Jonathan Parker – (subliminal) Success For Children
What You Should Know About Subliminal Perception
What is subliminal perception? Does it really affect your mind and behavior? Subliminal audio programs are one of the most recent tools in the self-development field that offers the promise of helping people make dramatic life changes conveniently, inexpensively and with little effort. But, to what degree does subliminal programming work?
Subliminal Perception, A Natural Process
Perception is the natural, normal way you receive impressions from your environment. Subliminal refers to information that is perceived below the level of conscious awareness. Normally, you pay conscious attention to a very small percentage of information that you experience through our sense and your mind.
Try this test: take a moment to focus your attention on the sounds around you and you will discover there are many background noises you normally completely ignore…consciously that is. These sounds probably include traffic noise, machinery, conversations, birds, insects, etc. Nevertheless you are aware of this constant bombardment of stimuli, even though it is perceived below your conscious awareness by your extremely receptive and sensitive subconscious mind.
Effects of Subliminal Messages Known for 100 Years
Interest in subliminal communication first developed shortly after Freud presented his revolutionary idea that we all have a hidden, unconscious mind. One of Freud’s contemporaries, Dr. O. Poetzle, developed and tested theories related to the effect of subliminal stimulation on dream content. In 1917, Poetzle was the first scientist to demonstrate the close relationship between subliminal stimuli and posthypnotic suggestion. His discovery, called the Poetzle Effect, indicates that subliminal perceptions evoke dreams and actions days or weeks after the original perception.
In the last 50 years, many hundreds of carefully controlled scientific studies have been conducted on subliminal perception. An abundance of scientific data resulting from decades of research indicates that subliminal perception does occur and information perceived subliminally does affect the unconscious or subconscious mind. And most importantly, subliminal programming has been shown to be an effective tool for influencing and changing behavior. Controversy over subliminal stimuli arises precisely because it does influence people’s behavior without their conscious awareness.
Subliminal Communication and Public Awareness
As the story goes, subliminal stimulation of the subconscious mind first came to the attention of the general public in 1957 when market researcher James Vicary conducted a controversial research experiment in a Fort Lee, New Jersey, movie theater. In this well-publicized experiment, the subliminal messages, “Hungry? Eat popcorn. Thirsty? Drink Coca-Cola,” were flashed on a movie screen every five seconds, for a duration of only a fraction of a second between frames of the Kim Novak movie, Picnic. The results that were reported were that there was a dramatic increase in the sales of popcorn and cola.
Subliminal Messages Used in Stores to Reduce Shoplifting
in subsequent years, it was discovered that subliminal messages could be masked in music or other audio programs. An article in TIME magazine in 1979, titled, “Secret Voices,” reported that nearly 50 department stores in the U.S. and Canada were using subliminal messages in the music systems to reduce shoplifting and employee theft. One East Coast chain was reported to have reduced theft by 37%, amounting to the phenomenal savings of $600,000 over a nine-month period.
A similar story in the WALL STREET JOURNAL in 1980 stated the installation of a subliminal message system in a New Orleans supermarket accounted for a drop in pilferage loss from almost $50,000 per six months to “the astounding figure of less than $13,000” – an all-time low! Cashier shortages dropped from $125 per week to less than $10 per week. Subliminal messages found to be effective were statements like, “I take a great deal of pride in being honest. I will not steal. I am honest.”
Scientific Evidence: Subliminal Messages Influence Behavior
Extensive Documentation of Subliminal Perception
In his scholarly work titled “Preconscious Processing,” Dr. Norman Dixon, a psychologist at University College in London, England, summarizes 748 scholarly research studies on subliminal perception.
Included in Dixon’s authoritative work is a research study by Zuckerman (1960), that revealed a subliminal stimulus can by-pass conscious intent, and that it makes it unlikely a person would resist instructions which are not consciously experienced. Zuckerman required his subjects to write stories around Thematic Apperception Test cards. Superimposed on the ambiguous pictures on the cards were either the subliminal message, “Write More” or “Don’t Write.” As long as the instructions were subliminal, these messages had the desired effect. However, as soon as they were able to be perceived consciously, the messages had no consistent effect.
Behavioral Improvements Result from Subliminal Messages
Dr. Lloyd H. Silverman, a psychologist at New York University, has been at the forefront of subliminal testing for 20 years. His work, with over 40 groups of subjects, has shown significant improvements in behavior after exposure to selected subliminal messages. IN a 1980 study, Silverman incorporated a subliminal message into a treatment of half of a group of smokers trying to quit smoking using behavior modification therapy. One month after treatment ended, 66% of the group exposed to the activating subliminal stimulus were still non-smokers, compared with 13% of the control group. 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 insect phobias and overeating.
Subliminal Messages Improve Academic Performance
An article in the Journal of Counseling Psychology, Volume 29, 1982, reports on a study by Dr. Kenneth Parker, a psychologist at Queens College in New York. Dr. Parker’s research project was designed to see if subliminal messages can improve academic performance. Sixty students received visual subliminal messages using a light-flashing device called a tachistoscope. Three times a week, before class, the students looked through the eyepiece of the tachistoscope and saw a fast flash of bright light, nothing more. In the four millisecond flash was embedded a single sentence. 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.
Careful statistical analysis of the results of the subliminal stimulation revealed significant improvement in academic performance. 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 messaged had higher retention of the learned material after one month than the control group had.
Medical Clinic Uses Subliminal Tapes to Reduce Fainting, Smoking, and Temper Flare Ups
In 1951, Dr. Hal Becker, a behavioral scientist and former member of the Tulane University Medical Staff, began investigating subliminal processes. Dr. Becker has published dozens of research articles which support the effectiveness of subliminal stimulation. One of Dr. Becker’s investigations, presented in a scientific paper to the Ninth Annual Conference of Computer Medicine in Atlanta in 1979, involved the use of subliminal stress reduction messages incorporated into the sound system at the McDonagh Medical Center in Kansas City, Missouri. A seven-month trial produced dramatic results. Fainting caused by needle pain dropped to nearly zero, smoking in the staff lounge was cut as much as 79%, and the temper flare-ups in the crowded patient waiting room were reduced by nearly 60%. When the subliminal messages were stopped, these problems returned to former levels.
Subliminal Tapes Influence Dramatic Weight Loss
Becker’s research has shown that the use of subliminal messages can influence weight-loss with astounding results. In Metairie, Louisiana, at Dr. Becker’s weight loss clinic, patients were exposed to videotape and audio cassette subliminal messages as part of a behavior-modification diet plan. One woman lost 100 pounds in one year’s time. In a follow-up study, Becker found that 50% of the patients maintained at lease half their weight loss for up to two years after leaving the subliminal program, while 23% maintained 75% to 100% of their loss. This is a significantly better record than that of diet programs not accompanied by subliminal messages.
Another subliminal stimulation weight-loss study involved two experiments conducted by Silverman, Martin, Ungaro and Mendelsohn (1978) with two groups of overweight women. In addition to traditional diet therapy, half of the subjects received subliminal affirmations and half received neutral subliminal message stimulation. In both experiments, the groups receiving the positive subliminal messages lost more weight than the control groups. The group receiving subliminal affirmations continued to lose weight even after the experiment concluded.
Positive Proof Mind Absorbs Subliminal Information
In another of Dr. Becker’s controlled tests of subliminal perception, experimental and control groups were asked to guess a three-digit number. The experimental group was exposed to the number subliminally embedded in a hissing sound known as ‘pink noise.’ In three separate experiments, an average of 77% of those exposed to the subliminal numbers guessed correctly, compared to only 10% of those in the control group (who weren’t exposed to the numbers). This confirms that subliminal messages are perceived at a non-conscious level.
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