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The term subliminal literally means below the threshold of conscious perception. This refers to the words, signals, sounds and images that are embedded in messages or other forms of communication, which are not obvious or apparent to the conscious mind. In fact, these messages are designed to bypass the conscious mind and go directly to the subconscious with the intention to exert some type of influence in the behavior, beliefs, habits and/or attitudes of a person.
Most likely you have already heard of subliminal messages. They have been around since the 19th century, and from the time of their inception there’s been plenty of controversy around the subject.
The first documented papers date back to 1897, when the director of the Yale Psychology Lab, Dr. E.W. Scripture, Ph.D. published his book The New Psychology in which he talks about the basic principles of subtle persuasion through embedded words in messages.
One famous study backs to 1957. A market research company claimed to have shown suggestive phrases like Drink Coca Cola and Eat popcorn during a movie presentation. These messages were imperceptible to the conscious mind. They were shown for 1/3000th of a second several times throughout the film. According to this study, the sales for coke and popcorn increased considerably, which made them conclude that subliminal advertising was successful. Even though they were never able to prove that the test had indeed taken place, the study itself caused enough turmoil to stimulate more studies.
Throughout time, the results of these studies have been varied and inconclusive; however, in the early 1970’s, the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) –an independent government agency that regulates communication media channels- banned the use of subliminal messages in advertisements based on the fact that it is unethical to bypass the consumer’s right in making correct decisions by manipulating his mind into purchasing a product.
Despite this, many still claim that these types of messages do not work… or, do they? Could this be because the vast majority of people do not understand how or why they work? Or is it because they seem to work just sometimes and just for a select few? More importantly, why would the FCC ban these “unethical to bypass the consumer’s right in making correct decisions…” ads if the statement itself is false?
In theory –and much like hypnosis, and NLP– subliminal messages do work because they bypass your conscious mind and “install” new specific data in your subconscious to help you achieve a predetermined change or goal; however, in real life many variables exist. Here are some factors to consider…
- All learning involves repetition. Remember when your teacher sent you home to repeat your tables out loud so you could learn how to multiply? From tying your shoes to riding a bike, from behavior modification to self-confidence, from a new trade to exploring the world at large, this is how we learn everything, not just the academic subjects at school.
Usually, the learning process goes from conscious repetition to subconscious storage of information. Then, every time we need that information we simply recall it from the vast library within our memory. Moreover, attitudes and character derive from learned ideas and experiences too, and this is also how beliefs are formed and stored deep within us.
Learning subliminally is easier because subliminal messages work by skipping the conscious level repetitions altogether and delivering the information straight to the subconscious mind where the “new” memory will get engraved and stored. When we send the same message repeatedly to the subconscious mind, we can witness amazing changes as these transformations come naturally from within.
- The second point to consider is individuality.
We are all different individuals with different needs, experiences, abilities and behavior patterns. You may be able to learn a new language from scratch in two months, while your neighbor seems to have extreme difficulty learning even a few words. It is very unlikely for two people to have the very same experience when trying to learn something new, and subliminal messages are not an exception.
Let’s say that both, you and I are procrastinators and want to change this behavior through listening to the same subliminal message program. Now, let’s add our individuality to the mix.
If we consider that our life experience and even our brain physiology is different from one another, it should not come as a surprise that we’ll end up with different results. I may need to listen more times, or during a different time of the day. Or you may find it extremely effective after just a couple of sessions right before you go to sleep.
- Attitude is also a huge factor. People in general don’t have the same inclination for change.
There are people who live day by day complaining about their situation and do nothing about it. And then, for some others the situation becomes unbearable which ignites the motivation necessary for change. As Tony Robbins would say “…before change can happen, we must experience a lot of pain”, thus subliminal messages work best when the correct attitude and determination for change are present.
After reading the previous paragraphs, the controversial results related to subliminal messages now make sense, don’t you think? But, despite the ongoing debate about subliminal messages, one thing is for sure… when we are exposed to the same messages over and over again, they end up affecting us.
If you don’t believe me, just watch the news for awhile and see how you feel afterward…
It’s true. In today’s world, we are bombarded with subliminal messages day in and day out, and more recent studies have shown that people can indeed respond to unconsciously perceived stimuli.
There is a good side to this… when we listen to a subliminal message that has been carefully chosen by US, we can have total control of what we feed our minds with as well as what changes we want to see in our lives.
And as more studies are conducted throughout time, more light will be shed as to how they work and why they work.
If you want to experience subliminal messages for yourself… Try this subliminal message for free to help you reduce stress… feel the difference for yourself!