Is the unconscious smart or dumb?

Am Psychol. 1992 Jun;47(6):761-5. doi: 10.1037//0003-066x.47.6.761.


How sophisticated is unconscious cognition? This is one of the most fundamental questions about the unconscious that has been posed by research psychologists over the past century. Anthony Greenwald takes a contemporary look at this classical problem and concludes that unconscious cognition is severely limited in its analytic capability. In response, other leading scholars agree that the reality of unconscious processes is no longer questionable. Although there is some disagreement about just how sophisticated these processes are, the consensus is that exciting times are ahead for both research and theory concerning the mental processes involved in unconscious cognition.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Comment

MeSH terms

  • Freudian Theory
  • Humans
  • Intelligence*
  • Problem Solving*
  • Unconscious, Psychology*