The main differences between the conscious and unconscious mind

The main differences between the conscious and unconscious mind.

The unconscious mind can deal with substantially more information than the conscious mind, which, it is generally believed, can cope concurrently with no more than seven items. Because of the limited capacity to absorb data, the conscious mind is selective about what it does absorb. The way it selects is based on how the mind has previously been conditioned through influences such as the environment, specific incidents and other factors. In summary,

The conscious mind:

  •  selects from a range of sensory information and converts it into thought
  • processes thought;
  • comprehends numbers and symbols;
  • applies logic;
  • decides behavioural strategies based on known personal competencies;
  • translates thought into language and behaviour;
  •  controls emotions.

The unconscious mind:

  •  influences emotional response;
  •  invokes spontaneous reaction (such as with phobias);
  • preconditions conscious thought processes;
  • unconsciously applies memories and experiences;
  • picks up hidden signals;
  • determines personality.