Commonly used to denote a mental state in which one is awake and responsive, as opposed to sleeping or in a coma. In psychology, the term also refers to one’s way of perceiving, including thoughts, sensations, moods, emotions, dreams, and the like.
Example: Many humans assume that the mental states of other higher-order animals such as primates and dolphins are similar to theirs, and that they too experience emotions, dreams, and the like.
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 30 Nov 2008