our lives. While interacting with others you must have experience love, hate, surprise, shame, guilt, and so on. We cooperate and compete with others. We also feel frustrated and anxious. The nature causes and consequences of these affective states are important concerns for psychologists. We also notice that people differ from each other in terms of apparent physical characteristics, such as intelligence, personality, temperament, interests, values etc. Understanding these differences is important in their own right and helps in different ways for the purposes of guidance, counseling, and selection for jobs etc. These areas have received considerable attention from the researchers and many theories and assessment tools have been developed. Similarly, psychologists have also shown interest in abnormal behaviors and applications of psychology in the different spheres of human affairs, like schools, business, and hospitals. Thus psychology addresses a diverse range of issues and has numerous specialties.