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The Concept of The Unconscious Mind

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Every day, whether intended or not, the brain is constantly making little notes about everything one sees on a daily basis. One’s mind already decides what it’s doing and what it thinks without any effort of the person. Opinions are influenced unconsciously in one’s everyday life, this means that your brain is judging everything and everyone around you before you even get the chance to form your own opinion. People tend to get wrapped up in stereotypes so quick, or take offense to them so quick, when in reality it is an automatic reaction the brain unconsciously has. It is the person’s job to overcome their own unconscious thoughts, rather than taking the easy route and accepting what your brain has been programmed by society to believe.

In John A. Bargh’s article, Our Unconscious Mind, he talks about the conscious effort that is needed to exert unconscious thoughts that people gather every day. These unconscious thoughts are uncontrollably and most often times unwanted, negative feelings that may be directed toward others. He wants to explain that it is possible to overcome the unconscious biased the brain has toward new people, rather than accepting the assumptions and keeping that forced judgement as their opinion toward the other person.

The idea of the unconscious mind was often rejected by philosophers because to them it seemed invalid, which is a good point considering it is nearly impossible to fully understand every single thought, whether conscious or unconscious that every person has in their day to day life. Along with opinions off those around us, we tend to feel emotion unconsciously as well. Piotr Winkielman and Kent C. Berridge expand on this idea in their Unconscious Emotion article. They expand upon the realness of emotion, and how it sounds like a generalization to say that people are aware of their own emotions. Often people may be confused about the origin of their anger, of course, or may not understand why they feel a particular emotion, as if they are nervous about what does not seem to be a specific reason. Individuals may even misunderstand their own emotional state on occasion, as if they vigorously deny that they are upset. But many psychologists believe that the emotion itself is naturally conscious, and that it can be brought into the full light of awareness through proper motivation and focus.

The research paper named The Unconscious Mind:.., by Myron Tsikandilakis, Persefoni Bali, Jan Derrfuss, Peter Chapman gave me a little bit of an understanding on how scientists went about proving the existence of the unconscious mind as well as a little bit of history on the subject matter.

They showed how the principle of signal detection and evidence for null perception can alter the results of an experiment. They also indicated that in relevant research, the philosophical problem is that the experience of knowledge and unconsciousness is not restricted to perception. The current authors ‘ opinion was that at this stage of unconscious emotion research they were studying the subjective experience of awareness and unconsciousness, not just the physics of perceptual processes. This way they could empirically take advantage of the definition and evaluation of ‘the error of our ways’ and, to return to the introduction of the current text, more so, if they were able to really learn and understand concepts beyond our academic comfort zone, figuratively.

Further studying the unconscious mind, after a thorough review of models of subconscious structure from Freud to Mitchell, the researcher Alan Michael Karbelnig discusses how to use theatrical or dramatic analogies to describe the unconscious advantages of the psycho-analytical project in two distinct ways throughout his article The Theatre of the Unconscious Mind. I though this approach was interesting, I never would have thought to use theatrical analogies to draw out the subconscious mind. He found that we all ten to live our lives in a theatrical sort of way, just by mimicking the things we see. Back then it was theatrical plays and dramas, now it is television shows and romantic comedies. All of these things build this subconscious idea of what life is supposed to be like, or how people in other parts of the world act in real life, when in reality it’s all just over dramatized television.

The human brain is ridiculously underestimated, even when you’re not trying to, your brain is constantly at work. The unconscious mind influences so many things throughout everyone’s day to day life, whether it is emotion, opinions, actions, etc. The way I interpret philosophy is the understanding of human emotion and the connection the brain has to it, how is this possible when you can’t always control your brain and/or your emotions? It takes practice and a lot of mental strength to recognize and overcome unconscious actions every singles day. I believe it is very important that other people realize their own unconscious bias that they may harness toward other people, or the unconscious desire to be more like the people on tv, or even the unconscious emotional reactions that everyone struggles with at some point during the week, if not every day.  

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