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Subconscious vs. Unconscious

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How well do you understand the distinction between these descriptive psychological terms. In the way we might use affect and effect distinctively, subconscious and unconscious describe distinctively different psychological qualities. I know it's an old topic but one that has, I think, a lot of potential in the measure of what I'm studying privately and what many of us might believe about the nature of brain function and the mind it produces. I welcome your thoughts.

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Why spend time to discuss something not well defined?

 

The first link that I clicked while googling:

 

Subconscious vs. unconscious

Subconscious and unconscious are synonyms when they’re informal adjectives meaning occurring in the absence of awareness or thought. For example, to say that kittens make you feel anxious on a subconscious level is the same as saying they make you feel anxious on an unconscious level. But unconscious is the more scientific term, and it’s the usual choice in science and medicine. Subconscious is fairly common in quasi-scientific writing, but its definition is fuzzy, and it often signals that the writer lacks real expertise.

Quote from: http://grammarist.com/usage/subconscious-unconscious/

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Why spend time to discuss something not well defined?

 

How confident are you in your source's information? Can you be sure that the first link in your Google search is a complete or reliable source for the insight it appears to provide? Is it your practice to accept a reference without question or some additional research and discussion? From a studied perspective of mind and consciousness through brain function, it's clear your source isn't entirely accurate. Although these terms are frequently used synonymously, subconscious and unconscious reference distinctly different attributes of mind and brain function. For example, which of the two terms, subconscious or unconscious, describes a state of consciousness? Your answer, which is likely rooted in brain function, reveals a definitive distinction between the definition of these terms. This brain function based approach to our use of terms provides a clear and reliable distinction in how we should view the separate pieces of our mental construct.

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Why spend time to discuss something not well defined?

 

The first link that I clicked while googling:

 

Subconscious vs. unconscious

Subconscious and unconscious are synonyms when they’re informal adjectives meaning occurring in the absence of awareness or thought. For example, to say that kittens make you feel anxious on a subconscious level is the same as saying they make you feel anxious on an unconscious level. But unconscious is the more scientific term, and it’s the usual choice in science and medicine. Subconscious is fairly common in quasi-scientific writing, but its definition is fuzzy, and it often signals that the writer lacks real expertise.

Quote from: http://grammarist.com/usage/subconscious-unconscious/

Grammarist is the the wrong sort of source for this sort of question. It's about good English.

 

When you ride a bike well, leisurely and automatically do you ride it consciously or unconsciously? It's neither isn't it. Subconscious thought is conscious thought that is not at the forefront of a person's mind but is still performing important tasks and may come to the fore should a new situation arise, such as a traffic jam ahead or someone is going to cross your path. Unconscious thought is activity like dreaming and the person has no control of them whereas he can proactively modify conscious and subconscious thoughts.

Edited by StringJunky

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Grammarist is the the wrong sort of source for this sort of question. It's about good English.

 

When you ride a bike well, leisurely and automatically do you ride it consciously or unconsciously? It's neither isn't it. Subconscious thought is conscious thought that is not at the forefront of a person's mind but is still performing important tasks and may come to the fore should a new situation arise, such as a traffic jam ahead or someone is going to cross your path. Unconscious thought is activity like dreaming and the person has no control of them whereas he can proactively modify conscious and subconscious thoughts.

 

In parts, I agree; however, if I may add further, the distinction between the two terms is the difference between affect and effect. Subconscious describes an affect relative to a type or path of influence on the mind; whereas, unconscious describes an effect relative to a state, action, or product of the mind. In simpler terms, subconscious references a mental influence while unconscious references an mental state. Our brain engages in two distinct and normal states of activation and mentation, which are conscious and unconscious. As SJ alluded, unconscious refer to that active state of brain function and mentation most clearly defined by the brain's dreaming activity. Conversely, brain function doesn't produce a distinctive subconscious state or mind because, in terms of brain function and activation, we are either conscious or unconscious.

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Subconscious is our pre-instilled instinct that assures our cognitive survival. There is little that our consciousness can do to manipulate our subconscious where as in our unconscious state we perform all the task that our inner mind without our logic is capable of, only that our conscious mind is shut and we can but only retain glimpses or draw blank of the incident.

Edited by Ihcisphysicist

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I think our ideas of what subconscious is or isn't should have some basis in what we clearly understand or know about the nature of brain function. When discussing or describing instinct, ​we're describing a type of behavioral response that our brain function produces or engages. Therefore, if subconscious equals instinct, then subconscious should also equal behavioral response. At this point, we have to ask ourselves does subconscious truly describe a behavioral response? Instinctive behaviors are indeed preprogrammed responses to stimuli that we engage without conscious awareness or intent, which is clearly opposite of behaviors we engage with conscious direction and intent. If instinct describes behaviors opposite of conscious direction, unconscious ​is the most precise description of those behaviors because it is indeed opposite of consciousness. Unconscious isn't necessarily an ineffectual state of being or brain function as many misinterpret. Unconscious is an active state of brain function that produces active behaviors we engage unconsciously or without conscious awareness. Subconscious isn't a functional state our brain produces; however, subconscious is a term that can describe how our brain perceives and exerts influence. Subconscious most suitably describes a way in which our brain receives and delivers influence rather than a separate part or aspect of our psychology or brain function. In, perhaps, more visual terms, subconscious could be viewed as a package and unconscious as the recipient or dispatcher of that package. From this precise perspective, unconscious is the entity and subconscious isn't.

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I think conscious behavior is from thoughts we hear and are aware of, subconscious behavior is from thoughts we don't hear but are aware of, and unconscious behavior is from thoughts we don't hear and are not aware of. Check my thread in the Philosophy section if you are interested.

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Subconscious refers to the motivations and memories influencing thoughts and behaviours without being in conscious awareness. This cones from the largely debunked Freudian and psychodynamic theories. There are much more sophisticated understandings now that call into question the idea that we even have free will, that free will is an illusion. Unconscious means a lack of consciousness, like being in a coma, or knocked out cold. Totally different things.

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Subconscious refers to the motivations and memories influencing thoughts and behaviours without being in conscious awareness.

 

As I wrote, "Subconscious isn't a functional state our brain produces; however, subconscious is a term that can describe how our brain perceives and exerts influence. Subconscious most suitably describes a way in which our brain receives and delivers influence rather than a separate part or aspect of our psychology or brain function."

 

Unconscious means a lack of consciousness, like being in a coma, or knocked out cold. Totally different things.

 

Although a totally different thing, your description isn't the only proper use of the term. As I also wrote, "If instinct describes behaviors opposite of conscious direction, unconscious ​is the most precise description of those behaviors because it is indeed opposite of consciousness. Unconscious isn't necessarily an ineffectual state of being or brain function as many misinterpret. Unconscious is an active state of brain function that produces active behaviors we engage unconsciously or without conscious awareness." ​Perhaps the clearest example this active unconscious brain behavior is what occurs in brain and the imagery it produces whenever we dream.

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The subconscious system is the prime residency of the psychological representations of the mind. The conscious system is differentially affected by the subconscious processing of informations. :)

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The subconscious system is the prime residency of the psychological representations of the mind. The conscious system is differentially affected by the subconscious processing of informations. :)

 

On this, I refer you to these comments that I think best explain my thoughts regarding the distinction between unconscious and subconscious. Although some of us use these terms synonymously, I think that is a mistake because they really don't describe the same quality.

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