Self-Consciousness and The Self-As-Subject

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Lougheed, Ted




The overarching purpose of this project is to expand upon our understanding of the nature of self-consciousness. Specifically, I investigate our sense of self as a subject of experience, as one and the same experiencer extended over time. Conceptual inquiry and cognitive psychology studies are the primary means of investigation. I seek to fulfill two primary goals. First, I make the case for the distinction between consciousness of the self-as-subject (SAS) and self-as-object (SAO). I lay forth the conceptual foundations for this distinction and discuss the properties of SAS consciousness. I
also review empirical literature that reveals, intentionally or not, the importance of the distinction.
Second, after reviewing the present state of existing studies pertaining to SAS consciousness, I present a complete study and a preliminary study that I undertook to identify and investigate the mechanism responsible for the phenomenon. I examine the relationship between SAS consciousness and other cognitive faculties, specifically episodic memory and attention. I claim that episodic memory is dependent upon SAS consciousness, and that attention must be paid to self for episodic memory to
form. In the first study, I examine the effects of distraction on SAS consciousness in adult participants. In the second, preliminary study, I turn my attention to children, investigating how SAS consciousness develops in 3-5 year-olds, with respect to other aspects of self-consciousness.


Psychology - Cognitive




Carleton University

Thesis Degree Name: 

Doctor of Philosophy: 

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Thesis Degree Discipline: 

Cognitive Science

Parent Collection: 

Theses and Dissertations

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