Progressive Awareness Research

Improving Lives One Person at a Time since 1984.

Subliminal Literature: Bibliography and Review


Peripheral Desk Reference D

D'Adamo, M. V. (1989). Use of subliminal symbiotic stimulation and humorous depiction of oral aggression as adjuncts in the inpatient treatment of anorexia and bulimia, Long Island U Brooklyn Ctr, US.


D'Agostino, P. R. (1991). "Spontaneous trait inferences: Effects of recognition instructions and subliminal priming on recognition performance." Personality & Social Psychology Bulletin 17(1): 70-77.

This study showed that the subliminal presentation of primes decreased the recognition accuracy for implicit traits but only under a certain condition.


Dagenbach, D., T. H. Carr, et al. (1989). "Task-induced strategies and near-threshold priming: Conscious influences on unconscious perception." Journal of Memory & Language 28(4): 412 443.

Finding suggest different strategies for encoding and retrieving information semantically primed in lexical decision processes presented under conditions of near threshold semantic priming.


Dauber, R.B. (1984). Subliminal psychodynamic activation in depression: On the role of autonomy issues in depressed college women. Dutton Counseling Center, Morristown, NJ. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 93 (1), pp 9-18. ISSN: 0021-843X.

Richard Dauber used the subliminal psychodynamic activation method in 2 experiments to study the effects of messages related to autonomy on 36 depressed (Beck Depression Inventory Score >=10) female undergraduates.

Subjects were administered the Depressive Adjective Check List (DACL) and the TAT to assess depression during the experiments.

In Experiment I, exposure to the stimulus "Leaving mom is wrong" increased depression but the stimulus "Mommy and I are one" did not reduce depression.

In Experiment II, the stimulus "Leaving mom is wrong" intensified depression, particularly for those subjects who scored high on the DACL for introjective depression, a depression that is understood as guilt-related.

The findings suggest that psychodynamic effects can be demonstrated with depressive patients if care is taken both to select a relevant psychodynamic content and to select depressive subjects for whom there is reason to believe this content is particularly relevant.


Davis, P. & Silver M.J. (1971). Ellipse discrimination: A psychophysical task useful for studying incidental stimulation. Medfield Foundation, Mass. Perceptual & Motor Skills, 32 (1), pp 95-97. ISSN: 0031-5125.

An ellipse discrimination test, with 4 distinct levels of difficulty, was developed. This test provided a wide range of alternative responses rather than a binary choice.
The subject's task was to judge in which of 6 o'clock orientations the minor axis of the ellipse was oriented.

Although this procedure was evolved as propaedeutic to studying the effects of incidental, "subliminal," unbeknown stimulation on such a discrimination, it should prove useful in other contexts whenever a difficult ellipse discrimination is required.


Dean, D. & Nash, C.B. (1967). Coincident Plethysmograph results under controlled conditions. Journal of the Society for Psychical Research, 44 (731), pp 1-14.

This study reports on a subject who gave plethysmographic responses which coincided with stimulations given to an agent in an adjoining room, suggestive of mental telepathy. Other similar experiments are also reported.

An experiment was carried out, the results of which indicate that mental operations coincide with subjects' plethysmograph responses.

Extrasensory stimulation of the subjects physiological response by an agent showed that the results can be due to chance coincidence, to errors due to bias and that this can be inference by subliminal sensory communication.

The evidence obtained by plethysmographs can be used to measure PSI effects if emotionally-laden stimuli are used and if inhibitory emotional reactions are absent.


DeChenne, J.A. (1976). An experimental study to determine if a task involving psychomotor and problem solving skills can be taught subliminally. Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. Dissertation Abstracts International, 37 (4-A), p. 1947.

The purpose of this study, conducted by James DeChenne, was to determine if a task involving psychomotor and problem solving skills could be taught subliminally at three educational levels.

A video taped motion picture was shown, the content of which was totally unrelated to the task being taught.

Based on the results of the study, the following generalizations were inferred:

1. Under the experimental conditions of this study, students at the educational levels tested, were not able to be taught a task subliminally, which involved psychomotor and problem solving skills.

2. As the subjects were exposed to the subliminal stimuli for a total of one half os a second, this could explain the limited influence of the subliminal stimulation.


De Fleur, M.L. & Petranoff, R.M. (1959). Television test of subliminal persuasion, Indiana University, Bloomington. Public Opinion Quarterly, 23 (2), p. 168.

Melvin De Fleur and Robert Petranoff examined the effect of subliminal television broadcasts.


De Houwer, J., F. Baeyens, et al. (1994). "Verbal evaluative conditioning with undetected US presentations." Behaviour Research & Therapy 32(6): 629-633.

Positive, negative and neutral words were presented in this study to subjects unaware of backward masked subliminal pairing. Results showed a positive correlation between paired words where the back masked stimuli was present.


De Martino, C.R. (1969). The effects of subliminal stimulation as a function of stimulus content, drive arousal and priming and defense against drive. New York University. Dissertation Abstracts, 29 (12-B), p. 4843.

Claude Robert de Martino undertook this study in order to demonstrate:

1) that the subliminality of a stimulus is more crucial than it's content in determining the subliminal effect;

2) that subliminal effects can be produced without prior manipulation of drive states;

3) that priming enhances the effects of neutral but not of drive related subliminal stimuli;

4) that the effects of the latter are inhibited by drive arousal;

5) that the effects of drive-related subliminal stimuli are constricted by defensive and enhanced by non-defensiveness.

The effects of a neutral subliminal stimulus, the word "tell", and an aggressive subliminal stimulus, the word "kill", were investigated under neutral drive and priming. The effects of the aggressive stimulus were also investigated under drive arousal.

A comparison of the mean pre and post scores on the Adjective Check Mood List showed that insulting the subjects made them feel more hostile and anxious. Priming, however, had no effect on the subjects' feelings.

Both the discrimination and detection procedures indicated that the "kill" and "tell" stimuli were subliminal.

Recognition was a more sensitive response measure than recall.
With recognition as the response measure, a subliminal effect was found for both the aggressive and the neutral subliminal stimuli under neutral drive conditions. The magnitude of this effect was significantly greater under priming conditions.

Priming enhanced the effects of neutral subliminal stimuli, but inhibited the effects of the aggressive subliminal stimulus.

The effects of the aggressive subliminal stimulus were carried by subjects who described themselves as aggressive on the Buss-Durkee Inventory, whereas the subjects who described themselves as not aggressive showed a negative or no effect. This trend was reversed with a neutral subliminal stimulus.


Devalle, D. A. (1989). Discrimination without awareness, U Wales, Wales.


Deviatkina, T.A., Tarasenko, L.M., Bbyreva, L.E., Sergienko, N.G. & Voskresenskii, O.N. (1985). Lipid peroxidation in tissues during subliminal electrostimulation of limbic system structures in the brain. Biull. Eksp. Biol. Med., 100 (10), pp 412-414.


Dillingham, S. (1987, September 14). Inaudible messages making a noise. Insight, pp 44-45.

Susan Dillingham reports on the success of subliminal self-help tape sales.


Diaz Lopez, A. and E. Taylor, "Illness as a Behavioral Strategy." Proceeding from the International Psychiatric Congress, Mexico City, Sept. 1998.

Research findings from three government funded studies using subliminal audio cassettes developed by Eldon Taylor using the so-called "Taylor Method" were reported. Three studies covering the areas of chronic dental anxiety, smoking cessation and weight loss resulted in significant improvements for subjects in all categories. New findings in PNI research are discussed. A comprehensive theoretical is offered.


Dixon, N.F. (1956). Symbolic associations following subliminal stimulation. International Journal of Psychoanalysis, 37.

Dixon, N.F.
(1958a). Apparent changes in the visual threshold as a function of subliminal stimulation. A preliminary report. Quarterly Journal Of Experimental Psychology, 10, pp 211 219.


Dixon, N.F. (1958b). The effect of subliminal stimulation upon autonomic and verbal behavior. Journal Of Abnormal Social Psychology, 57.


Dixon, N.F.(1964). Communication without awareness: Implications of subliminal perception.

Journal of Psychosomatic Research, 8.


Dixon, N.F. (1968). "Perception without awareness": A reply to K.W. Banreti-Fuchs. University of Adelaide, Australia. Acta Psychology, Amsterdam, 28 (2), pp 171-180. ISSN: 0001-6918.

A study by Banreti-Fuchs to determine the verbal responses on subliminal stimuli, support the view that it is very easy to prevent weak stimuli having an effect upon behavior. As such they do not constitute a fair test of the original hypothesis.

Some of the factors involved in the controversy surrounding subliminals, are discussed.


Dixon, N.F. (1971). Subliminal Perception: The Nature of a Controversy, London: McGraw-Hill.


Dixon, N.F. (1979). Subliminal perception and parapsychology: Points of contact. University of London, University College, England. Parapsychology Review, 10 (3), pp 1-6. ISSN: 0031-1804.

Norman Dixon argues that parapsychological phenomena and subliminal perception may depend on the same underlying process.


Dixon, N.F. (1981a). The conscious/unconscious interface: Contributions to an understanding. University of London, University College, England. Lund University: Psychological Research Bulletin, 21 (5). ISSN: 0348-3673.

Norman Dixon states that there is hardly a single finding from subliminal perception, microgenesis and sleep and dream research, that does not implicate a 2-way interaction between sensory inflow, emotional appraisal, and the unconscious memory storage systems of the human brain.
A flow model is presented to explain how physiological events in the brain give rise to representations in the mind.

Dixon, N.F. (1981b). Preconscious Processing, New York: Wiley.

Norman Dixon discusses preconscious processing.
He states that the unconscious mind integrates the meaning of new words with related data in memory without conscious awareness or effort.


Dixon, N.F. (1981c). Psychosomatic disorder: a special case of subliminal perception? In Psychosomatic Approaches to Medicine, 1, Behavioral Science Foundations, Eds. M.J. Christy & P.G. Mellett, London: Wiley.


Dixon, N.F. (1983). The conscious-unconscious interface: Contributions to an understanding. University of London, University College, England. Archiv fur Psychologie, 135 (1), pp 55-66. ISSN: 0066-6475.

Norman Dixon states that there is hardly a single finding from subliminal perception, microgenesis, and sleep and dream research that does not implicate a 2-way interactions between sensory inflow, emotional appraisal, and the unconscious memory storage systems of the human brain.

A flow model is developed to explain how physiological events in the brain give rise to representations in the mind.

The model depicts conditions for achieving conscious representations of sensory inflow, which include physical, physiological and mental factors.

Regardless of the mechanism through which the transition from physiological to phenomenal representation is achieved, the transition is potentially sensitive to these three physical, physiological and mental factors.

The model also encompasses;

1) consciousness and energy,

2) temporal parameters of consciousness,

3) the ubiquity of subliminal effects across receptors,

4) sensory dimensions, and

5) modalities.


Dixon, N.F., Henley, S.H. & Weir, C.G. (1984). Extraction of information from continuously masked successive stimuli: An exploratory study. University of London, University College, England. Current Psychological Research & Review, 3 (1), pp 38-44. ISSN: 0737-8262.

Norman Dixon, Sue Henley and C.G. Weir reported on five studies in which the amount and type of information recoverable from rapidly changing and continuously masked letter strings, was examined.

The effect of responding to continuously masked stimuli of subjects' instructional sets using a computer-controlled paradigm were also examined.

It was found that it was possible for most subjects, with effort, to concentrate responses in some time periods after the target.

It was suggested that, although not consciously recognizable, masked words do not behave like totally subliminal verbal stimuli.


Dixon, N.F. (1985a). Apparent changes in the visual threshold as a function of subliminal stimulation. A preliminary report. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 10, pp 211 219.


Dixon, N.F. (1985b). The effect of subliminal stimulation upon autonomic and verbal behavior. Journal of Abnormal Social Psychology, 57.


Dodge, R. (1907). An improved exposure apparatus. Psychology Bulletin, 4, pp 10-13.

Dodge describes his design for a tachistoscope for use in psychology laboratories.


Doerries, L.E. & Harcum, E.R. (1967). Long-term traces of tachistoscopic word perception. Perceptual Motor Skills (United States), 25 (1), pp 25-30. ISSN: 0031-5125.

Doerries and Harcum examined the effects of visual subliminal word presentation on serial learning and verbal learning, and the long term memory traces.


Donovan, P. (1985). Selling right and left. Sales and Marketing Management, 134 (8), pp 63 65. ISSN: 0163-7517.

Priscilla Donovan examines the concept of brain hemisphere dominance and determines how it can be applied to selling.

An understanding of the difference between customers with a left-brain and those with a right-brain thinking style can help a sales person do a better, more profitable job.
According to human brain research, left-dominant people are good at mathematics, talking on their feet and organizing, while right-brained people can "read' other people intuitively, like variety and can estimate distance and space correctly.

These differences can be used by the salesperson to predict how a client will respond to certain products and sales strategies.

When dealing with left-brained customers, salespeople should be prompt, concise and exact, with right-brained customers, they should adopt a friendlier, more circumspect approach.

Because the left is favored in American culture, the right exerts a powerful subliminal force on everyone.


Donovan, W.J. (1986, February 18). Enter a quiet voice against shoplifting. Providence Journal Rhode Island.

William Donovan describes how more and more retailers are turning to subliminal messages to combat shoplifting.

Although there were concerns about mind control, the public is now beginning to understand that the point is to reinforce a person's natural actions.
The point stressed is that subliminal messages cannot be used to get people to buy products.

The subliminal messages are used to add weight to people's consciences regarding right and wrong.

Subliminal messaging, like hypnosis, only works when it enhances the individuals feelings.
It is estimated that more than 300 of the million or so retailers use subaudio messages. However due to the concern about the possibility of negative public opinion, they refuse to disclose such use.


Duncan, J. (1985). Two techniques for investigating perception without awareness. MRC Applied Psychology Unit, Cambridge, England, Perception and Psychophysics, 38 (3), pp 296-298. ISSN: 0031-5117.


Dunham, W.R. (1894). The Science of Vital Force, Boston: Damrell and Upham.

Dunham discusses supraliminal and subliminal consciousness.
Supraliminal consciousness is seen as ordinary intelligence, which is above the horizon and within the limit of recognition.
Subliminal consciousness is seen as an obscure function of the mind and intellectual ability.


Dutto, F.N. & Galli, N. (1982). The effects of noxious subliminal suggestions upon smoking attitudes and behavior. ERIC, ED 217359 (EDRS).

Franklin Dutto and Nicholas Galli studied the effects of noxious subliminal suggestions upon smoking attitudes and behavior.

Subliminal stimuli used were slides of a cigarette package with a skull and crossbones and the word "POISON".

Adult smokers, were shown anti-smoking films.

The experimental groups' film contained six splices of the subliminal stimuli.
The experimental group exhibited no change in smoking behavior or attitudes.
This study supports the ideas that affirmations need to be positive to be effective.


Duval, M., P. Cogliolo, et al. (1990). Memory for intraoperative events and its psychological consequences. Memory and awareness in anaesthesia. W. F. Benno Bonke, Keith Millar,, Swets & Zeitlinger, Amsterdam, Netherlands: 244-249.

(from the chapter) aim of our study was to identify any occurrence of awareness or recall (during general anaesthesia), and to find out whether either or both of them would be associated with conscious or unconscious psychological consequences # 60 female patients ...(took) part in a study of cognitive functioning during and after surgery # during surgery, subjects would receive certain sounds, through headphones, at a normal listening volume.


The Controversy in the Differences of Audio Subliminal Technology

Subliminal Messages, Subliminal Audio, Subliminal Advertising and How it Works

The Power of the Subconscious Mind and Positive Thoughts or Self Talk

The InnerTalk Subliminal Technology

Report: The Truth About Subliminal Programs
(PDF Download)

Peripheral Learning Reference Guide

The Subliminal Challenge

Grants for Research