Experimental Studies of Ongoing Conscious Experience

  1. Gregory R. Bock Organizer and
  2. Joan Marsh
  1. Jerome L. Singer

Published Online: 28 SEP 2007

DOI: 10.1002/9780470514412.ch6

Ciba Foundation Symposium 174 - Experimental and Theoretical Studies of Consciousness

Ciba Foundation Symposium 174 - Experimental and Theoretical Studies of Consciousness

How to Cite

Singer, J. L. (2007) Experimental Studies of Ongoing Conscious Experience, in Ciba Foundation Symposium 174 - Experimental and Theoretical Studies of Consciousness (eds G. R. Bock and J. Marsh), John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., Chichester, UK. doi: 10.1002/9780470514412.ch6

Author Information

  1. Department Psychology, Yale University, PO Box 11a, Yale Station, New Haven, CT 06520-7447, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 28 SEP 2007

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780471938668

Online ISBN: 9780470514412

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Keywords:

  • experimental studies;
  • conscious experience;
  • thought-sampling methods;
  • continuous operation;
  • self-beliefs

Summary

A research programme designed to find ways of applying a variety of methods in psychological science to studying the seemingly ephemeral phenomena of the human stream of consciousness and its manifestations in daydreams, interior monologues, imagery and related private experiences is described. Approaches include psychometric studies to establish normative information on daydreaming and experimental studies using signal-detection paradigms to capture the ongoing stream of thought. Recent experiments involve thought-sampling methods for identifying the determinants of the content of the stream of thought in adolescents or the ways in which self-beliefs and emotions are manifested in a group of cocaine and heroin abusers. Children's pretend play is studied as a possible forerunner of adult consciousness. It is proposed that the human condition involves a continuing tension between processing information generated from the physical and social milieu and the continuous operation of centrally generated material from long-term memory in the form of reminiscences, wishes, current concerns, expectancies and fantasies. This concept has implications for personality variation, affective arousal and adaptive behaviour.