Thursday, October 18, 2007

Who Is Minding the Mind?

Who is Minding the Mind? Of course, we PSYCH-K facilitators know the answer to this question. But, it is nice to know that empirical research seems to be supporting the notion that the subconscious mind is continuously making decisions for us - all without our knowing it. A recent article in the New York Times by Benedict Carey entitled, "Who's Minding the Mind", outlines the latest trends in psychological research on the power of the subconscious mind.

As Carey reports: "New studies have found that people tidy up more thoroughly when there’s a faint tang of cleaning liquid in the air; they become more competitive if there’s a briefcase in sight, or more cooperative if they glimpse words like “dependable” and “support” — all without being aware of the change, or what prompted it. Psychologists say that “priming” people in this way is not some form of hypnotism, or even subliminal seduction; rather, it’s a demonstration of how everyday sights, smells and sounds can selectively activate goals or motives that people already have."

"More fundamentally, the new studies reveal a subconscious brain that is far more active, purposeful and independent than previously known. Goals, whether to eat, mate or devour an iced latte, are like neural software programs that can only be run one at a time, and the unconscious is perfectly capable of running the program it chooses. Sometimes those goals are in line with our conscious intentions and purposes, and sometimes they’re not.”

Older "studies of products promising subliminal improvement, for things like memory and self-esteem, found no effect. Some scientists also caution against overstating the implications of the latest research on priming unconscious goals. ..Yet, "most in the field now agree that the evidence for psychological hot-wiring has become overwhelming."

"The new research on priming makes it clear that we are not alone in our own consciousness. We have company, an invisible partner who has strong reactions about the world that don’t always agree with our own, but whose instincts, these studies clearly show, are at least as likely to be helpful, and attentive to others, as they are to be disruptive."

No comments: