Book Definition:

The psychic domain of which the individual is not aware but that houses memories, desires, and feelings that would be threatening if brought to consciousness, founded by Sigmund Freud. Cognitive psychologists viewed it simply as a collection of mental processes that operate outside of awareness, but not typically suppressing information or working at odds with consciousness.

In Your Own Words

  • Processes that one doesn't have to think about in order to [[#|remain]] functioning.
  • Brain systems running on autopilot.
  • Cognition occurring without awareness.
  • Sigmund Freud believes it is where your mind holds your repressed thoughts.


  • In the psychoanalytic theory, terrible urges to become violent and lash out have been locked up here in the unconscious.
  • According to Freud, boys pick girlfriends/wives because they are similar to their mothers; they have repressed their sexual attraction to their mothers. The same goes for girls and their fathers. These feelings are kept in the unconscious.
  • Sigmund Freud had an analogy of and iceberg being larger under the water than it was on top, therefore the top of the iceberg being the conscious and the under the water being the unconscious.
  • According to Freud, memories held in the unconscious are the driving force behind our behaviors.
  • If someone's parents were in an [[#|accident]] under the influence, according to Sigmund Freud's belief, your unconscious mind would never let you get behind the wheel.
  • If you were attacked by a large dog as a kid, you may be afraid of dogs for the rest of your life without ever really knowing why because you repressed the traumatizing memory in your unconscious.
  • Being tramatized as a child by something/someone scary and (according to Sigmund Freud) your unconscious thought would prevent you from involving yourself in something scary, ie. a scary movie.
external image unconscious-mind.jpg

External links

History of the Unconscious Mind