Consciousness, Dreams, and Beliefs: The Nature of Personal Reality

Fall 2016
Winter 2017
Daytime Evening
Day and Evening
Class Size: 50
Credits per quarter

Compare offerings and share your lists with others.

Taught by

In this interdisciplinary program, we will focus on advanced topics in consciousness studies and the psychology of dreams. We’ll explore consciousness by examining dreams and personal belief systems using both scientific research and first-person experience. We’ll explore dynamics of the psyche by examining the following questions.  What is the psyche, what is consciousness, and what are their properties and dynamics? Are there different types of consciousness?  What is the relationship between unconscious and conscious mental processes? What is the relationship among the conscious, unconscious, and personal beliefs in constructing our sense of self and our experience individually and en masse? 

Fall quarter we’ll consider consciousness and dreams from a variety of viewpoints. In addition to the third-person approach of our texts and lectures, students will explore the topics by keeping structured journals of their first-person experiences and dreams. Winter quarter we’ll continue with a more in-depth analysis of these topics and the role of beliefs in perception and experience. There will be a substantial individual research component winter quarter culminating in a presentation to the class.

The work will be challenging intellectually and personally. Students will be expected to keep a detailed log of their work and expect to document working efficiently for a minimum of 48 hours each week, including class time. Students should be willing to study details of empirical research of conscious and unconscious processes as well as be willing to explore their personal beliefs in a variety of areas and in both personal and group activities.

This offering will prepare you for careers and advanced study in:

consciousness studies, psychology, social work, and government.


Credits per quarter


Be prepared to explore challenging and unfamiliar ideas! This program is for junior or senior level students, but the only prerequisites are to have learned how to work hard, read actively, identify authors’ evidence for main points, and be willing to work on both third-person texts and first-person introspective activities.

Online learning:
  • Enhanced Online Learning - This offering requires access to web-based tools, but use of these tools does not displace any face-to-face instruction.

$30 in winter for entrance fees and supplies.

Class Standing: Sophomore–Senior
Class Size: 50
Daytime Evening

Scheduled for: Day and Evening

Advertised schedule:

First winter class meeting: Tuesday, January 10th at 11am (Com 323)

Located in: Olympia

2016-09-21Fall fee removed.
2016-03-15A visitor will join the teaching team; enrollment has been increased.