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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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  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 10, 2007 @10:28PM (#18304472)
    !yvaN eht nioJ
  • by bheer (633842) <`rbheer' `at' `gmail.com'> 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.
  • 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.

  • 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?
  • 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.
  • by Black Parrot (19622) on Saturday March 10, 2007 @10:36PM (#18304554)

    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.
    Funny, after reading that I got an irresistable urge to run out and buy some SMMUIF.
  • 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.
  • Whatever, I'm going out to buy some popcorn.
  • by DigitAl56K (805623) on Saturday March 10, 2007 @10:53PM (#18304688)
    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, the Hercules Hook, or whatever else he's pushing. When questioned about the topic, Billy is alleged to have screamed out, "SUBLIMINAL MESSAGING: ORDER YOURS TODAY!".
  • by zCyl (14362) on Saturday March 10, 2007 @10:55PM (#18304702)
    They rally you like industrial ninjas use xeroxes.
  • by EnigmaticSource (649695) on Saturday March 10, 2007 @11:08PM (#18304806) Homepage
    Stupid lysdexia, I wish ./ would make me preview when I'm drunk.

    Oh Well, so much for my Karma bonus
  • subject (Score:1, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 10, 2007 @11:11PM (#18304822)
    Josie and The Pussycats is the Greatest Band ever!

    Join the Army!
  • by Alaren (682568) on Sunday March 11, 2007 @12:33AM (#18305290)

    Remember, if you don't buy more stuff, then the terrorists fnord have won. Wherever subliminal messaging might be successfully employed, I assure you, it is not in advertisements.

    (fnord clueless mods may click here [wikipedia.org] fnord)

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 11, 2007 @02:10AM (#18305786)

    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.

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