The Interconnection Of Perception, Consciousness, And Attention Sample College Essay

Introduction to Perception

Perception is “experiences resulting from stimulation of the senses” (Goldstein, 2019)

Humans evolved with detailed visual perception

Third of the human brain devoted to it

Perception = physical energy from outside world ? electrochemical message ? stimulating receptor cells ? received by the brain

Perception may be deceiving, vision not reflecting reality

Perception is a process, change with added information

Theoretical Background of Perception

Focus on Gestalt psychology conception of perception

Based in Wundt’s structuralism, perception is the combination of sensations

Proposed by Max Wertheimer in 1911 when observing apparent movement

Underlying principle – whole different than sum of its parts

Gestalt psychologists proposed principles of perceptual organization – elements group together to create larger objects in human perception

Applications of Perception

Gestalt psychology has practical application in psychology and psychotherapy design

Gestalt therapy used for treatment of depression and anxiety – client centered approach with a focus on present

By understanding that perception is heavily influenced by motivations and expectations, behavior change occurs as individuals realize certain thought and behavior patterns influencing their perception of self and the world

Introduction to Consciousness

Most difficult to define and largely unknown concept of cognitive psychology

Believed to arise from physical systems such as the brain, which somehow becomes an ‘experiencer’

Consciousness is a form of inner life and awareness which controls behaviors, perception, and flow of information (Chalmers, 1996)

Theoretical Background of Consciousness

Popular group of theories are the higher-order theories of consciousness

Consciousness consists in perceptions about first-order mental states

Seek to distinguish between conscious and unconscious brain processing

Applications of Consciousness

There are various forms of consciousness that can be considered in therapy, including sensory, subconsciousness, self-consciousness, and individual differences in awareness

There are also altered states of consciousness including sleep and dreaming, hallucinations, disorientation, and others

Understanding consciousness can help in identifying disorders both physical or mental with a patient

Applying theories of consciousness, focusing on awareness and what information guides decision-making can help shift behavior.

Introduction to Attention

Attention is ability to focus on specific stimuli or locations (Goldstein, 2019)

The mind ‘taking possession’ in a clear form of one of the numerous information streams, objects, or thought that simultaneously bombard every human

Attention allows to choose mental direction taken

Change function of neural circuitry by focusing on a specific stream of consciousness

Theoretical Background of Attention

  • Feature integration theory (FIT)
  • Consists of pre-attentive stage and focused attention stage, leading to perception
  • Initially objects are broken into features without focus
  • Then combination

Applications of Attention

Perception identifies the object and focuses attention on it, analyzing it

Therapies utilizing mindfulness teach clients to alter behavioral responses willfully by shifting amount and quality of attention focused on negative aspects (Schwartz & Begley, 2002)

Attention can aid in focusing attention on awareness of certain aspects of environment, decisions, or thoughts

Practices such as mindfulness and meditation have been effective in psychotherapy as means of shifting attention


Perception, attention, and consciousness are different types of cognition – or mental processes

Research demonstrated that they are heavily intertwined, such as attention ? perception, perception alters consciousness, and consciousness affects attention states

All three work together to shape how an individual engages with and views the world

Application to Diverse Populations

Clear evidence that culture and sustained experiences impact brain structure and function (Park & Huang, 2010)

Therapies and assessments applying the principles of consciousness, attention, and perception must be culturally sensitive and responsive

A culturally responsive assessment takes a systems approach, learning about overlapping systems relevant to client’s life and influences

May include family, religion, language, education, beliefs, preferences of food and entertainment – all of which can be encompassed under culture (Hays, 2016)

Cultural influences and identities can shape perception based on beliefs, attitudes and values – each cultural group typically has a schema (Alegria et al., 2010)

Cultural bias which pervades life experiences commonly produces subtle bias towards attention to particular features in environment, objects, and actors (Ketay et al., 2009)

Consciousness is a part of individual identity which is closely tied with culture and diverse perspective as well as developing awareness of culture in self (Bans, 2012)


Alegria, M., Atkins, M., Farmer, E., Slaton, E., & Stelk, W. (2010). One Size Does Not Fit All: Taking Diversity, Culture and Context Seriously. Administration and Policy in Mental Health and Mental Health Services Research, 37(1-2), 48–60. Web.

Banks, J. A. (2012). Cultural consciousness. In Encyclopedia of diversity in education (Vol. 1, pp. 510-510). SAGE Publications, Inc., Web.

Brownell, P. (2019). Handbook for theory, research, and practice in Gestalt therapy (2nd ed.). Cambridge Scholars Publishing.

Carlson, N.R. (2017). Physiology of behavior (12th ed.). Pearson

Chalmers, D. J. (1996). The conscious mind: In search of a fundamental theory. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

Earl, B. (2014). The biological function of consciousness. Frontiers in Psychology, 5. Web.

Goldstein, B. E. (2019). Cognitive psychology: Connecting mind, research, and everyday experience (5th ed.). Cengage.

Hays, P. A. (2016). Addressing cultural complexities in practice: assessment, diagnosis, and therapy. American Psychological Association.

Ketay, S., Aron, A., & Hedden, T. (2009). Culture and attention: evidence from brain and behavior. Progress in Brain Research, 79–92. Web.

Mace, C. (2018). Mindfulness in psychotherapy: an introduction. Advances in Psychiatric Treatment, 13(2), 147-154. Web.

Schwartz, J. M., & Begley, S. (2002). The mind and the brain: Neuroplasticity and the power of mental force. New York, NY: HarperCollins.

Wokke, M. E., Vandenbroucke, A. R. E., Scholte, H. S., & Lamme, V. A. F. (2012). confuse your illusion. Psychological Science, 24(1), 63–71. Web.

Multiculturalism And Cosmopolitanism


The concept of multiculturalism refers to or is associated with understanding the perception that races, ethnicities, and cultures specific to minority groups are specifically acknowledged due to their differences (Holliday et al., 2010). However, in Malaysia, being a grandchild of a Chinese immigrant, the government’s political system promotes racism, and the minority groups in the country are racially discriminated against. For example, the Malaysian education system promotes Malay students with low academic performance in the universities compared to racially discriminated Chinese or Indian students who must have high scores to be considered for medicine courses. Moreover, in the case of government projects, only the Malay contractors are given tenders by the government, and since my father was a Chinese contractor, he had to tender for government jobs through his Malay friend. Multiculturalism requires the local government to safeguard the rights of minority groups as a way of compensating for oppression, discrimination, and past exclusion (Holliday et al., 2010). However, the Malay government fails in doing that since, through its political system, the minority and less dominant races, Indians and Chinese, are discriminated against.


The concept of relocation entails leaving behind one place and moving to another for settlement where the new location might be a different country, city, or even neighborhood. In my case, having been born in Malaysia, I relocated to Australia, and among the first experiences I encountered after settling in Australia was a culture shock. Unlike in Malaysia, I soon discovered issues like kissing on the cheeks and public change rooms like leisureplex that allow naked ladies and shops to close early. However, despite these cultural differences between Malaysia and Australia, adapting to my new life was not difficult. While globalization is more entrenched in Australia, racism comes into play in several instances. For example, since I am Chinese, I often encounter racism when browsing in Australian shops or receiving racist looks when I wear traditional Chinese blouses during Chinese New Year.

Cultural Membership

Cultural membership refers to the understanding where an individual connects to their identity by being more receptive to the core characteristics of their culture (Holliday et al., 2010). Working as an ethnic education assistant, I have encountered different students, migrants, and international. Some of these students are migrants from Muslim countries, and by upholding the cultural values instilled in them through their religion, I have noticed Muslim girls refrain from assimilating to Australian culture. For example, some Muslim girls refrain from swimming, singing, or dancing and, therefore, fail to participate in end-year parties since they must interact with other religions.


Based on political theory, cosmopolitanism is founded on the idea that every person is entitled to equal consideration and respect regardless of their citizenship status or affiliations (Holliday et al., 2010). With more than ten years in Australia, I have been blessed with two children in the university. Despite the minimal encounters of racism, I believe the country and the government in place promote cosmopolitanism since, regardless of the different ethnicities in Australia, different people enjoy similar experiences. For example, I have friends from different countries residing in Australia, and the cultural diversity in the country has been a major contributor to how well A Chinese, an Indian, a German, and a Burmese can meet and have meals together. Moreover, based on how the Australian government has embraced cosmopolitanism, it is possible to live anywhere and feel safe regardless of background. For example, I live among Australians, Scottish, Malays, and fellow Chinese who freely exchange gifts during the new year and Christmas in my neighborhood.


Holliday, A., Hyde, M., & Kullman, J. (2010). Intercultural communication: An advanced resource book. Routledge.

The Impact Of Social Media On Elite Sportsmen Performance

The elite level of athleticism and sports requires the greatest possible combination of physical, mental, and mental qualities, which together bring the desired result. In contrast to amateur sports, professional and elite sports are those in which athletes are compensated for their efforts. Professional athletics has risen to prominence as a result of several developments. Larger audiences have been attracted by mass media and greater leisure, allowing sports federations or teams to request considerable amounts of money. Concerning the impact of social networks and the Internet on elite athletes, these factors negatively affect mental health, which can subsequently harm the body’s physical condition and impair the brain activity.

The Internet is a huge framework of interconnected technological hubs and networks that communicate using the Internet protocol suite. It is a collection of connected settings compiled of local to global commercial, public, academic, corporate, and state networks linked by various electrical, wireless, and optical telecommunications equipment. Social media are considered interactive platforms that allow people to share ideas, opinions, and other kinds of expression through digital environments and information networks. Users often connect social network services via desktop web services or mobile applications (smartphones and tablets). Individuals, groups, and organizations can exchange, co-create, debate, contribute to, and edit user-generated or self-curated information uploaded online when users interact with various electronic tools. Blog posts, business connections, community projects, forums, video content, and virtual communities are some of the online platforms that are commonly referred to as social media (Aichner et al., 2021). Furthermore, social media is used to chronicle memories, study and discover new things, market oneself, create connections, and develop new ideas through the production of blogs, podcasts, films, and multiplayer games. The emerging discipline of technological self-studies is concerned with the evolving interaction between humans and technology.

Despite the numerous advantages of introducing innovative technologies, the use of the Internet, and social networks, there is a problem in the world of incorrect use of these opportunities. Participants’ mental well-being is harmed by problematic social network usage and can lead to ambiguous consequences (Zhou et al., 2021). Over time, mental or behavioral dependency on social media sites can cause severe damage to an individual’s ability to operate in numerous living areas. This and other links between digital entertainment use and mental health have been extensively examined, disputed, and discussed by professionals from a variety of fields, sparking debate in the medical, scientific, and technical communities.

When an individual participates in internet communications at the expense of accomplishing daily obligations or pursuing other activities, various disorders might be identified without consideration for the negative repercussions. Despite the concerns considering the consequences of internet use, little is associated with the extent to which it is problematic (El Asam et al., 2019). The question of whether inappropriate social media usage is a unique clinical entity or a symptom of underlying psychological problems has attracted controversy. In children and young people, dysfunctional social network use can be linked to mental health problems such as anxiety and sadness. As for the improper use of social networks, a person can spend a much time and use the majority of life resources in this area and behave inappropriately with other representatives of the online community.

According to researchers, excessive internet use for lengthy periods may harm several cognitive abilities, notably concentration, and short-term memory. Using the Internet frequently requires people to multitask between numerous contexts and teaches brains to change focus to a stream of prompts and notifications swiftly. This fact may impair the capacity to retain concentration on a single cognitive activity for lengthy periods. To put it differently, the ability to accomplish everyday activities is a mix of the skills to multitask and deflect focus between different situations and the ability to retain focus on a single issue.

While online multitasking might help change concentration, it can also make it harder to stay focused on one thing for a lengthy amount of time. As a result, since it impairs the capacity to avoid distractions, it may make people more easily distracted. Increased Internet and social network use has been associated with a greater risk of psychological distress and anxiety and can make individuals feel alienated and frustrated, in addition to its harmful impact on cognition. It can be stated that despite the positive consequences of using social networks, the presence of a negative effect on cognitive functions can cause difficulties in brain activity.

As for the influence of social networks and the Internet on the level of professional and elite athletes, it can be noted that there is both negative and positive effect. The adoption of social networks by diverse participants in the world of sports, including sportsmen, coaching staff, supervisors, teams, leagues, fans, activities, and sports public agencies has been widely spread (Abeza et al., 2021). Of the benefits of using social media sources for professional athletes, the possibility of communication with fans, colleagues, and other sports professionals can be emphasized. In addition, social networks can act as a motivating factor for athletes since it stimulates public opinion, and a competent level of external criticism can use a person’s internal psychological reserves. However, this situation is possible only if there is a strictly regulated and structured use of the Internet and social networks. The reason for this is the large number of disadvantages associated with the excessive use of social media and the mishandling of these technologies. In this situation, it is necessary to emphasize such a factor as the use of social networks late at night when the body requires rest.

A professional athlete is a person who is subject to a huge amount of physical activity and a high level of fatigue due to high intensity and high volume of training. In addition, in the period before important tournaments and competitions, when athletes reach peak physical activity, their mental and physical health is vulnerable; moreover, immunity is weakened. A tired human body requires a sufficient level of recovery and rest. In contrast, excessive use of social networks leads to the opposite result, where precious sleep time is spent on Internet activity. Additionally, it is essential to highlight that social media misuse can potentially result in mental disorders due to the development of increased dependence on social network status. Psychological problems and health issues are the general types of consequences of Internet misuse that can considerably diminish sports achievements.

Excessive Internet use can lead to a high degree of stress, resulting in a lack of sleep, inability to eat for extended periods, and limited physical activity, which can cause health issues. Misuse of social media may also lead to mental health issues such as depression, strained family connections, and anxiety. Subjective suffering, impaired functioning, and mental illnesses have been linked to inappropriate Internet usage. Furthermore, researchers have found links between Internet addiction and mental symptoms in teenagers, such as melancholy, anxiety, isolation, and self-efficacy. The most common psychological symptom connected with excessive social media use is depression. Moreover, doctors and psychologists working in mental health must be aware of behavioral disorders such as anxiety, sadness, anger, and job and academic dissatisfaction induced by Internet addiction. They should also be aware of this developing trend and the influence of psychology in combating Internet misuse. According to previous research, social network users are increasingly suffering from social media tiredness (Dhir et al., 2019). The issues that have occurred as a consequence of Internet use demonstrate the need to develop an environment of effective social media usage in communities and families via adequate education.

Considering the impact of the Internet and social networks on established athletes and athletes who are in academies, it is possible to state that they are united by a complicated system of training sessions and discipline. College students, including athletes who are in academies since they represent a similar age group, are at an increased risk of using the internet inappropriately (Jia et al., 2021). Based on the information described above, inappropriate use of social networks and the Internet can negatively affect mental and physical health. In this situation, the effect of a chain reaction occurs, in which the emerging psychological complications can, in the future, in the presence of a critical state, harm the human body in physical form. Social isolation and depression are common consequences of misuse and excessive use of the Internet. This fact, these aspects directly affect the level of physical activity that a person needs to maintain appropriate internal conditions. In terms of mental alertness and thinking, inappropriate use of social media results in a decreased attention and concentration levels that are critical to professional and female athletes in all sports. Therefore, it can be concluded that the influence of the Internet on athletes occurs both from the mental side, causing changes in behavior, and physical impact, including on brain function.

Referring to the potential routes to reduce the negative impact of Internet misuse on the physical and mental health of professional sportspeople, it is possible to state that prevention is preferable to fighting the consequences. There is a need to introduce additional training programs to help athletes overcome the difficulties associated with excessive use of social networks. It is mandatory to have training sessions where experts will regularly explain to professional athletes and remind them of all the possible negative consequences of improper use of the Internet. Elite athletes, including athletes of academic level, are most motivated; however, in conditions of difficult and constant training, they can lose morale, and their level of discipline can fall. In this aspect, in addition to individual training sessions, it is necessary to maintain a constant level of involvement of the athlete in the main provisions of correct behavior in social networks.

One-time pedagogical and motivating seminars will bring an extremely temporary effect. A fundamental and strategic approach is needed to communicate all potential risks to the athlete for the long term. Incorrect use of the Internet and social platforms among athletes leads to an increase in distraction, loss of concentration and attention, deterioration of brain activity in the field of focus, and psychological problems. The role of a mentor in this aspect should be assumed by the head coach, who accompanies the athlete and will monitor his behavior, and habits and make adjustments to the level of discipline if necessary.

To summarize, excessive Internet use can lead to a high degree of emotional stress, resulting in lack of sleep, inability to eat, and limited physical activity, which can cause health issues. While online multitasking might help change concentration, it can also make it harder to stay focused on one thing for a lengthy amount of time. It is necessary to emphasize such a factor as the use of social networks by sportspeople late at night when the body requires rest. It can be concluded that the influence of the Internet on athletes occurs both from the mental side, causing changes in behavior, and physical impact, including on brain function. There is a need to introduce additional training programs to help athletes overcome the difficulties associated with excessive use of social networks.


Abeza, G., O’reilly, N., Sanderson, J., & Frederick, E. (2021). Social media in sport: Theory and practice. World Scientific.

Aichner, T., Grünfelder, M., Maurer, O., & Jegeni, D. (2021). Twenty-five years of social media: a review of social media applications and definitions from 1994 to 2019. Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, 24(4), 215-222. Web.

Dhir, A., Kaur, P., Chen, S., & Pallesen, S. (2019). Antecedents and consequences of social media fatigue. International Journal of Information Management, 48, 193-202. Web.

El Asam, A., Samara, M., & Terry, P. (2019). Problematic internet use and mental health among British children and adolescents. Addictive Behaviors, 90, 428-436. Web.

Jia, J., Tong, W., Zhang, J., Liu, F., & Fang, X. (2021). Trajectory of problematic internet use across the college years: The role of peer internet overuse behavior and peer attitude toward internet overuse. Journal of Adolescence, 86, 64-76. Web.

Zhou, X., Rau, P. L. P., Yang, C. L., & Zhou, X. (2021). Cognitive behavioral therapy-based short-term abstinence intervention for problematic social media use: Improved well-being and underlying mechanisms. Psychiatric Quarterly, 92(2), 761-779. Web.

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