Difference Between Conscious and Subconscious

In psychology, our mind is divided into 3 main parts. Listing them from the surface of the mind in to the deep; they are conscious, subconscious, and unconscious. Many psychologists have defined them in different ways. Conscious and subconscious are the two outer most layers of the human mind.


Conscious mind is the 1st layer of the human mind which is responsible for logic and reasoning. It also controls your actions you do intentionally. Conscious mind is the first interface of your mind to the outer world. It takes in information at a very rapid rate and filters out the necessary ones transferring them to the subconscious mind for later use. This is why when you see a whole view you do not remember every little thing that you saw, but only the ones your conscious mind decided to store as a memory. One could argue that the conscious mind deals with lower functions of mind because awareness, analysis, concentration are essentially bound to the conscious mind. Conscious mind helps to think critically and decide based on the sensations. If the conscious mind could be properly tuned and kept trained, it is easier to work efficiently and achieve goals. Conscious mind is one part of mind that could be kept under control. Therefore, the more trained your consciousness the more disciplined and civilized you become.


Subconscious mind is the stage of mind between the conscious mind and unconscious mind. This is the layer which defines you because it holds your beliefs, attitudes, values, motivations etc. It does not have an exact definition. Subconscious mind is not easily accessible compared to the conscious mind because the memories are in a bit deeper state. Subconscious is not a term in psychoanalytical writing because it is misleading and may be incorrectly understood as the unconscious mind. It is safe to say that the subconscious mind holds information absorbed by the conscious mind and when conscious mind overloads they are deposited in the subconscious mind for later use. The information it contains may not be well organized and, therefore, need cognitive processing before it is used up for something by the conscious mind. For an example, trying to recall a phone number may take a while and remembering certain incidents or connections to that particular number; but with some effort a person may remember the numbers sequentially because it was buried in the subconscious mind. When a person is using memory or information related to the subconscious mind we see it as acting “instinctively”.

What is the difference between Conscious and Subconscious Mind?

• Conscious mind is the part of mind which is fully aware and subconscious mind is a part which is not in complete awareness.

• The information conscious mind hold is easily accessible but to access information stored in the subconscious mind requires a little more effort.

• Conscious mind is related to actions that are controllable and subconscious mind is related to actions more or less “instinctive”.

• Conscious mind is responsible for logic and reasoning but the subconscious mind along with the unconscious mind is responsible for a person’s emotions, characteristics, attitudes, desires etc.