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Subliminal messages

Scientific experiments that prove subliminal message effects.

Dr. Kenneth Parker, a psychologist at Queens College in New York. An article in the Journal of Counseling Psychology, Volume 29
  • Study on the ability of subliminal messages to influence academic performance.
  • 60 college students were enrolled in an undergraduate summer session law course with the experimenter-instructor for 6 weeks. In addition to the normal course of instruction, all subjects received visual subliminal stimulation before 3 out of 5 lectures each week. The class was divided into three groups, each receiving a different message. Two messages were designed to enhance academic performance; the third was a control.
  • Subjects exposed to subliminal messages designed to enhance performance earned significantly higher grades than the control group. These results were viewed as consistent with findings of earlier studies on the effects of subliminal messages on schizophrenics, insect-phobics, obesity, and alcoholics.
SIGNIFICANT IMPROVEMENT IN ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE Dr. Kenneth Parker’s studies showed Groups one and two, receiving activating subliminal messages achieved average grades in the range of a high B to low A. Group three, the control, received an average grade in the low B range. In addition, those who received subliminal messages also had higher retention of the learned material after one month than the control group.

Dr. Lloyd H. Silverman, a psychologist at New York University, has been at the forefront of subliminal testing for over 20 years:

  • Study on 40 groups of subjects incorporated a subliminal message into the treatment of half the group of smokers trying to quit.
  • One month after the study a greater percentage of the group exposed to subliminal messages were still non-smokers.
QUIT SMOKING Dr. Silverman’s study showed that the group exposed to subliminal messages had a far greater chance of quitting than the group not exposed to subliminal messages. Silverman says the positive effect of subliminal messages has been observed in assertiveness training classes, adolescents receiving psychotherapy, college students in group therapy, alcoholics in Alcoholics Anonymous counseling, and in people undergoing behavior modification for phobias and overeating.

A research conducted by Dr. Hal Becker, a behavioral scientist and former member of the Tulane University Medical Staff, has shown that subliminal messages can influence weight-loss with astounding results:

  • In Metairie, Louisiana, at Dr. Becker's weight loss clinic, patients were exposed to subliminal messages as part of a behavior-modification diet plan.
  • Patients showed much higher responses and lost weight
  • The group receiving subliminal affirmations continued to lose weight even after the experiment concluded.
DRAMATIC WEIGHT LOSS Dr. Becker and Dr Silverman’s studies show that groups receiving positive subliminal messages lost more weight than the control groups. In addition subjects were able to keep off the weight longer, and continued to lose weight even after the study was concluded. This is a significantly better record than that of diet programs not accompanied by subliminal messages.

Ariam, S. and Siller, J. "Effects of Subliminal Oneness Stimuli in Hebrew on Academic Performance of Israeli High School Students. " Journal of Abnormal Psychology.

  • Study on the ability of subliminal perception to influence performance of students.
  • 10th grade students were tachistoscopically presented with subliminal messages in Hebrew of the following phrases; "Mommy and I are one", "My teacher and I are one" and "People are walking in the street" (a neutral statement). Each subject received subliminal stimulation four times a week, over a period of 6 weeks.
  • When tested 6 weeks later, the students exposed to the subliminal statement "Mommy and I are one" did mathematically better than the other groups.
IMPROVES MATH PERFORMANCE Psychologists theorized that "oneness messages" such as "Mommy and I are one" would enhance subjects' self-esteem and aid learning. In a study that subliminally exposed a oneness message to the subjects, and a neutral message to an identical control group four times per week for six weeks, the math scores of the subjects were enhanced. Moreover, when exposure was deliberately lengthened so the subjects were consciously aware of the message, the effect failed. This proved both the effectiveness of the chosen message, and the subliminal method of delivery.

Palmatier, J.R., and Bornstein, P.H. "Effects of Subliminal Stimulation of Symbiotic Merging Fantasies on Behavioral Treatment of Smokers." The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease.

  • Study on the possibility of using subliminal perception to enhance the efficacy of a smoking cessation therapy.
  • Thirty-four subjects received a 3-week, group-oriented behavior therapy package aimed at smoking cessation.
  • Results revealed that the subliminal messages were able to affect post-treatment smoking behavior of the experimental group.
  • The results were interpreted as evidence when subliminal messages, when repeated over a period of time, and combined with a treatment containing active components, were successful in influencing behavior and attitudes of subjects.
HELPS PEOPLE QUIT SMOKING Palmatier and Bornstein compared the results of adding subliminal messaging to a package of active behavioral components . This 1980 study found that subliminal messaging noticeably improved the progress of subjects attempting to quit smoking, when compared to the group not exposed to subliminal messages.

Kaser, V.A. "The Effects of an Auditory Subliminal Perception Message Upon the Production of Images and Dreams". Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease.

  • A group of subjects were exposed to an auditory subliminal message to study whether messages could be transmitted subliminally. The subliminal message was produced by speeding up a message that was sung until it could not be consciously understood, and was mixed with a normal music recording. Another group of subjects was exposed to the normal music recording without the subliminal recording.
  • Both groups were asked to produce a pre-test drawing before and immediately after the tapes were played as well as a drawing of any dreams they might have that night.
  • Analysis of all the drawings by two art therapists showed a significant difference between the dream drawings and imagery drawings of the experimental and the control group. When the drawings were examined, the effects of the subliminal message could be seen.
  • The research findings suggest that the unconscious/subconscious mind is able to perceive a recorded verbal message that cannot be consciously heard, proving the existence of subliminal perception.
SUBLIMINAL PERCEPTION PROVED Using sound recordings that were speeded up until they were no longer understandable, and mixing these messages with other music, one group was exposed to the music-plus-message tape, another group to the music-only tape. Analysis of drawings done by the two groups revealed significant differences between them, suggesting that the subconscious mind picks up the hidden content, proving that subliminal messaging produces results.

Silverman, L.H., Martin, A., Ungaro, R., and Mendelsohn, E. "Effect of Subliminal Stimulation of Symbiotic Fantasies on Behavior Modification Treatment of Obesity." Clinical Psychology.

  • Two experiments on subliminal perception were conducted on groups of 30 and 26 women. The women' s age ranged from 22 to 59 years and were at least 15% overweight. The subjects were randomly assigned to experimental and control groups. Both groups were given instructions for the treatment of obesity (i.e. Instructions on how to keep records of amount and calorie content of feed eaten, how to systematically reduce the number of situations in which they ate and how to reward themselves for appropriate eating behavior).
  • In addition, at the start and end of all treatment sessions, each subject was asked to image a situation in which she was tempted to over-eat and them presented tachistoscopically with a 4 msec. subliminal exposure of "Mommy and I are one" (experimental group) or "People walking" (control group). Subjects were also instructed that if they were tempted to over-eat outside of treatment sessions they should form a mental image of the tachistoscopic flash and try to refrain from eating.
  • In both studies the experimental groups lost more weight than the control subjects, which differences increased to reach significance by the end of the follow-up period. Researchers concluded that the use of subliminal stimuli and subliminal perception were able to help people reduce their over-eating.
SUBLIMINAL STIMULI REDUCE OVEREATING Two groups were exposed to subliminal messages; one enhancing self-esteem and the other neutral. Both groups were asked to record their eating behavior. Also, each session began and ended with special exposures to the enhancing message (subject group) and a neutral message (control group) when imagining a tempting situation. At the end of the study, the subject group lost more weight than the control group, and this difference increased during a follow-up period, proving that subliminal stimuli and messages help people reduce overeating.

Parker, K.A. "Effects of Subliminal Symbiotic Stimulation on Academic Performance: Further Evidence on the Adaptation-Enhancing Effects of Oneness Fantasies." Journal of Counseling Psychology.

  • Study on effects of subliminal perception on academic performance, if any.
  • 60 college students were enrolled in an undergraduate summer session law course with the experimenter-instructor for 6 weeks. In addition to the normal course of instruction, all subjects received subliminal stimulation before 3 out of 5 lectures each week, as well as before and after a 10-minute counseling session with the experimenter.
  • Subjects exposed to subliminal messages earned significantly higher grades than the control group. These results were viewed as consistent with findings of earlier studies on the effects of subliminal messages on schizophrenics, insect-phobics, obesity, and alcoholics.
SUBLIMINAL MESSAGING ENHANCES ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE 60 college students enrolled in a 6-week summer law course. The group was divided randomly, with one half exposed to subliminal enhancement messages while the other received neutral messages. Result: significantly higher grades for the group receiving enhancement messages subliminally; results viewed as consistent with findings of earlier studies in a variety of other areas.

Plumbo, R. and Gillman, I. "Effects of Subliminal Activation of Oedipal Fantasies on Competitive Performance." The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease.

  • Study on effect of subliminal perception on performance of dart-throwers.
  • Subjects were exposed to the following subliminal messages; "Beating Dad is OK", "Beating Dad is wrong", "Beating him is OK", "Beating him is wrong" and "People are walking".
  • Findings indicate that the subliminal message "Beating Dad is OK" led to greater dart-throwing accuracy than the other four subliminal messages.
SUBLIMINAL APPROVAL HELPS SON BEAT DAD AT DARTS Subjects were subliminally exposed to messages like "Beating Dad is OK", while other groups were given aversion messaging (Beating Dad is Wrong) and neutral messages (People Are Walking.) The group exposed to subliminal approval threw their darts with greater accuracy.

Cook, H., Ph.D. "Effects of Subliminal Symbiotic Gratification and the Magic of Believing on Achievement." Psychoanalytic Psychology.

  • Graduate students were divided into several groups and exposed to either to a subliminal message, or to a control message immediately after their statistics or measurement class. The subjects received 12 sessions of 10 exposures per session, of 4-msec visual subliminal messages.
  • The final examinations for each course noted that students who had received the subliminal message performed better than students receiving the control message. Researchers concluded that stimulating students subliminally to feel better about themselves may enable them to learn more effectively.
SUBLIMINAL ENHANCEMENT BOOSTS LEARNING Graduate students who received subliminal enhancement messages after their statistics or measurement classes did better on their final exams than students who received neutral messages, proving that subliminal messages that helped students feel good about themselves actually increased learning.

Lee, I., Tyrer, P. and Horn, S., "A comparison of Subliminal, Supraliminal and Faded Phobic Cine-Films in the Treatment of Agoraphobia. " British Journal of Psychiatry.

  • 32 agoraphobic patients were treated by repeated exposure to cine-films at twice weekly intervals for three weeks. Three of the groups saw the same cine-film, comprising a range of agoraphobic scenes, and a control group saw a potter working on his wheel. The three groups seeing the phobic cine-film included one who viewed it at an illumination level below the visual threshold (subliminal group), one seeing it under normal conditions (supraliminal group), and one which underwent graduated exposure from subliminal to supraliminal viewing levels as the study proceeded (faded group).
  • The faded group showed significantly greater improvement than the control groups and this improvement was maintained over twelve weeks.
  • Research findings indicate that both subliminal and supraliminal presentation of phobic cine-films are effective in reducing agoraphobic behavior.
SUBLIMINAL TREATMENT OF AGORAPHOBIA 32 Agorophobics were divided into four groups. Three of the groups were shown movies of outdoor scenes intended to trigger their phobias. The fourth group (Control A) saw only a neutral film. A second group (Control B) saw the movie normally. A third group saw the exposures subliminally only--too dark to be consciously perceived; the last group (Faded) had the exposure gradually increase from subliminal to normal lighting. Exposure was twice a week for three weeks. Both the subliminal group and the faded group showed significant improvement over the control groups, demonstrating the efficacy of subliminal imagery.

Dauber, R.B. "Subliminal Psychodynamic Activation in Depression: On the Role of Autonomy Issues in Depressed College Women. " Journal of Abnormal Psychology.

  • A study on depressed college women (measured by the Beck Depression Inventory scores) noted that when shown a subliminal statement "Leaving Mom is wrong", subjects' depressive feelings increased.

Hart, L. "The Effect of Noxious Subliminal Stimuli on the Modification of Attitudes Towards Alcoholism: A Pilot Study.".

  • In a study on exposing subjects to subliminal messages and their resulting attitudes towards alcoholism, over a five-day period, subjects' attitudes towards alcoholism as measured by a questionnaire had changed significantly.
  • The findings support the proposition that subliminal perception or stimuli which are not consciously perceived or directly experienced can influence attitudes.
SUBLIMINAL INFLUENCE OVER ALCOHOLISM Noxious subliminal stimuli increased test subjects' dislike of alcoholism as measured by their responses to a questionnaire. No such changes occurred with control groups. These findings support the idea that stimuli that are not consciously perceived can influence attitudes.

Lee, I. And Tyrer, P. "Responses of Chronic Agoraphobics to Subliminal and Supraliminal Phobic Motion Pictures. The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease".

  • A study on possibility the use of subliminal perception to reduce subject's phobia of open spaces (agoraphobics)
  • Fifteen agoraphobics (fear of open spaces) took part in a study to investigate their responses to repeated presentations of a phobic-motion picture. The subjects were divided into three groups and each group was shown the film subliminally, supraliminally and a control group. The subjects' were assessed with visual analogue scales, and three physiological measures, heart rate, skin conductance, and respiratory rate were recorded.
  • Study findings indicate that both subliminal and supraliminal presentations had significant improvements in phobic fear and avoidance, with the subliminal presentations showing the most improvements.

Schmidt, J.M. "The Effects of Subliminally Presented Stimuli on Normal Young Adults." Unpublished doctoral dissertation,, University of Southern Mississippi.

  • A follow-up study on subliminal perception by Schmidt, noted that when presented with a subliminal message "I have been bad", subject' s depressive feelings increased.

Borgeat, F., M.D., Elie, R., M.D., Chaloult, L., M.D., and Chabot, R. B. Ped. "Psychophysiological Responses to Masked Auditory Stimuli." Canadian Journal of Psychiatry.

  • Verbal statements, masked by a foreground of 40dB white noise, were presented to the subject at increasing intensities by increments of 5 dB starting at 0 dB. At each increment, frontal EMG, skin conductance and heart rate were recorded.
  • The subjects' physiological responses to stimuli below the thresholds of identification and detection were observed. Subjects who had listened to the subliminal statements responded more strongly on a physiological level than subjects who did not listen to the subliminal statements.
STRONG REACTIONS TO SUBCONSCIOUS MESSAGES Spoken statements masked by white noise were presented to subjects at increasing volume levels. Stronger physiological reactions were observed in subjects exposed to subliminal statements than in those who were not so exposed.

Charman, D.K., "An Examination of Relationship between Subliminal Perception, Visual Information Processing, Levels of Processing and Hemispheric Asymmetries." Perceptual and Motor Skills.

  • A subliminal letter was exposed to the left or right hemisphere of the brain for either 15 or 20 msec. Subject' s were able to guess the letter more accurately when visual presentations were made to the right side of the brain, whilst verbal recognition was more accurate when presentations to the left hemisphere.

Bornstein, R.F, Leone, D.R. and Galley, D.J. "The Generalizability of Subliminal Mere Exposure Effects: Influence of Stimuli Perceived Without Awareness on Social Behavior." Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.

  • Subjects were exposed to slides of abstract geometric figures at both subliminal (i.e., 4 ms) and supraliminal exposure durations. Subjects' attitudes toward the subliminally presented stimuli became significantly more positive with repeated exposures, even when subjects were unaware that exposures had occurred.
  • The experiment went on to measure attitude changes due to subliminal perception of photographs of actual persons. The results indicate that attitudes toward persons encountered in the experiment are enhanced by subliminal perception of a photograph of that person.
SUBLIMINAL EXPOSURE TO IMAGES ENHANCES THEIR APPEAL Attitudes became more positive towards abstract geometrical figures and photos of actual people, when subjects were exposed to these images subliminally (at 4 microseconds, which is below the level of conscious perception.)? Even when subjects were unaware that exposure had occurred, measurable positive attitude toward these images was detected.

Kemp-Wheeler, S.M. and Hill, A.B. "Anxiety Responses to Subliminal Experience of Mild Stress." British Journal of Psychology.

  • Study on existence of subliminal perception.
  • Two groups of undergraduates were exposed to different subliminal words. One group was presented with 20 emotional words presented 10% below the detection threshold, whilst the other group was presented with 20 emotionally-neutral words.
  • The subject' s heart and respiration rates were taken before and after exposure to the subliminal words.
  • Research findings indicate that subjects subliminally exposed to the emotionally-charged words had significantly higher measurable readings, indicating that subliminal perception of subliminally-delivered words had taken place.
SUBLIMINAL MESSAGES AFFECT HEART RATE When emotion-charged words were subliminally exposed to a group of undergraduates, their heart rates and respiration rates rose significantly when compared to reactions of a control group.

Sackeim, H.A., Packer, I.K. and Gur, R.C. "Hemisphericity, Cognitive Set, and Susceptibility to Subliminal Perception." Journal of Abnormal Psychology.

  • The results indicate that hemisphericity and cognitive set interact in producing subliminal effects. Left movers, or right-hemisphericity people, showed the subliminal effect when encouraged to think in a holistic and intuitive fashion. Surprisingly, right movers (left-hemisphericity people) tended to show the subliminal effect when encouraged to think in an organized and logical manner, indicating that hemisphericity and cognitive set may be more mutually interdependent in affecting susceptibility to subliminal stimulation than was originally expected.
  • Research findings support the ability of subliminal perception and hemisphericity to influence subjects attitudes and behaviors.

Schurtman, R., Palmatier, J.R. and Martin, E.S. "The Activation of Symbiotic Gratification Fantasies as an Aid in the Treatment of Alcoholics." The International Journal of the Addictions.

  • Seventy-two alcoholics being treated were divided into an experimental and a control group. In addition to the regular treatment program both groups received four subliminal exposures of a verbal message in each of six sessions over a 2-week period. The messages were "Mommy and I" (experimental) and "People are walking" (control), administered under double-blind conditions.
  • Subjects exposed to the subliminal messages were rated as significantly more involved in treatment, had lower anxiety and depression, enhanced self-concept and reduced alcohol consumption after a 3-month follow-up.
SUBLIMINAL MESSAGES HELP ALCOHOLICS RESPOND BETTER TO TREATMENT 72 alcoholics under treatment were divided into subject group and control group. Experimental group was subliminally exposed to verbal comfort messages, while control group received neutral message. Experimental group were significantly more involved in treatment, had lower anxiety and enhanced self-images. And after a 3 month follow-up, had reduced alcohol consumption than the control group.

Shevrin, H. "Does the Averaged Evoked Response Encode Subliminal Perception? Yes."

  • Research findings note that subject' s responses to stimuli are significantly lower when subjects are consciously aware of the stimuli. When stimuli are presented subliminally (less than 3 mili-seconds), subject' s responses were significantly higher.
  • Despite subject' s not being consciously aware of the subliminal stimuli, physiological measurements suggest that the body is aware of these stimuli.
  • These suggest that whilst the mind may not be consciously aware of the messages, the subconscious and body is able to pick up on the subliminal stimuli and respond accordingly.
PROVED: THE POWER OF SUBLIMINAL STIMULI Research findings compared subjects' response to subliminal stimuli (less than 3 miliseconds) to stimuli that are consciously received. Studies prove 1) physiological reactions prove the body responds to subliminal stimuli; 2) even in the absence of conscious awareness, the body is aware; 3) subliminal stimuli create significantly stronger responses in subjects than conscious stimuli.

SUBLIMINAL STIMULI WORK A survey of a number of studies using 4-millisecond subliminal stimuli that were conducted over the past 20 years have established two major findings: 1) when subjects with unconscious issues were subliminally exposed to negative stimuli that tend to intensify those issues, those issues were indeed intensified; and 2) when subjects were subliminally exposed to positive stimuli various groups showed significant improvement of their issues.

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