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Subliminal Messages Might Actually Work 172

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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  • Re:Television (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Eternauta3k ( 680157 ) on Saturday March 10, 2007 @10:30PM (#18304498) Homepage Journal

    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 ultimately charge it to their clients).
  • Photoreading (Score:2, Interesting)

    by bennyp ( 809286 ) on Saturday March 10, 2007 @10:33PM (#18304524) Homepage
    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!
  • Non-issue (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Barny ( 103770 ) <> on Saturday March 10, 2007 @10:41PM (#18304604) Journal
    In the states at least, since the FCC have [] 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?
  • 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.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 11, 2007 @12:02AM (#18305114)
    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.
  • by PIPBoy3000 ( 619296 ) on Sunday March 11, 2007 @12:14AM (#18305180)
    If I remember my college psych classes properly, subliminal messages to buy a product may work to some degree, but obvious ads to buy a product work far better. There's lots of studies on the effectiveness of advertising, and not very many on the effectiveness of subliminal messages.

    I think Greenwald [] is the author I was thinking of, but some of these other articles may be useful.
  • Old News? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Wazukkithemaster ( 826055 ) on Sunday March 11, 2007 @12:15AM (#18305186)
    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 as normal again. When asked later if the viewers remembered the gorilla walking by a large % responded no (again, i can't remember specifically).

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