Construction of Consciousness: Ordinary Consciousness and Perception, Discrete States of Consciousness, Altered States of Consciousness

Publication Date



Master of Arts (MA)

Committee or Advisor Chair

Philip A. Smith

Committee Members

Douglas C. Bowman

Donald W. Jordan


consciousness, perception, transpersonal psychology, state stabilization, state of consciousness


Cognition and Perception | Cognitive Psychology | Psychology | Social and Behavioral Sciences | Transpersonal Psychology


The primary purpose in my writing is to explore and examine an area of human potential known as Altered States of Consciousness. That is, the existing and transference of psychological energy from one psychological state to another. In recent years, interest in such states has mushroomed, particularly here in the West, the cause of which may be that people, both young and old, feel alienated from their environments (government, religion, science, community) and their fellow man. This alienation may be the causative factor in prompting many people to search for inner peace and a union with their environment not found in their increasingly impersonal, urban existence, an urban existence filled with momentary gratification and little, if any, long-term satisfaction. Researchers such as Tart, Ornstein, Walsh, among others, investigating the various realms of human consciousness, hope the time will come when the knowledge and wisdom gained from altered state investigations will supplement conventional knowledge and will be solving some of its problems. It is also hoped that scientific methods for studying such states will be established and refined and that research findings will be taken seriously, and that those earnestly pursuing this quest for greater understanding will no longer be considered somewhat strange and more than a little peculiar.


Department: Humanistic and Transpersonal Psychology

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