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Privacy Science

Subliminal Messages Might Actually Work 172

Posted by kdawson
from the buy-popcorn-now dept.
GrumpySimon writes "New research indicates that subliminal messages may actually work. In a paper titled Attentional Load Modulates Responses of Human Primary Visual Cortex to Invisible Stimuli, Bahrani et al. demonstrate that even though stimuli may not be available to consciousness, they are processed by the visual cortex. While I'm sure that marketing agencies all over the world are rubbing their hands in glee at this news, the authors report that there's no evidence that this can make people buy things against their will. So with any luck the use of subliminal messages in advertising will remain an urban legend."
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Subliminal Messages Might Actually Work

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  • Television (Score:5, Insightful)

    by The Living Fractal (162153) <banantarr@NoSPAM.hotmail.com> on Saturday March 10, 2007 @10:22PM (#18304436) Homepage
    I can garauntee that they don't work well in television. At least, not on me. Because, even if they're only 1 frame, I can see them at 24fps. And it greatly annoys me when things flicker on the screen. I might not be able to tell what's flickering there (depending on the complexity of the image), but I promise you I will find out (record, pause, learn). And when I do, and it's some total BS thought up by some ad company, I can further promise you I will be purposefully not buying their product.

    Nope, stick with good old quality writing and you'll get my interest. Then I'll at least look into your product and consider buying it. Otherwise, good luck.

    TLF
    • by bheer (633842) <.moc.liamg. .ta. .reehbr.> on Saturday March 10, 2007 @10:28PM (#18304474)
      I agree with you, drink slimeball marketing tactics only piss of consumers.
      There are many more enviga honest ways to sell wares.
      • ROFL.

        That reminds me of the SNL skit Kevin Neilan (sp?) did..

        "I was thinking we could go out for some hotsex dinner and then maybe later a movie..."

        Well, it went something like that anyway. Damned good.

        TLF
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Eternauta3k (680157)

      Nope, stick with good old quality writing and you'll get my interest. Then I'll at least look into your product and consider buying it. Otherwise, good luck.

      I agree. Sure, some argue any kind of marketing is manipulating the customer, but companies should stick to making their product known. Manipulating people is, in my opinion, shifting them from the best product (price/quality ratio) to the one with the best advertisements. That way, money is wasted both by the consumers and by the companies (which ultim

      • Re:Television (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Lemmy Caution (8378) on Sunday March 11, 2007 @03:04PM (#18309040) Homepage
        The "should"s of it aside, it's a little disappointing that no one is asking the difficult question: is subliminal communication protected speech? Could it get to a point that it doesn't qualify as a legitimate form of protected speech?

        There is a kind of fiction which is very central to our notions of freedom and rationality: that there is a world of deliberative thoughts and ideas, where we rationally evaluate things and discuss them, where ideas are free, and there's the world of bodies and emotions and material stuff, where I don't have the right to hit you or take your stuff or threaten you. Subliminal marketing blurs this distinction by working at the intersection of the two.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by DigitAl56K (805623)
      I can garauntee that they don't work well in television. At least, not on me. Because, even if they're only 1 frame, I can see them at 24fps.

      Sure, but what happens when you start blending images, i.e. instead of flashing a message or product image briefly on the screen, subtly adjust the existing image so that you can still perceive the message, but no flashing occurs.

      Anyway, as much as I hate subliminal messaging, I would rather put up with that than have Billy Mays [wikipedia.org] yelling at me to buy OxyClean, OrangeGlo
      • I prefer Barry Scott [wikipedia.org]...

        DO YOU HAVE PROBLEMS WITH LIMESCALE, RUST, AND GROUND-IN DIRT? THEY'RE A CHALLENGE, BUT NOT, FOR CILLIT BANG!!

        ((y'know, the lameness filter is useful sometimes, but it's bloody annoying when you're legitimately trying to convey shouting))
        • Those ads are a different form of advertising altogether- I think advertisers are now trying to make some ads as bad as possible just to get attention. Why spend a million on a great piece of marketing when you can create something shockingly bad and make an impression. Cillit Bang even makes it on to b3ta.com - consider my effort :D :

          http://www.chrisdidthis.com/b3ta/BANG-170.gif [chrisdidthis.com]
          • I think advertisers are now trying to make some ads as bad as possible just to get attention.

            Bad press: It worked for Miralus. Bad press: It worked for Miralus. Bad press: It worked for Miralus. HeadOn from Miralus is available at retailers nationwide.

    • Have you met the 16 th amendment dude? You two would get along great.
    • Well it should be noted that the experimental technique used in this article cannot be done with a standard televison, since it requires input to each eye to be controlled separately. They used continuous flash suppression [wikipedia.org], where an image presented to one eye is suppressed by flashing another image in the other eye.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Pc_Madness (984705)
      I thought flashing hidden messages was illegal in most countries? I thought it was in Australia atleast.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Jartan (219704)

      I can garauntee that they don't work well in television. At least, not on me. Because, even if they're only 1 frame, I can see them at 24fps.


      TV is not 24 fps. It's 60 fps interlaced. Slashdot needs a -1 "my eyeballs/ears are amazing" tag I think.
      • by zoney_ie (740061)
        50fps here in Europe which is a bit handier for transferring films to TV. We just speed them up; so you don't get the nasty jaggies on TV frames containing an interlacing of two film frames. The audio pitch is different of course; this is either compensated for or not noticed.

        And best of all, you can get through the extended edition of the Lord of the Rings slightly faster :)

        So there you are, sounds like an urban legend, but even uncut film running times are shorter on European TV!

        It's a shame you guys are
        • by Dun Malg (230075)

          It's a shame you guys are stuck with the 24fps->30fps (half of 60Hz) problem even with HDTV, no wonder people aren't as hot on the idea of 1080i in the US! Fix your electricity supply!
          As another poster noted, ATSC (our HDTV system) has a 24fps mode specifically tailored for film. So I suggest to you stop slaving your fps to the frequency of your AC mains!
          • ATSC (our HDTV system) has a 24fps mode specifically tailored for film. So I suggest to you stop slaving your fps to the frequency of your AC mains!
            But does an ATSC TV start scanning at 72 Hz when displaying this mode (3 fields per unique frame), or does it drop down to 48 Hz (2 fields per unique frame), or does it stay at 60 Hz like traditional NTSC telecine (alternating between 2 and 3 fields)?
    • by omeomi (675045)
      I can garauntee that they don't work well in television. At least, not on me. Because, even if they're only 1 frame, I can see them at 24fps.

      Why does "subliminal" have to be visual? Music affects the mood/emotions of a viewer in a way that isn't fully conscious. Probably quite a bit better than flashing single frames of food or whatever on the screen...

      And even if it is visual, why does it have to be the single-frame thing? Product placement works somewhat subliminally, doesn't it? Most people aren't r
    • by Tiger4 (840741)
      So if, for example, Coors paid to place a Budweiser ad into your favorite program, and you found it and boycotted Bud as a result ... Profit!
    • by Reziac (43301) *
      Occasionally I have an intensely negative reaction to some TV ad, even tho the ad is not overtly obnoxious or even particularly dislikeable. I've long suspected that I'm having a subconscious reaction to subliminal content.

  • by catbutt (469582) on Saturday March 10, 2007 @10:27PM (#18304468)
    What does that even mean?

    Just plain old advertising could be said to make people "buy things against their will", if it tips the balance from "slightly inclined to not purchase" to "slightly inclined to purchase".

    Speaking in such black and white terms is misleading.
    • by TheRealMindChild (743925) on Saturday March 10, 2007 @10:34PM (#18304536) Homepage Journal
      I was flabbergasted to find that bathing with Axe body didn't bring in the babes. I even told them they love me. But I guess I got a bad batch or something because they just ran away. Fast.
      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward

        I was flabbergasted to find that bathing with Axe body didn't bring in the babes.
        Check the manufacture number on top; if it begins with "2111" it's a bad batch.

        Also it's peanut butter.
    • Just plain old advertising could be said to make people "buy things against their will", if it tips the balance from "slightly inclined to not purchase" to "slightly inclined to purchase".

      The purpose of advertising is to build brand awareness. You can't buy what you don't know and when you do buy, you are inclined to purchase those things that are familiar. Advertising attempts to create a relationship of trust where none exists and to undo existing trust.

      Subliminals attempt to make the message stick,

      • by Dun Malg (230075) on Sunday March 11, 2007 @12:37PM (#18308154) Homepage

        Road rage, divorce, hook-ups, and many other social disorders are a direct consequence of this unethical form of advertising.
        Bollocks. You're one of those "TV is the devil" fuckwits, aren't you. Road rage has more to do with urban stress than anything else. Increase in divorce rates has fuck-all to do with TV and everything to do with a liberalization of society and abandonment of the stigma attached to single parenting, i.e. marriages aren't being wrecked by TV, they're just not being kept together when they're bad anymore. "Hook-ups"? If you knew anything about sexual promiscuity throughout the ages, you'd know what an idiot you sound like claiming it's a "social disorder". People like fucking, and they always have. They do it all the time. Porn doesn't make 'em do it-- we're hard wired for it. Get over your bizarre prudery.
        • by twitter (104583)

          You're one of those "TV is the devil" fuckwits, aren't you.[sic]

          No, I'm one of those, "Don't expose me to blood, guts and sex without me knowing about it," fuckwits. All forms of advertisements that do those things are evil. The observed and cited consequences of those exposures is a matter of debate.

          Bollocks. ... fuckwits ... fuck-all ... idiot ... bizarre prudery.

          Nice. Do you work for Microsoft or do you curse to make yourself feel big?

          • by Dun Malg (230075)

            No, I'm one of those, "Don't expose me to blood, guts and sex without me knowing about it," fuckwits. All forms of advertisements that do those things are evil.

            Sorry, I have yet to see a credible example of "secret graphic blood/guts/sex images" in advertising. Perhaps you could provide a couple examples? Or are they all so well hidden no one can see them? (snicker)

            The observed and cited consequences of those exposures is a matter of debate.

            Given that the very existence of such things is a matter of debate, I'd have to agree.

            Bollocks. ... fuckwits ... fuck-all ... idiot ... bizarre prudery.

            Nice. Do you work for Microsoft or do you curse to make yourself feel big?

            No, I curse to show my derision for the laughable conspiracy theory blatherings of certifiable lunatics when I'm addressing them through a text-only interface, as you can't hear me laughing and snorting at your

          • by jb.hl.com (782137)
            Nice. Do you work for Microsoft

            A complete non-sequitur.

            You are delusional and paranoid. Seek help.
        • by kalirion (728907)
          Road rage has more to do with urban stress than anything else.

          Really? I always thought road rage had more to do with people being assholes than anything else. That or working in a DSL office.
    • Besides, the whole discussion about subliminal messages and stuff always revolves around the assumption that the only conceivable objective for the broadcasting of such messages is to increase sales of the product. While not necessarily subscribing to people seeing a conspiracy, the syllogism "subliminal messages appear in ads, they do not cause more sale of the products, ergo they are not influential" always looked preposterous to me.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 10, 2007 @10:28PM (#18304472)
    !yvaN eht nioJ
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 10, 2007 @10:30PM (#18304500)
    [ Ted walks into a bar with Mr. Subliminal ]
    Mr. Subliminal: Two beers, please.
    Ted: I just can't get the hang of it..
    Mr. Subliminal: That's because it's new to you. Believe me, Ted, subliminal advertising can be very, very effective.
    Bartender: Alright, gentlemen, here's your beers.
    Mr. Subliminal: Thanks, partner - on the house - that was quick - on the house - what do we owe you?
    Bartender: Uh.. forget about it - on the house!
    Mr. Subliminal: Oh? Thank you very much! Hey.. you know something - free cash - this is a real classy place - free cash - first time we've been here.
    Bartender: Oh, I'm glad you like it. I've been working here for years.
    Mr. Subliminal: Oh, no kidding- free cash - that's great!
    Bartender: [ opens cash register and drops cash on the counter ] Here ya go.
    Mr. Subliminal: What's this for?
    Bartender: It's free cash, take it.
    Ted: [ chuckles ] This is a real nice place!
    Mr. Subliminal: No, really - free cash - we can't take this - your wallet - I mean, what would we do with it?
    Bartender: Well, don't be ridiculous! [ drops his wallet on the counter ] Here, you take my wallet, you can put it in there!
    Mr. Subliminal: Well, okay, if you insist! [ takes wallet, turns to Ted ] You see?
    Ted: See what?
    Mr. Subliminal: [ spots an attractive Woman on the next barstool ] Hi! Come here often?
    Woman: [ laughs ] Oh, come on. That's the oldest line in the book.
    Mr. Subliminal: Hey, sorry if I was out of line - lonely - I just thought that you might - lonely - you know, like to talk.
    Woman: Well.. I am feeling a little.. lonely. It's just that I'm so sick and tired of guys hitting on me all the time, you know?
    Mr. Subliminal: Oh, believe me - hot sex - I'm not hitting on you - hot sex - I just can, you know, understand that lonely feeling!
    Woman: [ nods ] You do, don't you?
    Mr. Subliminal: Sure do.
    Woman: You seem like a very sensitive man.
    Mr. Subliminal: Well..
    Woman: And.. sexy, too! [ giggles ]
    Mr. Subliminal: [ turns and whispers to Ted ] You gonna get the hang of it?
    Ted: Uh.. yeah..
    Mr. Subliminal: [ to Woman ] The name's Phil, Phil Maloney - kiss me - and it's a real plasure meeting you - kiss me - a real pleasure!
    Woman: [ quickly jumps in and kisses him ]
    Mr. Subliminal: [ catches his breath ] What was that for - your place - I mean, that was nice - your place - I mean, and you are..?
    Woman: I'm Wanda! What do you say we go to my place?
    Mr. Subliminal: Oh, great!
    Woman: It's a five-story walk-up, I hope you don't mind..
    Mr. Subliminal: Mind? - hotel - No, I don't mind - luxury hotel - maybe I'll lose some weight - your treat - [ laughs ].
    Woman: Better yet - how about we go away to a luxury hotel - I'll pay! How about that?
    Mr. Subliminal: Great idea - horny - there's one right around the corner - handcuffs - let's go!
    Woman: Okay, let's go!
    Mr. Subliminal: Okay, then - spank me - let's go1
    [ they rush out of the bar ]
    [ a beautiful woman sits next to Ted ]
    Ted: Ahhhhh, yeah, I think I'm beginning to see.. [ notices the woman next to him ] Yeah..
    Policeman: [ enters bar ] Alright! Who owns the white volvo out front?
    Ted: Uh.. that's mine, Officer. Is there a problem?
    Policeman: Yeah, it's a $50 problem. You parked in front of a fire hydrant. Let me see your license.

    Ted: Uh.. oh, yeah, sure, Officer.. Uh.. to be honest, Officer - HOT SEX! - I didn't see the hydrant - TIE ME UP! - it was dark.

    Policeman: What did you say?

    Ted: I said - HOT SEX! - I didn't see the hydrant - SPANK ME! - it was dark.

    Policeman: Hot sex? Spank me? Alright, pervert, come on, you're going downtown! [ drags Ted away ]

    Ted: Uh, no, Officer, please - KISS ME! Officer, no - KISS ME! Officer, no - HORNY! Please - YOUR PLACE! Officer..

    [ fade out ]
  • Nah (Score:5, Funny)

    by istartedi (132515) on Saturday March 10, 2007 @10:32PM (#18304512) Journal

    Nah, I don't see how that could be. However, this article was unusually good for some reason. I think I'm going to subscribe to Slashdot.

  • Photoreading (Score:2, Interesting)

    by bennyp (809286)
    Reminds me of "Photoreading"... the concept is that by relaxing the gaze and not looking at any one word, but the whole page, one is capable of absorbing books at a rate of 1 page per second. The pages are stored in the mind somewhere, then through a series of activities, one brings up the info into consciousness. Unfortunately, rather than go the scientific way, the inventor has chosen to market it as a self-help course. Weird!
    • If you are interested in that, you might also like the book, Superlearning, by Sheila Ostrander and Lynn Schroeder with Nancy Ostrander, which involves studying while listening to classical music. Also, another good book is The Memory Book, by Harry Lorayne & Jerry Lucas. You can go to Amazon and read a lot of people's comments about both books (and prob. pick up either book used for next to nothing).

      I used both methods to study for an FCC GROL test I needed to take for work. Honestly, there is some cra
  • by waynemcdougall (631415) <slashdot@codeworks.gen.nz> on Saturday March 10, 2007 @10:33PM (#18304526) Homepage
    SO what the article is saying is that attentional load
    MODulates attentional responses to
    MEssage that are carrying an embedded message. I will not put
    UP with these shenanigans that are calcualated to
    INCITE us make a
    FOOL of ourselves.
  • by Black Parrot (19622) on Saturday March 10, 2007 @10:33PM (#18304532)
    How come this article gets 5% shorter when I turn on my browser's ad filter?
  • Hold it... (Score:5, Funny)

    by 20th Century Boy (903797) on Saturday March 10, 2007 @10:36PM (#18304556)
    hanG on there folks, I haVe my doubts ovEr such claiMs, howEver Mildly innOceNt thEY seem.
    • by maxume (22995)
      Plenty of people are nodding in agreement with you comment, not to your benefit, but because you have given their own greed a pat on the back.
    • by LordEd (840443)
      Nobody here has created a good example of a subliminal message. Often the slashdot normal joke is to simply capitalize or bold the letters. My theory is that a properly subliminal message should not be easy to read. Obviously, blatantly placing capitalized letters or bold letters where they aren't appropriate will be noticed. Now, if you typed ordinary sentences and use capitals correctly (such as capitalizing beginning of sentences or proper nouns), you can make your message less obvious. Each proper
  • So visual stimuli are processed by the visual cortex?

    Groundbreaking science! Good work, gentlemen!

    Now all we have to do is show that images glimpsed for a fraction of a second have more effect than images viewed for noticeable lengths of time, and we'll know for sure! Subliminal advertising ahoy!
    • by aussie_a (778472)
      You don't need to prove it works better then traditional advertising, only that it does work.
      • Hrm. Good point. People might walk around with Coca-Cola on their mind, and not even be aware they'd been exposed to any Coca-Cola advertising...
  • Non-issue (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Barny (103770) <bakadamage-slashdot@yahoo.com> on Saturday March 10, 2007 @10:41PM (#18304604) Homepage Journal
    In the states at least, since the FCC have http://web.archive.org/web/20060503194404/www.para scope.com/articles/0497/sublimdc.htm [archive.org] already made their stance on this to broadcasting networks.

    I think I read somewhere that the UN had a similar knee-jerk to it back then too and said the same, anyone got a link to it?
  • What was that movie about subliminal advertising and the guns that caused people to black out for hours?
  • Whatever, I'm going out to buy some popcorn.
  • by zCyl (14362) on Saturday March 10, 2007 @10:55PM (#18304702)
    They rally you like industrial ninjas use xeroxes.
    • by AtrN (87501) *
      I couldn't find any useful contribution, of any kind, in that statement. Or maybe I was floundering try to focus on the hidden message?
  • My summary (Score:4, Informative)

    by venicebeach (702856) on Saturday March 10, 2007 @11:02PM (#18304756) Homepage Journal
    Well I just read the article and it appears that the main point of this paper is that attention affects the processing of unconscious, invisible visual stimuli.

    What they did was to have a task in central vision that was either easy (not requiring much attention) or hard (requiring lots of attention). At the same time, invisible pictures were flashed in the periphery (made invisible by masking). Looking at the voxels in visual cortex which correspond to the locations of the invisible, peripheral stimuli, they found greater activity in easy mode than in hard mode. In other words, when the central visual task required lots of attention, the invisible stimuli in the periphery activated visual cortex more weakly.

    To quote the article "The present findings are the first to show that neural processes involved in the retinotopic registration of stimulus presence in V1 depend on availability of attentional capacity, even when they do not invoke any conscious experience. These findings challenge previous suggestions that attention and awareness are one and the same."
    • by radtea (464814)
      Thanks for the excellent summary. It's a pity the /. editors didn't even read the submitter's summary, which says, "the authors report that there's no evidence that this can make people buy things against their will."

      Given this, one has to wonder what /. editors mean by "work" when they say "Subliminal messages might actually work". "Work" can't possibly mean "cause people to buy things", given the content of the summary, still less the article. Nor can it mean "cause people to know things", because the
      • by Dun Malg (230075)

        It's a pity the /. editors... wonder what /. editors mean... the /. editors...
        You keep misspelling "paid chimps who have learned to randomly smash the [ACCEPT] button"
    • by wanax (46819)
      It's highly unsurprising that attention can be modulated by things we don't perceive. For a psychophysics study with an unbeatable title that supports the conclusion: " A gender- and sexual orientation-dependent spatial attentional effect of invisible images" http://www.pnas.org/cgi/content/abstract/060567810 3v1 [pnas.org]
  • "<i>N</i>ew research <i>i</i>ndica<i>t</i>es that <i>s</i>ubliminal messages may a<i>c</i>tually work. In a paper titled Attentional Load Modulates Responses of <i>H</i>uman Primary Visual Cort<i>e</i>x to <i>I</i>nvisible <i>S</i>timuli, Bahrani et al. <i>d</i>emonstrate that <i>e</i>ven though stimuli m<i>a</i>y not be available to consciousness, they are processe
  • subject (Score:1, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Josie and The Pussycats is the Greatest Band ever!

    Join the Army!
  • The Psy Corps is your friend.
    Trust the Psy Corps.

    (couldn't use all caps like the original)
    (obscure?)
    • babylon 5 ( season 4 i think).

      Blipverts from max headroom seem more fitting to this study though.. lets hope nobody explodes from them : )
  • > While I'm sure that marketing agencies all over the world are rubbing their hands in glee at this news,

    Let's mount our own subliminal ad campaign: "Ban Advertising" or better still "Ban Advertising Executives"
  • by alisson (1040324) on Saturday March 10, 2007 @11:41PM (#18304998)
    This isn't exactly new information. It's been widely available for decades that yes, in fact, you do register subliminal messages. But it's also been proven time and again, that they have a statistically insignificant effect on your desires, and CERTAINLY not enough to change your opinions.
    • While I read this thread, I kept wanting to have hot sex. Then I looked at the page's source. Every word was followed by the words 'Hot sex!" and "Cmdr Taco!" coded to render in white text on a white background. Unfortunately, my browser didn't render it all properly, and I ended up having sex with Mexican food. Many times. In one hour.
    • This isn't exactly new information. It's been widely available for decades that yes, in fact, you do register subliminal messages. But it's also been proven time and again, that they have a statistically insignificant effect on your desires, and CERTAINLY not enough to change your opinions.

      100% true, but it is a complaint against the summary, not the actual article (as usual). TFA is about a more specific topic, and has humbler conclusions than the summary would indicate.

      Regarding the summary, as you

  • no evidence that this can make people buy things against their will

    If consumers really believe that their (our) will is unmodified after being bombarded by publicity, it must mean we know very little about who or what we are.

    People is greatly influenced by their surroundings, and while nobody can say I drink Coke, wear Docker's, drive GM or read Slashdot against my will, it is quite undeniable that the knowledge of their existence wasn't in my mind before I saw some publicity. At some moment I decided on using such products, and usually, rejecting at the same time other

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Cdnuolt blveiee taht I cluod aulaclty uesdnatnrd waht I was rdanieg. The phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid, aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it dseno't mtaetr in waht oerdr the ltteres in a wrod are, the olny iproamtnt tihng is taht the frsit and lsat ltteer be in the rghit pclae.
  • Neuro Linguistic Programming - And also as an adjunct, Bandler and Grinder's two books on Eriksonian hypnosis as a delivery method for subconscious suggestions Influence by Cialdini. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Cialdini [wikipedia.org]
  • Old News? (Score:2, Interesting)

    My psych 111 class went over things like this... the brain processes a lot of things that aren't consciously picked up upon especially when it comes to vision. Experiments have been done that prove that people really don't notice what is right in front of their faces. A bunch of people were shown a video of 2 people tossing a basketball back and forth for probably 10 minutes (i dont recall exactly) but then a man in a gorilla suit walks by behind the people tossing the basketball, then everything proceeds
    • by TCaM (308943)
      sounds like a vonage commercial
    • Umm... I have seen this experiment and have come to a slightly different conclusion. If I am correct, the test subject is instructed to count the number of time the baseball is thrown. While many people do not report seeing the gorilla, this seems to prove that many people don't notice because they are distracted by keeping an accurate count on the baseball. I believe a portion of the group not reporting the gorilla could be attributed to the human mind focusing on a given task, rather than observing object
      • There were also other Change Blindness experiments which were more convincing, mainly conducted by Daniel Simons. For example, in one study, participants went into a room and asked to sign up for something. The person behind the desk, ducked down to get them a form, and a *different* person stood up and continued the conversation.

        The vast majority of subjects didn't notice anything wrong, even when there were large differences in the two people.
  • So with any luck the use of subliminal messages in advertising will remain an urban legend.... ha ha ha. They are already out there!

    I work a lot in the gameing(gambling really, but we call it gameing) industry as a coder.
    The national/public news organization up in Canada has been ripping apart one or the provincial lottery organizations lately. In the investigation they found that some KONAMI slots were displaying subliminal messages. They were flashing winning hands. This affected 3 newer types of slot
  • Never overestimate the human intellect not getting theoretical or subliminal enterprising Elbonians hiding ephemeral ridiculous epistles.

    Moreover only very efficient altruistic living organisms never grovel!
  • Whatever you do;

    Do not think about your tongue.

    /thats a very old and dirty trick, best said to acidheads. but if you think somebody can't put something in somebody's head well, what are you thinking about right now?
  • SMOKE. [youtube.com]

    Are ya smokin' yet?!
  • hypothesis (Score:2, Insightful)

    by anwyn (266338)
    The advertising industry used this technique for over 30 years, spending millions of dollars on it. But, they never did a double bind test to find out if it works!

    Just how plausible is this hypothesis?

    The other hypothesis is that the technique is known to work!

  • Gee, I hope there's no subliminal messages in this forum.. (proceeds to join the navy while installing linux and donating money generously to random people)...

  • by MadJo (674225)
    Finally, a use for Blink tags.
  • They've done nothing but show that the "cocktail party" effect works for the visual system as well as the auditory. Intresting in itself, but not surprising nor indicative of any extra mechanism at work.

    Say you're at a party. The noise is loud, yet you are paying attention to a person talking to you at a level far below the ambient sound. How do we do it? Modulating our attention. Suddenly someone else across the room calls your name. You hear it and respond, despite the fact your attention was focused on t
  • In the November 25, 1986 issue of PC Magazine, Michael J. Mefford's SUGGEST.COM was published. In about an hour you could type in 1,256 characters into a Basic program and it would output the COM file. Does anyone else remember doing this? [BTW, search this page [epie.org] for "suggest.com" to get a brief description.]
  • Maybe
    Our
    Discussion
    Might
    Evoke
    Unsurpassed
    Praise?

    I hope it will be.
  • A prime example is the Levitra logo. It looks like a flame; it isn't!

    Here is an example:
    http://www.uro.ru/forall/images/levitra.jpg [www.uro.ru]

"It is better to have tried and failed than to have failed to try, but the result's the same." - Mike Dennison

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