Skip to content

Preconscious in Psychology: Definition and Significance

Preconscious in Psychology: Definition and Significance

Preconscious, according to psychology, is a concept used to describe information that is not currently in one’s conscious awareness but can be easily brought to consciousness. Preconscious material refers to thoughts, ideas, and information that are not currently being thought of but can be recalled effortlessly or with little effort.

The subconscious mind plays a crucial role in psychological functioning, and preconscious processes impact our daily lives. These unconscious processes can affect our behavior, emotions, and decision-making without us even realizing it. Understanding the preconscious can lead to better insights into human behavior and emotion.

Understanding the Preconscious Mind

The preconscious is part of the psychoanalytic model, which focuses on the concept of the unconscious mind. Freud, the founder of psychoanalysis, posited that the unconscious mind is divided into three parts: the id (the source of primal desires), the ego (the mediator of primal desires with societal norms), and the superego (the moral regulator). In this model, the preconscious mind comprises the memories and thoughts that are able to be recalled at any given time.

The preconscious mind is responsible for storing memories and thoughts that are not currently in use. However, it keeps them readily accessible for future use. These memories can be triggered by a host of different stimuli, from smells and sounds to words and images.

Significance of Preconscious in Psychological Functioning

The preconscious is a fundamental part of psychological functioning. It allows us to access information that we may not realize we have stored away. This can provide us with the ability to make connections between current and past experiences.

BACA JUGA:   The Power of Managerial Psychology in Today's Business World

In addition, the preconscious can help us to solve problems. By bringing together stored knowledge and information, we can engage in effective problem-solving and decision-making. In other words, the preconscious can help us to connect the dots between information that we may not be consciously aware of.

Furthermore, preconscious processes play a critical role in emotional regulation. Revisiting previous experiences that have a strong emotion attached to them can allow us to analyze the root of our emotions. It can also help us to find positive ways to deal with stress and negative emotions.

Relationship With the Conscious and Unconscious Mind

The preconscious mind serves as a bridge between the conscious and unconscious minds. While the conscious mind only retains current information, the unconscious mind is responsible for storing all information, including repressed thoughts and memories. Preconscious material is the information that lies in the middle, easily accessible but not at the forefront of our thinking.

The preconscious can also play a role in the development of the unconscious mind. As we learn and gain experiences, the preconscious can help shape our unconscious mind. Memories and thoughts that are more frequently accessed may be more likely to become a part of our unconscious mind.

Application in Therapy

Understanding the preconscious is advantageous for therapists as it can provide them with a comprehensive understanding of their patients’ emotional experiences. Essentially, it means that unspoken thoughts and emotions can be associated with past experiences.

Therapists use a variety of techniques to bring preconscious material to the forefront of an individual’s consciousness. One technique, free association, encourages individuals to speak freely without imposing any order or organization on their thoughts. This technique aims to bring forth preconscious information that may have been inaccessible.

BACA JUGA:   Chapter 10 Psychology: Understanding the Power of the Mind


The preconscious is a crucial part of human psychological functioning. Preconscious material refers to information that is readily accessible but not currently in conscious awareness. Understanding preconscious processes can lead to improved decision-making, problem-solving, and emotional regulation. Further, understanding the preconscious can help therapists better understand their patient’s emotional experiences. Therefore, it is important to recognize the significance and impact of the preconscious mind.