A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z Unconscious
At a simple and informal level, the notion of an unconscious mind (or subconscious) would seem a usefully straightforward way of accounting for aspects of the mind of which we are not directly conscious or aware. Upon deeper examination, however, the topic reveals extraordinary complexity.
So many different ideas and theories have been advanced through the ages, and so widely have these various kinds of 'unconscious mind' differed from each other, that one might easily sympathise with behaviourism's decision to study merely patterns of 'stimulus and response' without engaging in speculation about conscious and unconscious mental states! At the present stage, there are still fundamental disagreements within psychology about what the nature of the 'unconscious mind' might be (if indeed it is considered to exist at all) -- whereas outside formal psychology a whole world of pop-psychological speculation has grown up in which the 'unconscious mind' is held to have any number of properties and abilities from the animalistic and infantile, through the innocent and child-like, to the savant-like, all-perceiving, mystical and occult.