Ever since the “Drink Coke and Eat Popcorn” craze started, the issue of using subliminal messages and suggestions have never died down. Although the advancements and developments of subliminal suggestions can be likened to a rollercoaster ride due to its numerous ups and downs, people still haven’t lost hope and interest in finding out whether subliminals are really effective or not.
Many people still ask their friends, colleagues, and even doctors and psychologists “do subliminals work?”.
Modern And Simplified Meaning Of The Word “Subliminal”
Subliminal discernment takes place whenever certain stimulus or stimuli are induced lower than the threshold or brink of awareness of the human mind. These subliminals are said to influence actions, thoughts, and feelings. Originally, the word “subliminal” was coined to refer to situations that involve very weak stimuli that are targeted to be perceived by the unconscious mind.
Currently, the word subliminal refers to any condition wherein unnoticeable and/or weak stimuli are detected and interpreted by the unconscious mind.
Psychological Studies Pertaining To Subliminals And Their Effectiveness
The theory of subliminal awareness is very interesting due to the fact that individuals’ feelings, actions and thoughts are greatly manipulated, influenced and affected by stimuli that are received without any trace of conscious detection and interpretation. The great interest in subliminal suggestions can be traced back to psychological studies that date back to the late 1800s and early 1900s.
In the psychological studies conducted in earlier times, the subjects were plainly asked whether they are aware that they are perceiving certain kinds of stimulus or not. The subjects were presented with different kinds of stimuli such as visual stimuli (digits, geometric figures, letters) and auditory stimuli (whispers, voice recordings over music or other sounds). The visual stimuli were presented at a certain distance from the subjects that make it hard or quite difficult for them to discern its shape, color or figure.
Some participants of the study claimed that they only saw dots and blurred figures while some claimed not to have seen anything at all. Similarly, the auditory stimuli were also presented to the subjects as faintly and weakly as possible.
As mentioned earlier, whispers were used as well as playing of music or recordings in the lowest volume possible. In short, the purpose of the study was to give certain auditory and visual stimulus vaguely and then find out whether the participants unconscious mind dominated over the conscious perception.
After the presentation of the stimuli, the participants were asked to give their guesses as to what kind of stimuli they received. For example, the participants would be asked to guess whether the visual stimuli were pictures, letters or number. As for the auditory stimuli, the participants may have been asked what they thought they heard, amidst the vagueness or weakness of the auditory stimuli presented.
The astounding result of early studies stated that the guesses of the observers who were presented with vague stimuli were greatly more correct than normal guesses (without any stimuli at all). In other words, the results of the study may support the belief that the unconscious mind can comprehend or perceive what the conscious mind cannot.
As years passed by, more studies pertaining to subliminal messages have been conducted; some have been clearly patterned from the early studies conducted while some have been slightly modified.
At present, there are still no hard facts that can prove or disprove the effectiveness of subliminals but hopefully, people can get a concrete answer when they ask the question “do subliminals work?”.