The Subliminal Brain: Understanding and Utilizing the Science of Subliminal Influence
Research Reveals Subliminals Affect Attitudes
Individuals were shown slides of words that were "neutral" in
emotional content. Right before some of the words were shown, an
image of an African American man or Caucasian man was flashed at a
speed that could not be picked up by human awareness.
and other measures, including behavioral observation were noted. Then
when the individuals shortly thereafter were presented with an error
message on their computer that required a problem be fixed, the
behavioral differences were striking.
Those individuals (cross cultural) who were subliminally exposed
to the subliminal images of the African American man reacted with
significantly more hostility than those who had been exposed to the
subliminal images of a Caucasian man.
The results were so profound that the study first done in 1997 has
been replicated several times since then by different scientists.
Subliminal images in this case caused behavioral change in the form
of emotional expression.
Sociological ramifications are enormous and incredibly helpful in
beginning to understand and ultimately solve prejudice and racial
stereotyping, but that isn't the subject of my work here.
Related Research Agrees
Other researchers presented with this information created new
studies where individuals were given a task on a computer. A flash of
light would appear somewhere on the screen and the individual would
have to move the cursor to that point as quickly as possible. The
flash of light included words.
For some people, all of the words
within the flash were related to hostility. To other people 1/5 of
the words in the flashes were related to hostility. To another group
no words in the flashes were related to hostility.
Each individual was presented with a brief description of a person
who behaved in an ambiguously hostile fashion. The experimenter(s)
found that those individuals subliminally presented with more hostile
words in the computer task described the stimulus person in a far
more hostile way. Those who were flashed no words related to
hostility had no significant negative impression of the individual.
After these results were recorded, one final piece of data was
discovered. The individuals had no recognition memory for any of the
words in any of the groupings that exceeded chance levels. The words
never "hit" conscious awareness.
This study has been replicated.
Subliminal visual perception can change both attitudes toward others and
As researchers discovered and studied these heart-pounding phenomena,
they would go on to find what kinds of messages caused attitudinal
and behavioral change.
Indeed there are only two categories of subliminal activation that
will cause behavioral and attitudinal change. All of the rest of the
prompts and stimulations simply don't work. What does work, works
predictably and predictably well. What doesn't work is an utter
failure never exceeding chance.
The research is extensive and no one is bringing it out because they
don't want it misused and abused.
The difference between audio and visual processing in the brain?...
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