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Uncovering the Unconscious

            Our minds are unknowingly divided into two parts: the conscious and the unconscious; and with the unconscious mind we have a few benefits and a few drawbacks. The first benefit of the unconscious is the way it's hardwired. Our unconscious is what allows us to use our intellectual skills, helps us solve problems, it keeps our memories safe, it's what manages our thoughts in an orderly fashion, and what protects us. The unconscious, for example, is very similar to an iceberg. What we see above the water is the conscious, and what we can't see underneath is the foundation that holds the whole thing together (the unconscious). .
             David Smith gives many examples of the benefits of the unconscious mind in chapter 4 of Why We Lie. Starting with problem solving, he expresses that our minds can sometimes have issues with trying to find the answer to something and that if we just leave it alone for a little while and give our conscious mind a break, our unconscious will take hold of the problem and solve it for us (81-84). Later on in the chapter, he mentions the structure of the unconscious mind and how it works. The unconscious mind is exposed to all sorts of information in a day, and with that information it organizes and provides our conscious mind with only the information we need (85). It works like a funnel (95). With these benefits, though, come some drawbacks. Smith gives an example of "confabulation across saccades," which are distorted memories of an image. The example depicts our unconscious mind playing a trick on our conscious mind to make us think we saw something that wasn't really there (92). Another drawback to our unconscious mind is our incapability to multitask. Although many people would like to think they can do more than one thing at a time, they cannot. Our unconscious mind can only reveal so much information to our conscious at a time that it makes it virtually impossible for us to multitask (93-94).

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