Introduction

There is little consensus on what the unconscious mind is, and how to measure it. This is because the unconscious is not one thing but many. Like the elephant in the old parable, it is easy to reach out and touch a single part of it, and mistake that for the whole. By understanding the full structure of the unconscious mind, and using the right tools to measure each part of it, we can fully and accurately answer our research questions. To understand consumer behaviour in full, most projects should set out to measure three key parts of the mind: System 1, System 2 and System 3.

"Thoughts come, incidents occur, then they are scattered and disappear. Past, Present, Future, Truth and Untruth and I am tired of it. My body can no longer bear it; my mind has already given way. See, I am grown thin, worn." - Anita Desai, Cry, the Peacock

"If a writer of prose knows enough of what he is writing about he may omit things that he knows and the reader, if the writer is writing truly enough, will have a feeling of those things as strongly as though the writer had stated them. The dignity of movement of an ice-berg is due to only one-eighth of it being above water." - Ernest Hemingway, Death in the Afternoon

The historic unconscious