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The Subliminal Challenge: Especially for Students

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Presentation on theme: "The Subliminal Challenge: Especially for Students"— Presentation transcript:

1 The Subliminal Challenge: Especially for Students
What is the difference between subliminal perception and subliminal persuasion? Can subliminal self help audio tapes influence behavior?

2 Perception verses Persuasion
Subliminal perception used to be the issue. Subliminal persuasion is now the question. Can a verbal subliminal stimuli influence behavior?

3 Subliminal Research or Confusion
Fact: There are many definitional ambiguities regarding “subliminal” messages. Fact: There are many studies reporting different findings and using mixed methods by which audio subliminal presentations are delivered. Fact: The constant variable in almost all of the audio research is only the word “subliminal.” Challenge: Use the same message, the same technical production and substantially the same protocol using different independent researchers and a statistically meaningful number of subjects.

4 Physiological Measurement
10 years ago I performed a pilot study which employed a danger message and a placebo message (people are walking). I monitored responses using a 4 needle polygraph. My hypothesis suggested that the danger message would produce heightened physiological measurements of one or all of the systems monitored which included blood pressure, galvanic skin response and upper and lower breathing patterns (B1 and B2). Following the experimental observation, the volunteers were asked to report their reverie.

5 “Danger” message revealed bodily response and influenced thoughts.
Reverie reports from those receiving the danger message incorporated themes of death and dying. Reverie reports from those receiving the placebo message were undisturbed.

6 Do your own work--Do your own thinking!
Take the Challenge Conduct your own study. Provided here are MP3 files for downloading. The protocol is straight forward and simple. We’ve even provided on this site a review of the literature consisting of over 1000 citations for your literature review section. Do your own work--Do your own thinking!

7 The protocol--p.1 Groups: experimental, control & placebo.
Play the MP3 audio file over earphones to each group. Each sound file is labeled by group. The control file is simply ocean sounds, the placebo file is ocean sounds with the subliminal message, “People are walking.” The experimental file is ocean sounds with the danger message, “Look out! Danger! Danger! Danger!” The subliminal messages occur every 55 to 65 seconds in the recording. (Exact time are provided in the appendix to this document). Briefing Volunteers Distracter: Inform the volunteers (subjects) that they will be listening to the sound of lapping waves, ocean sounds, while their physiological responses are measured. Suggest that your study is designed to evaluate the influence of nature sounds on the human condition by comparison to the published effects concerning the influence of music. Instruct them to do nothing special other than relax and listen while you monitor at least three physiological criteria including GSR.

8 The protocol--p.2 Evaluation:
Monitor the 3 criteria in real time with a record (graph or PC storage). Compare Groups particularly around the stimulus presentation (+ or - 15 seconds). Control for movement among subjects--they are to sit perfectly still. Note any exceptions. Debriefing: Ask each subject following exposure to the sound file to report their reverie. What did they see in the mind’s eye? What did they imagine. What were their day-dreams? How did they feel? Compare your results for themes. Inform each subject separately following the experiment of the true nature of your study and presence of the subliminal stimulus.

9 Take the Challenge! The MP3 files are just ahead. Write up the paper in a publishable format, and we’ll pay you for the work. We call it a “research grant.” Grant amounts depend upon the population size of each group, the methods utilized to monitor physiological responses and the creativity of the researcher. You are free to use these files to run your study without any further permission or grant. If you would like to apply for a small grant (amounts between $200 and $500 typically) add your creativity and send your proposal to

10 Have Fun! The truth cannot be concealed!
Report your results. Think of other messages that could be linked to drives. Get creative, check on your subjects for dream content following their exposure to the “danger” message. You might even consider examining their beliefs about the safety of the water, specifically the ocean, both before the experiment and perhaps a month later.

11 Appendix Danger message: 1st@1:26 to 1:34 2nd@2:33 to 2:41
to 3:55 Total sound file length is 5 minutes and 5 seconds. Placebo The placebo message is :People are walking.” It occurs throughout the duration of the sound file. The Control file is only the sound of the ocean.

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