Collective unconscious is a term of analytical psychology, and was originally coined by Carl Jung. He distinguished the collective unconscious from the personal unconscious, which is particular to each human being. The collective unconscious refers to that part of a person's unconscious which is common to all human beings. It contains archetypes, which are forms or symbols that are manifested by all people in all cultures. Some say that this borders on metaphysics: the difference in their conceptualization of the unconscious is one of the more conspicuous differences between the psychologies founded by Jung and Freud.

In his earlier writings, Jung called this aspect of the psyche the collective unconscious; later, he changed the term to the "objective psyche". The objective psyche may be considered objective for two reasons: it is common to everyone; and it has a better sense of the self ideal than the ego or conscious self does, and thus directs the self, via archetypes, dreams, intuition, and making mistakes on purpose, to self-actualization.