Subliminal Perception – How it Works
By Jonathan Parker, Ph.D. –
What is subliminal perception? Does it really affect your mind and behavior? Subliminal CDs and 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.
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 Messages Used in Stores to Reduce Shoplifting…
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.
HOW YOU CAN USE SUBLIMINAL PERCEPTION FOR SELF-IMPROVEMENT
Research indicates that subliminal perception takes place when the subconscious portion of the mind is exposed to messages below the level of conscious awareness. Subliminal audio and video recordings are proving to be a safe and effective, easy and convenient, inexpensive and enjoyable way people can bring about profound personal change in their lives.
Programming the Subconscious Mind to Create Your Reality…
Did you know that your mind creates your reality? It’s true. The functioning of the mind can be readily understood when considered in terms of the widely accepted view that the mind has both conscious and subconscious portions. The conscious portion of your mind is rational, logical and analytical. It questions and modifies incoming information from your sense before the information is stored in your subconscious mind.
The subconscious mind is non-analytical and houses the motivating forces that direct your conscious actions, thoughts, and habits. It affects your attitudes, how you feel, and what you do. The beliefs and thoughts you hold in your subconscious mind build and shape every aspect of your life.
In other words, your subconscious is what actually creates your life. This is why it is important to discover how to access the subconscious to remove negative, self-limiting beliefs and replace them with positive, life-enhancing beliefs.
The Secret of Subliminal Recordings
The secret of why subliminal recordings are so effective is simple: the positive messages on the tape directly access the subconscious mind. Other widely used self-improvement techniques work only on a conscious level. Unlike those methods, subliminal recordings permit you to work directly with that portion of your mind which actually maintains ongoing control of your life. You must effect change at a subconscious level if you want to make lasting improvements in your life.
Another reason subliminal programs and CD’s are so effective is that they permit positive messages to reach the subconscious without interference or modification from the conscious mind. This is important because often your conscious mind will question or reject certain statements that it knows are not presently true. For example, if you are using positive affirmations such as, “I am successful,” yet you know that success is not presently a part of your life, your conscious mind can negate the positive effect of the statement by rejecting it. Because subliminal messages bypass the conscious mind, the conscious mind cannot question or reject them.
Within your subconscious mind is the raw material that will automatically from your life tomorrow. Subliminal tapes and CD’s provide you with a powerful tool to imprint on your subconscious the positive images that you select as the basis for creating the kind of life you want. The information your subconscious mind accepts through subliminal perception becomes the new mental programming that changes your life and propels you toward your goals.
A Word of Caution: Not all Subliminal Tapes & CD’s are Equal…
Subliminal stimulation has been scientifically validated as a means to bring about desired behavioral change. However, not all subliminal tapes and CD’s are equal; their effectiveness depends on tow key factors: the content of the subliminal messages and the quality of production-including the engineering and electronic mixing of the sound recordings.
Certain production methods used by some companies claiming to contain 100,000 or more subliminal affirmations are of very questionable at best. In order to produce recordings with this number of affirmations per hour, the voice track must be speeded up until it becomes an unintelligible high-pitched squeal and or/ multi-layered many, many times until there is only a garbled confusion of sounds.
While 100,000 affirmations per hour may make attractive advertising copy, there is no documented evidence that the squeal of a high – speed sound track or the garbled confusion of many multi-layered tracks can be understood by the subconscious mind. In fact, the vast majority of scientific experiments that have been done on subliminal programs were done with surprisingly few affirmative statements. In fact, in the study referenced earlier by Dr. Parker, the students were only exposed to a very few subliminal statements at each session, and yet because the statements were carefully constructed, the results were dramatically positive.
There exists NO scientific proof that the subconscious makes meaningful responses to any input that is unintelligible. In fact, the overwhelming consensus from both professionals and the literature suggests that a subliminal verbal communication should be delivered slowly and methodically.
The importance of the content of the messages used on subliminal tapes and CD’s can’t be overemphasized. It is critical that the affirmations be positive since certain negative or aversive subliminal statements may not only decrease the effectiveness of the tape or CD, they may even be counterproductive. It is wise for anyone using subliminal programs to be aware of not only how the tapes and CD’s are made, but what messages are on them. Having a script of the exact statements on a subliminal program is invaluable. It will serve not only to inform you of the nature and content of the subliminal messages that will be programming your subconscious mind, but it can also serve as resource for conscious reinforcement.
WHO USES SUBLIMINAL PROGRAMS & CD’S
Clinics, Hospitals, & Medical Professionals…
There is a rapidly increasing professional awareness of the effectiveness of subliminal programming in the fields of medicine and behavioral therapy. An increasing number of medical professionals and clinics are using our subliminals as a powerful supplement to conventional treatment programs. Subliminals are effectively used to create a relaxed, harmonious atmosphere, to promote healing and more rapid recovery. Although subliminals are not intended to replace or substitute for expert medical advice or treatments, they are being used in addition to other therapies to help facilitate improvement.
Schools & Universities…
Educators are recognizing the value of subliminals to help students build positive self-esteem, increase concentration, improve memory, and achieve higher test scores. A number of schools and universities are using subliminals in classrooms to promote peak learning and accelerate student performance.
U.S. Government Agencies & Corporations…
Business executives, companies, governmental agencies and professional organizations are using subliminals to become more organized, increase productivity, efficiency. Creativity, and reduce stress.
Sales organizations and sales people are using our subliminal programs to develop self-confidence, enthusiasm and motivation, to overcome procrastination and promote increased sales volume and income.
Athletes & Students Involved in Sports…
Athletes, from professionals to elementary schools students, are using subliminal programs to increase motivation, will power, speed, coordination, strength, endurance and overall performance.
Individuals for Self Improvements…
Our subliminal programs enable you to directly access your subconscious mind to create a positive self-image, increase self confidence and eliminate negative emotions.
Interpersonal relationships can be significantly improved using the subliminal programs specifically designed to promote a loving, friendly, affectionate attitude that radiates to everyone around you.
Many people use our subliminal programs to develop an enthusiastic, positive outlook on a prosperity consciousness to attract success and abundance.
You can design your own personal self-improvement program by choosing titles from the expanding selection of subliminal programs we produce. You can improved any area of your life you decide to work on. By stimulating your subconscious mind with the positive messages on the programs you select, you will be able to rid yourself of negative beliefs, thoughts and feelings that are inhibiting your enjoyment and success in life. You can discover hidden abilities, inner strengths, and a prosperous, fulfilling life you may have never dreamed possible.
QUESTIONS & ANSWERS ON SUBLIMINAL PROGRAMS
Question: How do you use subliminal programs?
Answer: Subliminal mental programming is a passive process, relying on the natural ability of the subconscious mind to absorb information below the normal range of your conscious awareness. No active involvement, concentration, or relaxation is necessary for subliminal programs to work successfully.
Subliminal programs can be used anytime your like, day or night. Simply play the program in the background as you go about your daily activities. The programs do not have to be played at high volume. As long as you can hear the music or environmental sounds, your subconscious mind will pick up the subliminal suggestions in the program. They can be played as a soft, soothing background all day or night, even while listening to other music or TV. You can also soften the effect even further by adjusting the tone controls on your player.
Subliminal programs can be listened to anytime day or night while you are doing virtually any activity-relaxing, reading, studying, eating, talking on the phone, at the office, while you are exercising.
QUESTION: DO YOU SUGGEST USING MORE THAN ONE SUBLIMINAL PROGRAM AT A TIME?
ANSWER: The effectiveness of our subliminal programs can be compounded by using a compatible assortment of titles. However, in order to avoid overloading yourself, we recommend not working on more than 2 or 3 behavioral changes at a time. Programs not having to do with addictions or major life changes can be used together very effectively and will often work together to positively reinforce one another.
QUESTION: HOW OFTEN SHOULD I LISTEN TO THE SUBLIMINAL PROGRAMS?
ANSWER: You can’t really overdo listening to positive programs. The more often you listen, the faster you will begin to see results. It is recommended that you play your subliminal programs at least once a day and more often if possible. If you want to strengthen the effect of the programs and get results more quickly, listen to them several times each day and night.
QUESTION: HOW SOON CAN I EXPECT RESULTS FROM USING THE SUBLIMINAL PROGRAMS?
ANSWER: For many people there are immediate, observable, and in some cases, dramatic results after listening to our subliminal programs only a few times. However, because each person is unique, results will vary from person to person. Remember, it has taken years to create the life you have today. The results of listening to subliminal messages are cumulative, so the desired changes will occur provided sufficient repetitions and time are allowed for all levels of your consciousness to absorb the new positive programming. Almost everybody will be able to see positive improvement in 60 days or less.
QUESTION: ONCE I HAVE ACHIEVED RESULTS, DO I NEED TO CONTINUE LISTENING TO THE SUBLIMINAL PROGRAM?
ANSWER: If you are using a subliminal program to help you reach a specific goal, such as losing twenty pounds or quitting smoking, once you have achieved the goal, you may have no need to continue using the tape. However, many people find it helpful to continue playing the subliminal programs from time to time for positive reinforcement. If you feel a desire to return to an old habit such as smoking or eating foods that cause you to gain weight, we suggest you use the subliminal programs again regularly until the desire passes. You may wish to use some of our subliminal programs on an ongoing basis whenever you feel the need. This applies particularly to such titles as Stress Reduction, Start the Day Great, Stop Procrastination, and our many spiritual titles. The main principle is to use the programs as long as or as often as you feel you want or need their benefits.
Subliminal programs provide you with an effective and pleasant way to bring about lasting personal change. We combine the most advanced electronic technology with the latest scientific knowledge of how the mind works and how behaviors are determined to provide you with state-of-the-art subliminal programming. Many thousands have found that using our subliminal programs helped them improve their lives and achieve positive results that seem almost miraculous!
Becker, H. C., “Subliminal Communication Advances in Audiovisual Engineering Applications for Behavior Therapy and Education.” Proceedings of the 1978 Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Region 3 Conference.
Becker, H. C., “Subliminal Communication and Hypnosis,” Presentation to the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis, 25th Annual Scientific Meeting, Denver, Colorado, October 24-30, 1976.
Becker, H. C., & McDonagh, E.W., “Subliminal Communication (Subliminal Psychodynamic Activation) in Rehabilitative and Preventive Medicine,” Proceedings of the 1978 Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineering Region 3 Conference. April 10-12, 1978, Atlanta.
Bower, Bruce. “Subliminal Messages: Changes for the Better?” Science News, Vol. 129, March 8, 1986
Budzynski, Thomas. “Tuning in on the Twilight Zone,” Psychology Today., Vol. 11, August 1977, pp. 38-44.
Dixon, N. F., “Preconscious Processing,” New York, John Wiley & Sons, 1981.
Dixon, N. F., “Subliminal Perception: The Nature of a Controversy.” London: McGraw Hill, 1971.
Maxwell, Neil, “Words Whispered to Subconscious Supposedly Deter Thefts, Fainting.” Wall Street Journal, November 25, 1980.
Parker, Kenneth A., “Effects of Subliminal Symbolic Stimulation on Academic Performance.” Journal of Counseling Psychology, Vol. 29 (1), 1982.
Silverman, L. H., Martin, A., Ungaro, R., & Mendelsohn, E., “Effect of Subliminal Stimulation of Symbiotic Fantasies on Behavior Modification Treatment of Obesity.” Journal of Consulting Clinical Psychology, pp. 46, 432-441, 1978.
“Subliminal Communication Technology,” Hearing before the Committee on Science and Technology, U.S. House of Representatives, Ninety-eighth Congress, Second Session, No. 105, August 6, 198
Jonathan Parker is the founder and director of Quantum Quests International. For over 30 years he has been a counselor, workshop facilitator and author of one of the largest self-development libraries in the world. It is his voice you will hear on all the programs we offer.
Jonathan has university degrees in Education, Chemistry, Theology, Counseling Psychology, and Human Behavior & Development, but his life-long relentless quest for unraveling the many questions and mysteries of life also led him on a broad journey into comparative religion, quantum physics, clinical psychology, Huna, Theosophy, botany, astronomy, Sufism, nutrition, music, hypnosis, psychic phenomena, NLP, energy medicine, meditation, and metaphysics.
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