Week 1 Auditory Hallucinations
We start by defining the term hallucination. Hallucinations are false sense perceptions and can deal with any of our five senses. Hence, there are auditory, visual, tactile (touch), gustatory (taste) and olfactory (smell) hallucinations. Hallucinations can be the result of various chemical substances in our bodies. Psychologically, they are one of the main symptoms of various forms of psychoses. Psychosis is defined as a disorder which affects the person both cognitively (or mentally) and affectively (or emotionally). The two most common symptoms of psychosis are hallucinations and delusions (false beliefs).

OPTIONAL: We begin by listening to a case study that involves both hallucinations and delusions. Read through all the following instructions before proceeding to the taped case study.

This case study gives you a little background into the severity that delusions and hallucinations play in psychological disorders. They can be quite debilitating. This case would be one that would be difficult for psychologists to diagnose because of the previous history Gloria has with psychological disorders. Because of this, psychologists would arguably diagnose her as suffering from a schizophreniform disorder.

Schizophreniform disorder involves an onset of psychotic symptoms such as delusions and hallucinations, confusion during these episodes, good social and occupational functioning and an absence of a blunt affect (or lack of emotional dynamics). This is the general criteria from the DSM-IV or the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disroders (4th ed.). This is the guidebook psychologists and other mental health professionals use to diagnose disorders from the symptoms they see. It will be the source guide for this course as well.

Next, we get to our reading passage--a classic--from Edgar Allan Poe called The Tell-Tale Heart. Auditory hallucinations, one of the most common forms of halluciantion, will be the main focus of this reading passage, but it also involves other symptoms as well. Read through all the following instructions before proceeding with your reading.

    1. Explain the difference between the five types of hallucinations.
    2. Fixation means to focus on only one aspect of something. On what does the author of the story fixate? What does he decide to do about this?
    3. The author writes, "You fancy me mad. Madmen know nothing. But you should have seen me. You should have seen how wisely I proceeded--with what caution--with what foresight--with what dissimulation I went to work!" What does this tell us about how the author feels about himself?
    4. What happened differently on the eighth night of looking in on the old man?
    5. The author writes, "I knew that he had been lying awake ever since the first slight noise, when he had turned in the bed. His fears had been ever since growing upon him. He had been trying to fancy them causeless, but could not. He had been saying to himself: 'It is nothing but the wind in the chimney--it is only a mouse crossing the floor,' or 'it is merely a cricket which has made a single chirp.' Yes, he had been trying to comfort himself with these suppositions; but he had found all in vain." Why do you think noises and thoughts seem to be magnified at night rather than during our normal activities during the day?
    6. The author writes, "The old man's terror must have been extreme!" Upon what does the author base this conclusion?
    7. What is significant about the chairs he sets up to converse with the three policemen?
    8. The author writes, "...I found that the noise was not within my ears." Why do you think the author believes the beating of the heart is external and not internal?
    9. Do you think the elements of this story illustrate auditory hallucinations? Why or why not?

    When you've finished paste your work into an e-mail titled "Week 1 Homework." Then e-mail your work to me at aeaptl@gmail.com.

Week 1 homework is to be completed by 3:00 pm
Monday, February 23
for full credit. It will accepted after that date for half credit.

Reminder:
When e-mailing your work, be sure to paste your work INTO your e-mail.
Do NOT include your work as an attachment.

Lesson Copyright ©2009 Clay Sisman