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What are Freud's three levels of consciousness?

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In psychoanalytic theory, the three levels of consciousness as outlined by Sigmund Freud are the conscious, preconscious and unconscious minds. Freud likened this theory to an iceberg with a visible tip, the conscious mind; an obscured but visible middle, the preconscious; and a bulk hidden beneath the water, the unconscious.

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In Freud's model of the mind, the conscious mind is formed by the thoughts and feelings that a person is actively aware of and able to reason about. The preconscious is made up of all available memory that has not been accessed by the conscious mind. The unconscious mind consists of repressed instincts, feelings and urges that are negative or shameful. Freud theorized that the preconscious and unconscious exert a powerful influence over the conscious mind without a person's awareness.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    What is the unconscious, according to Freud?

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    According to Freud, the unconscious is the mental thoughts that people are not aware of. These thoughts influence how people act and think.

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  • Q:

    What are the objectives of psychology?

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    The objectives of psychology are to learn about the mind's subconscious, the mind's consciousness and the reasons for human behavior. Psychology is essential to study for treating mental disorders, other biological diseases, such as Alzheimer's, and looking at the way the mind functions with memory and emotion.

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  • Q:

    What is Sigmund Freud's Iceberg Theory?

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    Rather than being a theory unto itself, Freud uses the iceberg is as an explanatory tool for his theory of the conscious and unconscious. In essence, Freud explains his theory topographically through the use of the iceberg as a dominant metaphor.

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  • Q:

    What did Sigmund Freud say about the Irish?

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    Freud was quoted as saying, "This is one race of people for whom psychoanalysis is of no use whatsoever" when referring to the Irish. However, as the Freud Museum in London points out, there is no actual evidence that Freud ever said this statement though it is mentioned in the film "The Departed."

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