After the first contact in history with an alien species, it was discovered that they were colonizers, which approached us to induce, as they called it, the "Next step to evolution". After their attempts on forcing the world's governments to change to resemble their own, a series of conflicts happened. Understanding their efforts were being wasted, they decided on another approach, releasing a bioengineered pathogen that infected a fraction of the human population. These infected are mostly like any human, with two main differences important for this: their skin is impenetrable to all kinds of weaponry and they can alternate between their human form and a more combat oriented one, this however is not under their direct control, being dictated by their subconscious instead, which they'd learn to control as well as possible to control their own appearance.

In this situation, could these infected humans truly have good control over their subconscious? To which extent can one have control over their own subconscious?

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    $\begingroup$ Sleepwalking is done in a unconscious state by your subconscious, it's pretty common in juveniles, less so in adults but still very far from unknown, murder & violence by sleepwalkers is very rare to the point of being practically unheard of outside of urban myths.. so.. aside from an uptick in fridge raids doesn't look like we have much of a problem here? $\endgroup$ – Pelinore Apr 5 at 17:45
  • $\begingroup$ This is entirely up to you, many things controlled by our subconscious can be controlled wit ha wide variety of difficulty, and somethings likely can't be controlled at all. so it is up to you were it falls on this very wide spectrum. $\endgroup$ – John Apr 5 at 17:59
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    $\begingroup$ I hear than Prozac works wonders. And Xanax. Also, American movies suggest that the leaves of hemp are also effective in controlling the subconscious. $\endgroup$ – AlexP Apr 5 at 19:46
  • $\begingroup$ This sounds a lot like the Incredible Hulk from the Marvel universe. Both the films and comics spend a substantial amount of time discussing this question (morally not scientifically) and its implications, so it might be worth having a read of those. $\endgroup$ – David258 Apr 6 at 10:17
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    $\begingroup$ "can alternate between their human form and a more combat oriented one [...] dictated by their subconscious" sounds almost exactly like The Hulk. Who, it should be noted, generally does learn to control when the transformation happens in most of his incarnations. Similar examples can be found in some versions of werewolves. Generally speaking, it comes down, as noted in flox's answer, to practice/training. $\endgroup$ – Matthew Apr 6 at 15:52

Yes - it's all in the training

Many occupations rely on 'reaction without thought' or 'control in difficult circumstances'. It is all to do with training. Air-traffic controllers, pilots, astronauts, any military personnel, any professional, driving, indeed any occupation relies on training such that what you do becomes 'automatic' and you can do it without conscious thought.

The typical training methodology is to repeat, repeat, repeat. The more iterations, the more your subconscious records and acts like it is normal. Then, when the circumstances match those that you trained for, your body (and indeed your mind) reacts in the same way, without the need for conscious thought.

If you've ever driven a car, and realised you have no conscious memory of travelling, but you indeed have arrived at your destination, then this is the same. Your subconscious mind has been so accustomed to driving it has taken care of the task for you.

So, in a way, you can 'control your subconscious' to any degree you like. It just requires practice, practice, practice.

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