Monthly Archives: February 2015

Three Levels of Consciousness by Sigmund Freud

Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) was an Austrian neurologist and physician. His contribution to determine personality of an individual by psychodynamic approach is remarkable. Psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud believed that sources and consequences of emotional conflicts operate on three levels of awareness: the preconscious, the conscious, and the unconscious. This is famously known as Freud’s theory of personality.

The conscious mind: It includes everything like thoughts, feelings and actions of which people are currently aware of. For example: while having your breakfast, your mind might be thinking about the recipe or taste of the dish. These thoughts occur in the conscious mind.

The Preconscious mind:-Preconscious mind includes all mental activities which are not presently active but stored somewhere in our memory. It can be easily accessed when required. For example: if you are asked about some interesting childhood incidents, you would pull it from your memory and can share it.

The unconscious mind :-It includes mental activity that people are unaware of. According to him, some of the feelings , thoughts, urges and emotions that our conscious mind wants to hide, buried into unconscious mind ,influence some of our unexplained behavior. For example; Ravi ‘s family has recently shifted to new place .There he makes some new friends in his neighborhood. While playing, he calls one of his playmate with his old friend’s name. This is due  to the thoughts or feelings of old days which still plays in his unconscious  mind.

These three levels of mind often represented as an iceberg. Everything above the water represents conscious awareness, while everything below the water represents the preconscious and unconsciousness. Only 10% of an iceberg is visible (conscious) whereas the other 90% is under the water (preconscious and unconscious).The Preconscious mind covers 10% -15% whereas the Unconscious is allotted to 75%-80%.


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