“Why we would have an unconscious at all?” “Why is this tiny subset of mental life conscious?” These are inevitable questions to us when studying psychology. There is an answer from an evolutionary standpoint.

And an answer that some psychologists and biologist have given is deception. That is because we are always trying to trick people.

Do you know how to lie is the most effective?

Generally, the best lies are lies we tell ourselves.

This account of the evolution of the unconscious is that certain motivations and goals, particularly sinister ones are better made to be unconscious. If the person doesn’t know that he have motivations and goals, he will not give them away.

Through human revolution process, facing with the uncountable threads, our ancestors developed millions of unconscious mind. So they were able to react and deal with the environment that always changing suddenly. For example, when they saw a dangerous wild beast, they up and ran away without thinking, as well as their adrenaline abruptly level up automatically.

From now on, neuroscience supports the proposition of the unconscious mind. For example, researchers at Columbia University Medical Center have found that fleeting images of fearful faces—images that appear and disappear so quickly that they escape conscious awareness—produce unconscious anxiety that can be detected in the brain with the latest neuroimaging machines.The conscious mind is hundreds of milliseconds behind the unconscious processes.

So in order to keep our survival abilities, we have developed series of unconscious mind including awakening, implicit memory, subliminal messages, trances, hypnagogia, and hypnosis.


  1. Pingback: 耶鲁大学开放课程—心理学导论之斯金纳行为主义 | 观尔腾

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *