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Testing for the existence of the subconscious mind.

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Here is a simple “test” that attempts to prove that your “conscious mind” don’t know feces from shinola iffen your “subconscious mind” doesn’t tell it everything it needs to know whenever it needs to know it.

 

Following is a list of twelve (12) commonly used words with some of the letters out of the correct sequence. So, take this simple “test” by quickly glancing over the following list …… just to see if you can correctly pronounce them without too much hesitation, …… to wit:

 

ltteer
mses
wouthit
iprmoetnt
istlef
raed
bcuseae
wrod
porbelm
frist
huamn
lsat

 

Are you done yet, …….. or are you still trying to figure them out?

 

It shouldn’t have taken anyone more than ten (10) seconds to figure all 12 of them out …. according to those persons who claim that their “conscious mind” is in control of everything they think, say or do …… and that their “subconscious mind”, ….. if there is such a thing, …… doesn’t control anything and for sure, their “conscious mind” is not subservient to the “subconscious mind”.

 

Anyway, HA!

 

I betcha ya didn’t figure them all out in the allotted 10 seconds, …… did ya?

 

Probably took ya way more than 10 seconds, right?

 

Now you can try a 2nd “test” to determine iffen your “subconscious mind” can do what it does best, ……. and that is, ….. to tell your “conscious mind” what it needs to know when it needs to know it, …….. and damn quick at doing it when it does it.

 

So, take the next “test” by quickly reading through the following paragraph to see iffen you have as much problem with the wording in it as you did with the same words up above, to wit:

 

Olny srmat poelpe can raed tihs. I cdnuolt blveiee taht I cluod aulaclty uesdnatnrd waht I was rdanieg. The phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid, aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoatnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be in the rghit pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit a porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. Amzanig huh? yaeh and I awlyas tghuhot slpeling was ipmorantt! if you can raed tihs psas it on !!"

 

YUP, ..... Amazing, huh?

 

Thanks to your "subconscious mind" ....... your “conscious mind” just kinda sorta magically knew what all those “scrambled” words were without a dab of hesitation.

 

Now let the "discussion" begin.

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There is some interesting science about the relationship between the "subconscious" and the "conscious" mind. Some interesting results are documented by Daniel Kahneman in Thinking Fast, Thinking Slow.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thinking,_Fast_and_Slow

 

(He avoids the terms "subconscious" and the "conscious" because they are not well-defined and are associated with all sorts of preconceptions - much of it connected with the pseudoscience of Freud, Jung, etc.)

 

 

 

YUP, ..... Amazing, huh?

 

Maybe. I struggle to read that text (my "conscious" mind has to descramble most of the words) even though I have seen it many times before. The content is also mainly untrue, although that is probably not particularly relevant.

Edited by Strange

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It shouldn’t have taken anyone more than ten (10) seconds to figure all 12 of them out …. according to those persons who claim that their “conscious mind” is in control of everything they think, say or do …… and that their “subconscious mind”, ….. if there is such a thing, …… doesn’t control anything and for sure, their “conscious mind” is not subservient to the “subconscious mind”.

 

Who are these people who make such a claim? Where do they live? Do they drink in the same bar as you? I've never run across them. Perhaps they only exist in your subscconious mind.

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... don’t know feces from shinola iffen

 

twelve (12) .... ten (10) seconds

 

Yes, off-topic, but why do you invent English words, and why do you assume we can't read words like "twelve" and "ten"? Is English a foreign language for you?

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This is more a psychology or word play topic than one of biology, which is where you've posted this discussion. Nevertheless, as Strange alluded, subconscious mind is an invalid description of the mental quality you want to discuss here. There is no evidence that our brain produces a "subconscious mind". The terms most descriptive of the mental divisions our brain function produces are conscious and unconscious. What you are discussing here is how we are able to unconsciously decipher or unscramble jumbled letters into words, which is descriptive of what we do mentally without conscious direction, perception, or focus. If the intent of this discussion line is to offer proof of a subconscious rather than unconscious mind, you will need to provide some distinction in brain function as can be provided relative to the unconscious mind should you want to continue this discussion.

Edited by DrmDoc

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Maybe. I struggle to read that text (my "conscious" mind has to descramble most of the words) even though I have seen it many times before.

 

Then you are reading toooo slow , kinda concentrating or pausing on each word.

 

Scan the words quickly, ..... the quicker the better ....... but not so quick that they are a blur.

 

Who are these people who make such a claim? Where do they live? Do they drink in the same bar as you? I've never run across them.

 

Mostly liberal socialist "enviros", ......... the left coast, California, ........ no, in coffee houses in San Fran, ...... maybe lucky you.

Is English a foreign language for you?

 

Only the one (1) time when I was in Germany on business.

This is more a psychology or word play topic than one of biology, which is where you've posted this discussion.

 

Being a Degreed Biologist, I have to disagree with you on that. And please don’t infer or associate my commentary with that of the “psychobabblers”.

 

Nevertheless, as Strange alluded, subconscious mind is an invalid description of the mental quality you want to discuss here.

 

 

And a valid descriptor of the brain function that I am referring to would be what? Have you coined an accurate and valid descriptor that is currently recognized by the science community? If not, why not?

 

There is no evidence that our brain produces a "subconscious mind".

 

 

Are you saying that here is NO SUCH THINGS as “dreams”, ….. aka: REM sleep cycles?

 

Or are you just claiming that all REM sleep cycles wherein “dreams” are actually known to occur ……. that all said “dreams” are created by the Flying Spaghetti Monster and are in no way a product of brain activity.

 

The terms most descriptive of the mental divisions our brain function produces are conscious and unconscious.

 

 

Really now, and just what is the descriptive term that has been assigned to the mental state of a person that has been “whapped” on the head with a baseball bat and is lying unresponsive on the floor moaning and groaning about their head hurting?

 

They can’t be conscious if they are unresponsive ……. and they can ‘t be unconscious if they are moaning and groaning, now can they.

 

And why the descriptive term “coma” iffen the term “unconscious” adequately describes the mental state?

 

And just when and why is a person declared to be “brain dead”?

 

And just what is the difference in the mental state of a person that is “unconscious”, and a person that is in a “coma”, and a person that is “brain dead”?

 

There must be good reason for the use of redundant terminology.

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Yes, off-topic, but why do you invent English words

 

 

Turns out "iffen" is some sort of red-neck dialect thing. I hadn't come across it before.

I don't know what the thing with the numbers (n) is though.

 

And a valid descriptor of the brain function that I am referring to would be what? Have you coined an accurate and valid descriptor that is currently recognized by the science community? If not, why not?

 

Well, Kahneman uses the terms "system 1" and "system 2" to avoid the old loaded terms. He makes it clear that this are not separate systems in the brain, but just different ways of processing information: one fast and (often) less accurate; the other slower but more considered. The latter can be influenced by the former but is not, as you suggest, totally under its control. So it can, for example, reverse the decisions made "instinctively" by what you call the "subconscious".

 

His conclusions are backed up by a large amount of experimental data gathered over decades.

 

Your guesses seem to be based on an Internet meme.

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Turns out "iffen" is some sort of red-neck dialect thing. I hadn't come across it before.

 

Whoa that dog won't hunt kemosbie. It's not a term used in North Alabama and I'm pretty sure in most of the "old South".

Anyways I ain't claiming him.

 

Your guesses seem to be based on an Internet meme.

Yes it's a very old supposed Cambridge study in linguistics. I think the university denied it years ago. This was the first link I came across from 2007.

http://scienceavenger.blogspot.com/2007/12/cambridge-word-scramble-study-its-fake.html?m=1

If we truly read words as a whole, then why must the first and last letters be fixed? Why can't the entire word be scrambled? And what exactly does "as a whole" mean anyway? How can one see a word as a whole without seeing the letters in it?

 

In a way this is a cheap magician's trick, because the only reason people can read the scrambled words is because they aren't very scrambled. Fixing the first and last letters means 2 and 3 letter words don't change at all, and 4 letter words just swap the middle letters. That's the bulk of our vocabulary. Try making a sentence with very long words, and our ability to read words "as a whole" mysteriously vanishes.

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I'm skeptical of the claim that you're a "degreed biologist", as your ideas about the origin of mankind don't seem to be very scientifically minded.

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I don't know what the thing with the numbers (n) is though.

 

Its an ole habit I picked up many, many years ago when authoring Engineering Design Specifications and System Software/Firmware Operational Specifications.

 

Well, Kahneman uses the terms "system 1" and "system 2" to avoid the old loaded terms.

 

 

That infers, to the reader, that there are two (2) separate and independent systems. Very confusing that would be ..... because there is no way to keep track of which System one is talking about (please note in the afore, "one" defines a person: (1) which defines an integer was not needed or used) without mentioning both each and every time.

 

He makes it clear that this are not separate systems in the brain, but just different ways of processing information: one fast and (often) less accurate; the other slower but more considered. The latter can be influenced by the former but is not, as you suggest, totally under its control. So it can, for example, reverse the decisions made "instinctively" by what you call the "subconscious".

 

Well, IMLO, .... his thinking is "close" to actuality ........ but then "close" only counts in the game of Horseshoes.

 

His conclusions are backed up by a large amount of experimental data gathered over decades.

 

 

Experimental data, ...... HUH?

 

The problem is, the people you are "experimenting" on or with ....... will lie to you without blinking an eye .... and most will simply tell you what they think you want to hear.

 

Your guesses seem to be based on an Internet meme.

 

OH, my my my my, ..... so you truly believe that Kahneman conclusions are backed up by a large amount of experimental data gathered over decades ...... and that your personal, intelligently reasoned opinion of me, ..... is that all the actual, factual scientific data and personally observed information that I have acquired over the past 50+ years and posted to or cited on this Forum ..... is nothing more than simple arsed guesses on my part that were/are ...... based on an Internet meme.

 

Strange, your thinking ability is pretty much defined by your "screen name".

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Its an ole habit I picked up many, many years ago when authoring Engineering Design Specifications and System Software/Firmware Operational Specifications.

 

 

Then you should stop it. Especially as the rest of your writing does not have the sort of clarity required when producing specification documents.

 

 

 

That infers, to the reader, that there are two (2) separate and independent systems. Very confusing that would be .....

 

As I say, he goes to great lengths to explain that is not the case.

 

 

 

The problem is, the people you are "experimenting" on or with ....... will lie to you without blinking an eye .... and most will simply tell you what they think you want to hear.

 

You don't have a clue how psychology research is done, do you?

 

 

 

OH, my my my my, ..... so you truly believe that Kahneman conclusions are backed up by a large amount of experimental data gathered over decades ...... and that your personal, intelligently reasoned opinion of me, ..... is that all the actual, factual scientific data and personally observed information that I have acquired over the past 50+ years and posted to or cited on this Forum ..... is nothing more than simple arsed guesses on my part that were/are ...... based on an Internet meme.

 

Pretty much, yes. (Except I don't have any opinion about you. I don't even know you. All I can comment on is what you write here.)

 

If you have "actual, factual scientific data" supporting your case, why don't your present it. Instead of just making assertions.

 

 

 

Strange, your thinking ability is pretty much defined by your "screen name".

 

There is a story behind the choice of name. But it isn't very interesting (it involves old men, a Japanese popular song, middle eastern dyes and confusion over the attributive form of Japanese nouns).

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Being a Degreed Biologist, I have to disagree with you on that. And please don’t infer or associate my commentary with that of the “psychobabblers”.

 

Your professed biology degree notwithstanding, it's exceedingly difficult not to consider you anything but the latter in view of your prior and subsequent comments here.

 

And a valid descriptor of the brain function that I am referring to would be what? Have you coined an accurate and valid descriptor that is currently recognized by the science community? If not, why not?

 

 

I gave you that "descriptor" or term in my prior comments. The term, which isn't one I've personally coined, is unconscious and it has been used by knowledgeable scientist, psychologist, and neurologist for many years probably as early as the 17th century.

 

Are you saying that here is NO SUCH THINGS as “dreams”, ….. aka: REM sleep cycles?

 

Or are you just claiming that all REM sleep cycles wherein “dreams” are actually known to occur ……. that all said “dreams” are created by the Flying Spaghetti Monster and are in no way a product of brain activity

 

 

Rather than an example of a supposed "subconscious mind", dreaming and REM are evidence of brain activity amid an unconscious state of brain function.

 

Really now, and just what is the descriptive term that has been assigned to the mental state of a person that has been “whapped” on the head with a baseball bat and is lying unresponsive on the floor moaning and groaning about their head hurting?

 

They can’t be conscious if they are unresponsive ……. and they can ‘t be unconscious if they are moaning and groaning, now can they.

 

And why the descriptive term “coma” iffen the term “unconscious” adequately describes the mental state?

 

And just when and why is a person declared to be “brain dead”?

 

And just what is the difference in the mental state of a person that is “unconscious”, and a person that is in a “coma”, and a person that is “brain dead”?

 

There must be good reason for the use of redundant terminology

 

 

 

All valid questions but they, unfortunately, expose how little you may understand the terms unconscious and subconscious relative to brain function. Our brain produces just two measurably functional states: conscious and unconscious. Measurably function states are those in which we are able to register detectable levels of brain activity via EEG, fMRI or other applicable methods. Unconscious is that measurable state of brain activation and activity that is diametrically opposite our conscious state. Despite pervasive unstudied colloquial notions, our brain is active while in an unconscious state and even amid coma--albeit not the level of activity we find amid our conscious state.

 

Unconscious describes that state of mentation and brain function that is opposite of that brain state that produces conscious awareness of physical/material reality. When we dream, using your example, we are not subconscious of our physical/material experiences in reality, instead we are unconscious or unaware of those experiences while dreaming. Unconscious is also descriptive of experiences, perceptions, and behaviors we engage that are diametrically opposite those we engage consciously; therefore, brain states like coma and REM are subsets of unconscious brain activity.

 

Subconscious is primarily a term most aptly descriptive of a type of influence rather than an active brain state. As influence, subconscious describes that which discretely affects the mind and behaviors our brain produces. The distinction between the terms unconscious and subconscious is analogous to a person and a package. The person personifies the unconscious, while the package represents the subconscious influence he may either receive or deliver.

Edited by DrmDoc

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I believe the following was posted in response to my jumbled word/letters “test”, to wit:

 

Science Avenger said:
If we truly read words as a whole, then why must the first and last letters be fixed?

 

 

 

Like the ole fert said, …… someone is trying to make a mountain out of a mole hill …… as a result of them simply not understanding what said “testing” was meant to prove.

 

So, “Yes”, we truly do read words as a whole, ……. because the word “we” refers to the person, the whole person, …… and the whole person reads the whole word. But the afore stated jumbled word/letters “test” was not intended for testing whether or not “we” are a person, whole or otherwise.

 

How can one see a word as a whole without seeing the letters in it?

 

There he/she did it again, instead of using the word “we” to refer to the whole person ….. they used the word ”one” to refer to the whole person. So right again, the whole person, either the “we” or the ”one” whole person, ….. can not see the whole word without also seeing the whole string of letters in it.

 

The per se “test” was nothing more than a simple exercise to prove to the “testee” that they have both a “conscious mind” and a “subconscious mind” and that the latter one is functioning in the background ….. and doing most all the mental work of “character string” interpretation and recall of associated data, ….. as well as informing the “conscious mind” of the results of its work ….. without the former one even knowing or realizing that the latter one even exists.

 

For those persons who truly believe that their “conscious mind” is in control of everything that they “see”, ”hear” or ”do” ….. and that their “conscious mind” is not subservient to their “subconscious mind” ….. or that there is no such thing as a “subconscious mind” …… should explain in detail how it is possible for them to hear their telephone ring, …. when they were not expecting anyone to be calling, …… and they answered their phone “call” by saying “hello”, ….. and the person calling responded by just saying “hello” and nothing else, …… and "SHAZAMM", .... all of a sudden a “mental picture” of the caller appeared in the person’s “conscious mind” ….. even though there was no way in hell that said person’s “conscious mind” or their eyes could possibly see who the person was that was calling on the telephone.


Rather than an example of a supposed "subconscious mind", dreaming and REM are evidence of brain activity amid an unconscious state of brain function.

 

 

All valid questions but they, unfortunately, expose how little you may understand the terms unconscious and subconscious relative to brain function. Our brain produces just two measurably functional states: conscious and unconscious. Measurably function states are those in which we are able to register detectable levels of brain activity via EEG, fMRI or other applicable methods. Unconscious is that measurable state of brain activation and activity that is diametrically opposite our conscious state. Despite pervasive unstudied colloquial notions, our brain is active while in an unconscious state and even amid coma--albeit not the level of activity we find amid our conscious state.

 

Unconscious describes that state of mentation and brain function that is opposite of that brain state that produces conscious awareness of physical/material reality. When we dream, using your example, we are not subconscious of our physical/material experiences in reality, instead we are unconscious or unaware of those experiences while dreaming. Unconscious is also descriptive of experiences, perceptions, and behaviors we engage that are diametrically opposite those we engage consciously; therefore, brain states like coma and REM are subsets of unconscious brain activity.

 

Subconscious is primarily a term most aptly descriptive of a type of influence rather than an active brain state. As influence, subconscious describes that which discretely affects the mind and behaviors our brain produces. The distinction between the terms unconscious and subconscious is analogous to a person and a package. The person personifies the unconscious, while the package represents the subconscious influence he may either receive or deliver.

 

Now your 1st statement above was one brilliantly conceived piece of verbiage that just gotta be worthy of a Nobel Prize consideration. Now just who else alive today could possibly have thunked up the amazing scientific fact that ....... "dreaming and REM are evidence of brain activity"?

 

And the content/context of your above three (3) paragraphs have left me flabbergasted and speechless.

 

Speechless ...... because iffen I actually told you what I thought about the context/content of your commentary in a posting, ...... I am positive that the Forum managers would bar me for life.

 

Tell me, ...... DrmDoc, ..... do persons that are born deaf and blind ......... dream in "color" or dream in "black & white"?

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Now your 1st statement above was one brilliantly conceived piece of verbiage that just gotta be worthy of a Nobel Prize consideration. Now just who else alive today could possibly have thunked up the amazing scientific fact that ....... "dreaming and REM are evidence of brain activity"?

 

And the content/context of your above three (3) paragraphs have left me flabbergasted and speechless.

 

Speechless ...... because iffen I actually told you what I thought about the context/content of your commentary in a posting, ...... I am positive that the Forum managers would bar me for life.

 

Tell me, ...... DrmDoc, ..... do persons that are born deaf and blind ......... dream in "color" or dream in "black & white"?

 

If my attempts to correct your imprecise use of terms offend you, please accept my apology. At the risk of further offense, I offer this clarification of the comment you've partially quoted. As I wrote more completely, "dreaming and REM are evidence of brain activity amid an unconscious state of brain function." As you can clearly see, my emphasis was on the latter most distinguishing quality, which specifically regards a state of brain function. Although you would rather adhere to an unstudied colloquial perspective, subconscious is not a state of brain function and, therefore, not a state of mind or mentation. There is no contest here between you and I, if you want to continue to use imprecise terminology doing so is certainly your prerogative; however, for those of us here who are well informed, your continued use of "subconscious mind" in this forum is most telling of the real measure of your professed expertise.

Edited by DrmDoc

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your continued use of "subconscious mind" in this forum is most telling of the real measure of your professed expertise.

 

Many people, especially ignorant people, want to punish you for speaking the truth, for being correct, for being you. Never apologize for being correct, or for being years ahead of your time. If you’re right and you know it, speak your mind. Speak your mind. Even if you are a minority of one, the truth is still the truth.” ― Mahatma Gandhi

 

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This forum, where you have posted and continued this discussion, is a sub-category of the Biology Forum. ​Although I'm no biology expert, none of your comments here seem remotely related to any category or measure of biology. You clearly desire to discuss some remarkable mental quality and, if so, this clearly isn't the forum for that discussion. You should consider posting your thoughts to the Medical Forum, under either Neuroscience or Psychology, ​where you may find respondents more sympathetic to your views and, perhaps, more knowledgeable than I on this topic. I wish you well.

Edited by DrmDoc

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For those persons who truly believe that their “conscious mind” is in control of everything that they “see”, ”hear” or ”do” ….. and that their “conscious mind” is not subservient to their “subconscious mind” ….. or that there is no such thing as a “subconscious mind” …… should explain in detail how it is possible for them to hear their telephone ring, …. when they were not expecting anyone to be calling, …… and they answered their phone “call” by saying “hello”, ….. and the person calling responded by just saying “hello” and nothing else, …… and "SHAZAMM", .... all of a sudden a “mental picture” of the caller appeared in the person’s “conscious mind” ….. even though there was no way in hell that said person’s “conscious mind” or their eyes could possibly see who the person was that was calling on the telephone.

If you have a degree in biology you must have been trained in how to write coherently. I would appreciate it if you would apply those skills inf future posts. It will make them easier to read and understand.

 

You claim that you know many people who are unaware that what you choose to call the subconscious mind has a major impact on our thoughts and actions. I shall accept that there are people who think that way. Like you I am new on this forum, but as far as I can see none of the regular posters would think anything so silly.

 

So why are you getting so agitated about this? It is as though you had made a post to the effect "Gravity is responsible for things falling to the ground! And yet . . . . . many people, oh yes - lots of them - do not accept this."

 

I look forward to your (unemotive) clarification.

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If you have a degree in biology you must have been trained in how to write coherently. I would appreciate it if you would apply those skills inf future posts. It will make them easier to read and understand.

 

Argent, you have my permission to, per se, post a plagiarized copy of my commentary that you quoted above, in which I am imploring and authorizing you to use whatever verbiage you deem correct and proper to insure your coherent understanding of both its context and content ...... and then you should post your learned expert opinion of said for discussion by Forum members.

 

And remember, I am authorizing you to plagiarize my commentary, ....... not rewrite it to mean what you want it to mean.

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Argent, you have my permission to, per se, post a plagiarized copy of my commentary that you quoted above, in which I am imploring and authorizing you to use whatever verbiage you deem correct and proper to insure your coherent understanding of both its context and content ...... and then you should post your learned expert opinion of said for discussion by Forum members.

 

And remember, I am authorizing you to plagiarize my commentary, ....... not rewrite it to mean what you want it to mean.

They are your thoughts, your ideas. Are you declaring that you are unable to present them coherently? Are you saying you can't really be bothered to present them coherently, yet expect others to put in the time and effort to understand them? Both scenarios would be strange. What am I missing?

 

At any rate, thank you for attempting to address one of my points. Would you care to answer my the last question in my post: why are you so agitated about what appears to be a non-issue?

 

Incidental point: since you are giving me permission to rephrase your work I could not then be plagiarising it. I think you would agree that precision in language is important in scientific discussions.

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...precision in language is important in scientific discussions.

 

I agree and that is precisely the point I've tried to convey.

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I agree and that is precisely the point I've tried to convey.

I thought you conveyed it very well. We must now wait to see if a certain someone was listening.

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