Progressive Awareness Research

Improving Lives One Person at a Time since 1984.

Subliminal Literature: Bibliography and Review


Peripheral Desk Reference M

Magri, M. (1979). Effects of sexual guilt upon affective responses to subliminal sexual stimuli. College of William and Mary. Dissertation Abstracts International, 40 (2-B), p. 926.

Michael Magri designed this study in order to investigate the effects of sexual guilt on the physiological and affective responses to the subliminal presentation of sexual words.
The subjects were given the Morsher Forced-Choice Guilt Inventory, and on the basis of the results, the top 27 % were assigned to the high sexual guilt group and the bottom 27% were assigned to the low sexual guilt group.

The subjects in these two groups were then randomly assigned to either subliminal sexual stimuli (treatment) condition, or the subliminal neutral (control) stimuli condition.

Both experimental condition entailed the presentation of ten subliminal words. In the treatment condition six words were neutral and four sexual in content. In the control condition all ten words were neutral.

The results showed no significant differences between the treatment and the control groups, but low sexual guilt subjects reported significantly higher levels of affective arousal than did high sexual guilt subjects.

Majdi, M. (1983). An audio system for producing a subliminal message. University of Louisville. Masters Abstracts, 22 (01), p.


Maloney, J.C. (1983). Some psychoanalytic aspects of coronary prone behavior. Adelphi University. Dissertation Abstracts International, 43 (7-B), p. 2346. ISSN: 0419-4209.

Jeffrey Maloney designed this study to test the effects of tachistopically stimulating unconscious-compulsive fantasy on some correlates of coronary-prone behavior.
The stimulus, derived from Freud's theory that the obsessive-compulsive personality is organized around infantile defenses used to cope with the fantasies, drives, impulses and feelings associated with defecation, was the word and picture message "Shitting is OK".
This message follows the line of research in subliminal psychodynamic activation, which has shown that some "sanctioning" messages can reduce pathology and enhance adaptation.
It was hypothesized that the coronary-prone subjects have obsessive-compulsive personalities, and as such the stimulation of an anal fantasy with a sanctioning message would reduce aspects of their behavior pattern.

Changes in affective hostility, impatience, the need to achieve and the hostility in fantasy were measured following the presentation of critical and neutral stimuli.
No significant change was found in either between or within-subject scores.

The lack of findings suggest that the coronary prone subjects may not have obsessive compulsive personalities, or that the message derived from the theory was not one which stimulated the fantasy in an effective way.


Maltsev, S. M. (1988). "On sub-sensory and sensorial-motor anticipation in the process of musical improvization." Voprosy Psikhologii. No 3: 115-122.


Mandel, K.H. (1970). Problems and initiation of behavior therapy with male homosexuals. Zeitschrift fur Psychotherapie und medizinische Psychologie, 20 (3), pp 115-125. Language: GERMAN.

This article discusses the problems of aversive conditioning of homosexual responses, and considers the literature on the various methods of behavioral therapy in male homosexuals.
Among the aversive methods developed to date, covert sensitization, as described by J.R. Cautela (1066) is the most acceptable.

The most important task in the treatment of homosexuals is establishing a stable heterosexual partner relationship.

To accomplish this, a precise analysis and elimination of avoidance responses along with cultivation of erotic-sexual reactions to specific female stimulations is necessary.
Visual stimulations play an important role in this process since it is through them that the chain of sexual interactions is elicited.

These problems have been previously neglected in behavioral therapy.
A difficult aspect in the treatment of homosexuals is the development of a feeling of love for the heterosexual partner which is free of subliminal anxiety and reaches beyond intensive heterosexual responses.


Manfield, D.C. (1987). Computer-assisted weight-loss: a subliminal and behavioral methodology for motivated females. Dissertation Abstracts International, 47 (9-B), p. 3943.


Marcel, A.J. (1983). Conscious and unconscious perception: An approach to the relations between phenomenal experience and perceptual processes. Cognitive Psychology, 15, pp 238-300.


Marcel, A.J. (1983). Conscious and unconscious perception: Experiments on visual masking and word recognition. Cognitive Psychology, 15 (2), pp 197-237. ISSN: 0010-0285.

Anthony Marcel presented five experiments in order to explore the relation of masking to consciousness and visual word processing.

Experiment 1 - a single word or blank field was followed by a pattern mask. The subjects then had to decide;

a) if anything proceeded the mask?,

b) to which of the two probe words was what preceded the mask more graphically?, and

c) to which of the two probe words was it more similar semantically?

As word-mask stimulus onset asynchrony (SOA) was reduced, the subjects reached chance performance on the detection, graphic, and semantic decisions in that order.

Experiment 2 - the subjects again had to choose which of the two words was more similar either graphically or semantically to a nondetectable masked word, but the forced-choice stimuli now covaried negatively on graphic and semantic similarity.

The subjects were now unable to choose selectively on each dimension, which suggests that their ability to choose in experiment 1 was passively rather than intentionally mediated.
Experiment 3 - the subjects had to make manual identification responses to color patches which were either accompanied or preceded by words masked to prevent awareness.

It was found that color congruent words facilitated reaction time, whereas color incongruent words delayed reaction time.

Experiment 4 - a lexical decision task was used where a trial consisted of the critical letter string following another not requiring a response. When both were words they were either semantically associated or not. The first letter string was either left unmasked, energy masked monoptically, or pattern masked dichoptically to prevent awareness.

The effect of association was equal in the unmasked and pattern masked cases, but absent in the energy masking.

Experiment 5 - repeating a word-plus-mask (where the SOA precluded detection) from 1 to 20 times;

a) increased the association effect on subsequent lexical decisions, but had no effect on,

b) detectability, or

c) the semantic relatedness of forced guesses of the masked word.

It is proposed that central pattern masking has little effect on visual processing itself (while peripheral energy masking does), but affects the availability of records of the results of those processes to consciousness.

Perceptual processing itself is unconscious and automatically proceeds to all levels of analysis and redescription available to the perceiver.


Marconi-Manda, L.R. (1980). Performance optimization as a function of accessory auditory stimulation for hyperactive and non-hyperactive children. St. John's University. Dissertation Abstracts International, 41 (04-B), p. 1514.

Linda Marconi-Manda studied the differential effect of graduated levels of accessory auditory stimulation at the subliminal and supraliminal levels on the performance of hyperactive and normal children on an attention task.

Hyperactive children, who obtained scores of minimal brain dysfunction on specific psychological indices, and a control group, were further classified into high and low threshold groups on the basis of their absolute auditory thresholds.

The performance of each group on a video game, which required sustained concentration, was compared under six levels of white noise (-10 db, -15 db -20db, +10 db, +30 db and +50 db) and a no-noise level.

The results demonstrated that

(a) there was a distinct subgroup of hyperactive children who were less sensitive to auditory stimulation i.e., they had significantly higher auditory thresholds than the high threshold normals, unlike the low threshold hyperactives and normals who did not differ significantly from each other, and

(b) subliminal accessory auditory stimulation significantly enhanced the performance of the normal children but did not have a facilitatory arousal effect on the hyperactive children.

The results were interpreted in terms of the "under-arousability" proposal of the performance of hyperactive children.

The findings were offered as evidence to support a more complex etiology of hyperactivity - one involving other brain structures besides the reticular activating system,
particularly those implicated in incentive and reward.


Marketing Announcements:

Advertising Age. (1966, September, 19). Subliminal cuts show "hot car" in new Toyota push. 37, pp 3, 126.

It was reported that Toyota used one-sixth of a second flashes of a race car in a television commercial similar to the technique used in the film "The Pawnbroker."
The report included the pictures of the imbedded images used to exploit the higher horsepower of the car.


Advertising Age, (1973, December 24). "Subliminal" ad flap raised, p. 21.

It was reported that subliminal advertising is being used in a 60 second spot for Husker-Do, a game marked by Premium Corporation of America.

The Federal Trade Commission was requested to ban use of the subliminal commercial the ad places on the one minute film.


Florida trial of TV addict goes on the air. Broadcasting, (October 3, 1977), pp 31-32.

A 15-year-old boy is being tried for first-degree murder and his attorney is pleading that the boy is insane due to "involuntary, subliminal TV intoxication."


Games Corporations play: Sponsor a sports event. Marketing Communications, (November 1978), pp 20-26.

Although sports can sell almost everything, sports endorsements are an expensive advertising approach.

Some firms have found that straight advertising reaches a saturation point, while subliminal advertising, through event sponsorship and tie-ins keeps on working.


Whether subliminal perception influences behavior is examined by J. Saegert of the University of Texas at San Antonio. Journal of Advertising Research, (February 1979), pp 55-57.

Although subliminal perception is an emotional issue, the technique has potential applications for advertising and marketing if it has a reliable effect.

The literature regarding research into subliminal perception is reviewed, with particular emphasis on the work by Silverman.

Saegert feels that Silverman presents "..... convincing evidence for the influence of behaviors as a results of subliminal stimulation".


Subliminal communication is said to be capable of guiding and controlling human behavior. Business & Society Review, p. 62-64.

Subliminal messages can be programmed to fit specific applications.
H.C. Becker of Behavioral Engineering Corp. claims that the system his firm puts out will reduce shoplifting.

The affirmations, recorded just below hearing range, are repeated between 2,000 and 9,000 times per hour.

Examples of places where subliminal messages can be used, are; medical and dental offices, banks, supermarkets, retail stores, real estate agencies and general offices.
Workers and store customers should be notified that a system is use.


Experiments in subliminal communication continue. Output (January, 1981), pp 36 & 38.
The basic principle of subliminal communication is that the brain can receive aural and visual stimuli without the person being consciously aware of it.
Subliminal stimuli can affect behavior without making the individual aware of what is happening.

As the subliminal stimuli can be transmitted over a public address system or by television, the experience of subliminal communication could be used indiscriminately on may people at once.

Two areas of controversy regarding the use of subliminal stimuli are;

1) a concern about the ethical implications of using a technique to influence individual's behavior when they are not aware of it, and

2) whether the technique is actually effective.


"Subliminal synergism" - harmonized color schemes between an ad and facing editorial copy - attracts advertisers to New Woman magazine. Folio: The Magazine for Magazine Management. (September 1982), pp 32 & 34.

Subliminal synergism is where dominant colors from a four color ad behind headline blocks appear on the facing editorial pages.

This technique is said to draw the reader's eye into the ad and back into the editorial content.

Although the technique cannot be guaranteed it is being actively promoted to the advertisers by New Woman magazine.

The synergy can only be implanted on certain editorial section pages, that carry a particular size headline.


Environmental Video has introduced a Subliminal Persuasion video cassette that superimposes low level video messages on cassette tapes. Video News (July 22, 1983), pp 4 & 5.

The video cassette will help consumers lose weight, stop smoking or make other lifestyle changes.

Stimutech (E. Lansing, MI) launches Expando-Vision, a device that delivers subliminal messages via computer. Merchandising (December 1983), p. 42.

Using Expando-Vision, customers can now lose weight, stop smoking, control stress or improve their sexual confidence while watching TV.
The system works by flashing an extremely short message on the screen once every 2.5 minutes.

Examples of the messages used in the stress control program include, "I am calm", "I am tranquil" and "I see me at ease".

As the subconscious becomes imprinted with these messages, changes can be bought about in behavior.


Stimutech has introduced a device to change behavior by subliminal suggestion. Wall Street Journal, (September 30, 1983), p. 33.

The Expando-Vision box hooks into a TV set via a home computer, and works by flashing onto the screen, split-second images designed to help the viewer with weight loss, stress control, success motivation, sex. etc.

The company is not sure the device actually works, as prototype test results aren't in yet.


Pacific Bell's low-key approach to Olympic sponsorship. Public Relations Journal, (September 1984), pp 18-20.

Pacific Bell's corporate sponsorship of the Olympics achieved the results of a major ad campaign at far less cost.

The accumulative effect on reporters of many subtle news pieces, all united by theme and design gave the advertising campaign the effect of "wave" or "subliminal saturation".

By down-playing Pacific Bell and emphasizing the usefulness and popular tastes, the materials were in great demand.


Ads against wall in video background. Advertising Age, (February 28, 1985), p. 6.

Entertel is seeking advertisers to slip short messages into its ambient video.
For an ad to work in these videos it must blend into the story and convey its message without words.

The market for the videos could therefore be greatly increased by including subliminal advertising.


Company-Built retreats reflect firm's cultures and personalities. Wall Street Journal, (August 16, 1984), p. 27.

Firms who can afford to build their own training schools claim they are cheaper than resort hotels and better equipped to instill a sense of company culture.

The design of the centers is such that subliminal lessons are being taught about the corporate image and character.


Controversial "brainwashing" and self-hypnosis software released to public. News Releases, (October 1984), pp 1-4.

New Life Institute announced subliminal software for the IBM PC and compatibles.

The user can choose which problem area to address, such as weight-loss, stopping smoking.
The subconscious suggestions flash as a background while users work at other tasks such as word processing or data input.

In an 8 hour session at the computer, the user is exposed to 28,800 suggestions.
The package also includes a self-hypnosis program.


Dingell dangles clout over alcohol hearings. Advertising Age, (February 11, 1985), p. 2 & 84.

Sen. P. Hawkins, R-FL, closed a one-day Senate session before her alcoholism and drug abuse subcommittee by denouncing the "subliminal" effects of alcohol ads on the public.

It was argued by industry representatives that no one has proven the cause/effect relationship between beer and wine ads and alcohol abuse.


Dristan ads are blatantly subliminal. Marketing (December 9, 1985), 90 (49), p. 2. ISSN: 0025 3642.

An advertisement run by Whitehall Laboratories on its Dristan Cold Tablet is a spoof on so-called subliminal advertising.

Most of the times all the viewer sees is a blank screen with the Dristan box appearing for a few, one-thirtieth of a second intervals.

The voice-over tells viewers that they will forget the commercial, but that some day, when they need a cold remedy, they will remember the spot.

According to AC Nielson data, this ad has increased this product's market share.


Outdoor advertising requires great use of creativity. Marketing News, (June 7, 1985), pp 7 & 24.

The idea behind billboard advertising is the reinforcement of an ad message, and also as an aid to prompting consumer purchases.

Outdoor works well because of its ability to reinforce a message in a way that cannot be skipped over or ignored.

The subliminal effect is powerful.


Post yuppies - Are they turning into computer sneaks? New Release, (October 1, 1985), pp 1-4.

International Resource Development believes that the market for self-improvement software will rapidly increase as the home software market shifts to meet the needs of consumers 25 to 44 (the post-Yuppie generation.

There will be a growing demand for software that focuses on nutritional and exercise issues, diagnoses symptoms of illness and personality software that helps the user win friends etc.

Some programs raise the user's awareness of his/her personal habits, while others flash subliminal messages across the screen while something else is viewed.


Shoplifting Reduced 80% by Subliminal Technology. American Metal Market (August 16, 1984), p. 14.

Retail stores used subliminal appeals to reduce shoplifting by 80%, but critics worried about privacy and ethical issues.

Subliminal techniques entail projecting visual messages of short duration and transmitting low-volume audio messages that cannot be consciously perceived.

States such as California are considering legislation to bar subliminal technology without full disclosure to the individuals of its use and presence.

The American Civil Liberties Union claims the technology has enormous potential for abuse and is tantamount to brainwashing.


Spaghetti and tomato sauces -- why not aseptics? Paper, Film & Foil Converter, (October 1985), pp 100-104.

Aseptic tomato-based products are popular in the United Kingdom due to their image of being fresher.

This idea of freshness is furthered subliminally because of the packages limited shelf life.


Subliminal testing: 25 years later. Marketing Communications, (April 1985), p. 8. ISSN: 0091 1305.

Subliminal television advertising involves flashing images across a screen just below the level of conscious vision.

Recent psychological tests have shown the technique will elicit emotional reactions from viewers even though the actual mental processes responsible for it are at the unconscious level.

A problem with the use of this technique is that Congress and the FBI have declared the ads a threat to the consumer freedom of choice.


Suggestive software. Computer Decisions, (January 29, 1985), p. 26.

Greentree Publishers offers software that flashes subliminal messages on employee's VDTs.
Any type of message can be flashed on the screen, including positive notes that make employees feel good about their jobs, or a simple and more terse "work faster."


"Threshold messaging" touted as antitheft measure. Marketing News, (March 15, 1985), pp 5 & 6.

Proactive Systems in Portland, Ore. is offering a threshold messaging system for retailers as an antitheft service.

Low volume messages such as "Be honest", "Don't steal" and "We welcome honest shoppers" are played over loud speakers, thousands of times a day.

The messages are in a tiny microprocessor chip inside a computer, which is wired to volume-sensors in loud speakers, and matches the volume of the messages to the fluctuating noise in the store.

FCC regulations prohibit the use of subliminal, hidden or intentionally deceptive messages, but as, technically, the Proactive system is not subliminal nor subaudible, it is legal.
Proactive Systems client stores post signs on the front door notifying shoppers of the messaging.

Pre- and post-tests have been carried out on this product, and the results showed that it does affect shoplifting.

However, the system is only effective on shoppers who have been in the store for at least 8 minutes.


Enter a quiet voice against shoplifting. Providence Journal, (February 18, 1986), p. Sec B & 1.

Subliminal messages are being used by retailers to combat shoplifting.

The idea behind the tapes is to reinforce a person's redisposition not to steal and not to create a desire to buy.

Subliminal tapes are responsible for a 25 to 35 percent decrease in shoplifting.


Reeling and dealing: Video meet Wall Street. Business Week Industrial Edition (May 19, 1986), pp 126-128.

Nearly all major brokerage firms are using video films to promote new products.

W.H. Liebman, of Frank-Guenther Law advertising agency, warns that the nature of visual medium is to offer a subliminal message that can be unduly influential.


Study claims office computer is used as management fink. MIS Week (April 21, 1986), p. 36.

Office computers are being used to monitor and control employees activities.
Under the guise of reducing stress and increasing productivity, employers monitor VDT operators and send them subliminal messages.


Subliminal messages: Subtle crime stoppers. Chain Store Age Executive Edition, July 1986), p. 85-88.

Subliminal messages are used in 1,000 plus retail stores as a deterrent to shoplifting.

The reinforcement of a subliminal being repeated scores of times an hour will have an effect on someone who is already predisposed to suggestion concerning his or her value system.
The messages will therefore not be effective on all shoplifters.


Crooked Employees. Building Supply & Home Centers, (April 1987), pp 88-94.

Building supply home centers turn to high-tech hardware to curb employee theft.
Some 20 to 25% of retailers use honesty tests and subliminal suggestions might prove to be helpful.


Pier Auge's re-entry more exclusive. Women's Wear Daily, (March 13, 1987), p. 30.

In-store Pier Auge institutes offer a 1.5 hour facial, during which customers hear subliminal tapes and have aroma treatments.


Spirit industry beams over BATF review. Advertising Age, (August 13, 1984), p. 6.

Amongst the BATF proposals regarding the advertising of alcohol, is the ban on subliminal advertising.


If this fails, try smashing the bug with the flat end of the radio. Wall Street Journal 3 Star, (Princeton, NJ) (June 5, 1985), 205 (109), p. 33. ISSN: 0043-0080.

Radio station, CIME-FM of Ste Therese, Quebec, broadcasts subliminal relaxation messages in the evening and subliminal-energizing messages in the morning.


CRTC changes mind on television rules. Marketing (Canada's weekly newspaper of marketing communication). (January 19, 1987). 92 (3), pp 1 & 3.

Amongst the other changes the CRTC have made to their regulations is the lifting of the ban regarding the use of subliminal advertising.

However, the CRTC has asked the industry to come up with its own guidelines.


Subliminal advertising: Fact or fantasy. Advertising Compliance Service. (November 18, 1985). 5 (22), pp 4-7. ISSN: 0277-9943.

This article discusses subliminal advertising with regards to the technique of tachistopic projection.

According to Wilson Brian Key, author of The Clamplate Orgy and Media Sexploitation, TV commercials are a rich source of subliminal adverting.

Tachistopic projection has been the subject of FCC notices and of Congressional hearings.
The FCC believes it has the authority to control subliminal advertising and cited several sections of the Communications Act of 1934 which support the authority.


Subliminal advertising: Fact or fancy. Advertising Compliance Service. (December 2, 1985). 5, (23), pp 8-12. ISSN: 0277-9943.

Possible suggestions for regulating subliminal advertising are:

1) adding a definition of subliminal advertising and a statement that it is unfair and deceptive to section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission act.

2) treating subliminal advertising as an invasion of privacy tort, but proving invasion of privacy would be difficult,

3) some people believe the ground work was laid by the court in Banzhaf vs FC, where a judge ruled that broadcast messages, unlike print ads, can not be avoided without conscious effort on the viewer or listener.


Subliminal advertising: Do messages lurk in the shadows?. Food and Beverage Marketing (October, 1985). 4, (10), p. 42. ISSN: 0731-3799.

Dr. Haberstroh, professor at Virginia Commonwealth University, states that there is no evidence that subliminal advertising affects products' sales.

The consumer, however, does believe that this kind of symbolism exists, and this is mainly due to the books by Wilson Brian Key.

Inspite of the denials by the advertising industry regarding the use of subliminals, their reputation with the consumer is poor.


Sidelights: Subliminal/videos. Television/Radio Age. (January 7, 1985). 32 (13), p. 96. ISSN: 0040-277X.

This article discusses the use of subliminal self-improvement video tapes.

While the consumer watches footage of fattening foods or ash-trays filled with cigarette butts, printed messages such as "eat less" and "you can do it" are being flashed on the screen at a rate to fast to register with the conscious mind.

The suggestions act on a subliminal level where they reportedly alter viewer behavior.
The safety and effectiveness of these suggestions remains to be seen.


Subliminal messages come out of the closet. Progressive Grocer. (April, 1985). 64 (4), pp 6 & 10. ISSN: 0033-0787.

Electronic subliminal messaging systems, using "honesty reinforcements" messages, have resulted in as much as 30% reductions in retail thefts.

Subliminal messages are normally adjusted to the level of the noise in the store.
Proactive Systems of Milwaukee have overcome objections by critics to "mind control" by developing a system that can be turned up to the "threshold of hearing" so that the messages can be heard if listened to.

However, it is claimed that this system may not be as effective as it works best when the consumer is unaware of the messages.


A report on subliminal perception and subliminal tapes for self-improvement. Institute of Human Development. (1986).

This guide provided detailed information about what subliminal perception is and how you can use subliminal tape programming to make the life changes you desire.


What's new in subliminal messages by John Lofflin. The New York Times. (March 20, 1988). p. 63.

Although there is still great controversy over the effectiveness of subliminal messages, self help audio cassette containing subliminal messages are taking bookstores by storm.
The self-help subliminal tapes available cover a whole range of problems from stopping nail-biting to cancer remission.

Subliminal computer software is available but due to inadequacies of monitors available, they are not a big seller. One of the advantages of this software is that the user can write their own subliminal messages, which researchers say may be more effective because the words are cast in a familiar way.

The potential for the mis-use of subliminals discussed.


There's less to subliminal audio tapes than meets the ears. Your Personal Best. (June, 1990).

Timothy Moore, Ph.D., former chairman of the psychology department at Glendon College, York University, Toronto, states that self-help subliminal audio tapes are form of health fraud.

Anthony Greenwald, Ph.D., professor of psychology at the University of Washington carried out a "normal use" study on four brands of subliminal self-help audio tapes and found them to have no effect. There was no mention as to which brands were tested or the technology and specifications employed in manufacturing them.

Moore states that not one respectable study has shown that audio subliminal have any effect on behavior, but that visual subliminals do have an effect.

There is no mention of any research carried out by Moore to substantiate his claims.


Martin, A. (1975). The effect of subliminal stimulation of symbiotic fantasies on weight loss in obese women receiving behavioral treatment. New York University. Dissertation Abstracts International, 36 (6-B), pp 3054-3055.


Martin, D.G., Hawryluk, G.A. & Guse, L.L. (1974). Experimental study of unconscious influences: Ultrasound as a stimulus. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 83.


Masling, J. M., R. F. Bornstein, et al.
(1991). "Perception without awareness and electrodermal responding: A strong test of subliminal psychodynamic activation effects." Journal of Mind & Behavior 12(1): 33-47.

This study presented 84 male undergraduates with the anxiety arroussing message, "no one love me." Results suggests that drive related stimuli must be presented subliminally to have effects on behavior (Silverman's hypothesis).


Masling, J. M. (1992). What does it all mean? Perception without awareness: Cognitive, clinical, and social perspectives. T. S. P. Robert F. Bornstein, Guilford Press, New York, NY, US: 259-276.
(from the chapter) (provides) some sense of where the field (of psychological research into subliminal perception) has been and is going and (attempts) to locate patterns in research results /// research on perception without awareness / brain activity in perception without awareness / use of benign stimuli to study perception without awareness.


Maxwell, N. (1980, November 25). Words whispered to subconscious supposedly deter thefts, fainting.

Wall Street Journal.

Neil Maxwell reported on a subliminal message system in a New Orleans supermarket, which accounted for a drop in pilferage loss from about $50,000 to less than $13,000 in six months.

Cashier shortages dropped from $125 per week to less than $10 per week.


McConnell, J.V., Cutler, R.L. & McNeil, E.B. (1958). Subliminal stimulation: An overview. American Psychologist, 13.


McCormack, J.J.
(1980). Effects of gender, intensity and duration of sex-related visual subliminals upon the submission of controlled attention. East Texas State University. Dissertation Abstracts International, 41 (6-A), pp 2409-2410.

John McCormack performed this study in order to determine if a subject's own admission of controlled attention was altered by varying levels of projected light intensities and durations of a sex-related subliminal message.

The correlation between the respondents' admission of controlled attention and their gender also was investigated.

An inquiry was made into differences in responses of the various stimulated groups and the unstimulated control groups.

Without their knowledge, subjects were exposed to a sex-related subliminal message within a normal classroom environment.

The subliminal presentation was linked to a learning task provided within the post test.
The subjects were divided into seven groups;

Group 1 received such stimulation at a .975-footcandle intensity for 15 minutes.

Group 2 was stimulated with a .975-footcandle presentation for 5 minutes.

Group 3 encountered the .975-footcandle subliminal display for one minutes.

Group 4 received the message at a .650-footcandle intensity for 15 minutes.

Group 5 was administered the image for 5 minutes at .650-footcandles.

Group 6 was stimulated at the .650-footcandle intensity for 1 minute.

Group 7 was a control group and received no stimulation.

A two-way analysis of variance, the Friedman's Analysis of Variance, the independent t-test, the Mann-Whitney U test, and the Pearson product-moment correlation were performed on the results.

The results of the study were;

1) a statistically significant relationship was found between intensities and durations of a sex-related visual subliminal message upon subjects' submission of controlled attention to a prescribed learning task,

2) no statistically significant difference was found among groups which were different only in the intensity of subliminal stimulation they received,

3) some evidence of a statistically significant difference was found among groups which were different only in the duration of subliminal stimulation they received, and

4) no evidence of a statistically significant correlation was found between the gender of the subject and the submission of controlled attention to a prescribed learning task.

It was concluded that;

1) the use of sex-related subliminal stimulation has a significant effect on learners' admission of their submission of controlled learning tasks, and

2) the use of rheostatically controlled light images does provide an efficient and inexpensive method for the introduction of subliminal messages in a classroom environment.


McDaniel, S.W., Hart, S.H. & McNeal, J.U. (1981). Mid-Atlantic Journal of Business, 20 (1), pp 41-48. ISSN: 0021-9401.

Stephen McDaniel, Sandra Hart and James McNeal reviewed the findings of several subliminal stimulation experiments and considered possible business applications of subliminal stimulation.
Areas analyzed were;

1) the influence of subliminal stimulation on an individual's behavior,

2) the ability of research marketing to affect the consumer through subliminal, and

3) the success of actual subliminal stimulation in marketing attempts.

The findings indicated that;

a) individuals are able to register stimuli at a subliminal level,

b) physiological drives, such as hunger, thirst and sex are evidently aroused by the stimuli, and

c) some kinds of behavioral changes are induced.

d) there is no evidence that brand preference and advertisement recall are affected by the stimuli, and

e) the results do not show that subliminal advertising affects the buying behavior of consumers.


McGinley, L. (1986, January 1). Uncle Sam believes messages about mom help calm nerves. Wall Street Journal.

This article reported that several studies clearly demonstrate the effectiveness of subliminal technology.


McGreen, P. (1986). The effects of father absence on affective responses to subliminal symbiotic messages. Ohio University. Dissertation Abstracts International, 46 (11-B), pp 4021-4022. ISSN: 0419-4209.


McIver, T. (1988). Backward masking, and other backward thoughts about music. The Skeptical Inquirer, 13, pp 50-63.

Tom McIver discusses the use of backward masking and subliminals in popular rock music.

McLaughlin, M. (1987). Subliminal tapes urge shoppers to heed the warning sounds of silence: "Don't steal". New England Business, 9 (2), pp 36-37. ISSN: 0164-3533.

This article reports on a system developed by David Riccio, president of Viaticus Group, which consists of musical audio programs for retail stores combined with subliminal messages designed to discourage shoplifting.

Research shows that shoplifting has been reduced between 20 and 40% in settings that use this approach.

The system is not, however, being recommended as a blanket answer to security systems.
Another point to be noted also, is that the system is only effective amongst those with a predisposition to consider and respond to the subliminal messages.


McNulty, J.A., Dockrill, F.J. & Levy, B.A. (1967) The subthreshold perception of stimulus meaning? American Journal of Psychology, 80 (1), pp 28-40. ISSN: 0002-9556.

Mencarelli, J.
(1983, June 23). The music is the message? Or is the message in the music? Ann Arbor News.


Mendelsohn, E.M. (1979). Responses of schizophrenic men to subliminal psychodynamic stimuli. Yeshiva University. Dissertation Abstracts International, 40 (12-B, part 1), pp 5820 5821.


Mendelsohn, E.M. (1981). The effects of stimulating symbiotic fantasies on manifest pathology in schizophrenics. A revised formulation. The Journal of Nervous and Mental Diseases, pp 580-590.


Mendelson, M.
(1984). An investigation of the relationship between the symbiotic subliminal stimulus Mommy and I are One and oral receptivity and oral aggressivity as measured by the Rorschach test. Florida Institute of Technology. Dissertation Abstracts International, 45 (5-B), pp 1601-1602. ISSN: 0419-4209.

Morris Mendelsohn investigated the relationship between a symbiotic subliminal stimulus (Mommy and I are one) and behaviour as measured by the Rorschach.

The experimental group were shown the symbiotic stimulus by use of a tachistoscope, and the control group were shown the neutral stimulus, (people are walking).

Both groups were shown the Rorschach cards with the study being limited to the oral receptive and oral aggressive components to illustrate the psychodynamics of symbiotic symbiosis.

Previous studies have shown that the fantasy of oneness with a maternal representative may result in transference improvements because the therapist is experienced as a reincarnate of the parent, providing protection and a lost omnipotence.

Mendelsohn, E. & Silverman, L.H. (1982). Effects of stimulating psychodynamically relevant unconscious fantasies on schizophrenic psychopathology. New York Hospital, Cornell Medical Center, Division of Psychology, Westchester. Schizophrenia Bulletin, 8 (3), pp 532-547. ISSN: 0586-7614.

Eric Mendelsohn and Lloyd Silverman reviewed the research on the effects of subliminal tachistoscopic presentation of aggressive and oneness fantasies on the manifest pathology of adult schizophrenics.

The findings indicate that the activation of particular unconscious fantasies can lead to exacerbation or amelioration of schizophrenic symptoms, regardless of etiology.

Activation of oral-aggressive fantasies produced increases in disordered thinking, while libidinal stimuli affected cognitive efficiency and nonverbal pathology.

The fact that these results do not tend to hold when stimuli are visible to subjects is consistent with the view that, once a stimulus that activates disturbing mental content reaches awareness, its status as a motivator may be diminished.

Stimulation of a fantasy of symbiotic-like gratification produced temporary symptomatic improvement in "differentiated" male schizophrenics. This effect, however, was conditional because such fantasies may have disturbing as well as therapeutic connotations.

Also discussed were the specific conditions under which the subliminal activation of fantasies have a positive or negative effect.


Merikle, P.M. (1982). Unconscious perception revisited. University of Waterloo, Canada. Perception & Psychophysics, 31 (3), pp 298-301. ISSN: 0031-5117.

Philip Merikle reviewed recent studies to evaluate the validity of the perception-without awareness hypotheses.

Studies demonstrating the efficacy of masked priming stimuli do not necessarily demonstrate perception without awareness.

In all studies, awareness or consciousness was defined as the ability to make discriminated verbal reports.

An absence of discriminated verbal reports does not necessarily imply an absence of awareness, or in other words, an inability to discriminate primes from blank fields.

Information is needed regarding the response distributions in order to establish that an absence of discriminated verbal reports actually indicates the absence of awareness.

It was concluded that none of the experiments can provide definitive evidence for or against perception without awareness. This is because all of the studies had too few trials at the threshold stimulus onset asynchrony to establish meaningful response distributions.


Merikle, P. M. and E. M. Reingold (1992). Measuring unconscious perceptual processes. Perception without awareness: Cognitive, clinical, and social perspectives. T. S. P. Robert F. Bornstein, Guilford Press, New York, NY, US: 55-80.

(from the chapter) review the more traditional approaches to the study of unconscious perception / indicate why the research based on these approaches is problematic and controversial / in light of the inherent problems with these traditional approaches, we (the authors) discuss two alternative approaches / one approach emphasizes how qualitative differences can be used as converging evidence to validate measures of perception as possible exhaustive indices of relevant conscious experience / the second approach illustrates how much of the controversy over the measurement of conscious experience can be bypassed by using a methodology that does not require any assumption that a particular measure necessarily provides either an exhaustive or an exclusive index of awareness / we believe that these alternative approaches have the potential to resolve some of the long-standing controversies that have continually plagued experimental investigations directed at the study of unconscious perceptual processes.


Merikle, P. M. and H. E. Skanes (1992). "Subliminal self-help audiotapes: A search for placebo effects." Journal of Applied Psychology 77(5): 772-776.

Subliminal self-help weight loss tapes were evaluated. The tapes were obtained from one commercial company. Results suggest that regular use of the tapes may simply make users more aware of their weight. Three groups of subjects, an experimental, a control a placebo group were involved in the design. All three groups lost approximately equivalent weight.


Messina, J. (1991). The effects of subliminal stimuli in naturally occurring mood states on the performance of a perceptual task, Fordham U, NY, US.


Meyers, H.G. (1982). The effects of a double bind induced by conflicting visual and auditory subliminal stimuli. St. John's University. Dissertation Abstracts International, 42 (8-B), p. 3432. ISSN: 0419-4209.

Helen Meyers performed this study in order to determine the effects on state anxiety, word associations and word recognition ability of conflicting positive and negative auditory and visual subliminal messages.

The subliminal psychodynamic activation technique was used in order to stimulate the general characteristics of a short-term double bind.

Subjects classified as either right or left hemisphere activators, were tested before and after five subliminal conditions in which different combinations of auditory and visual subliminal messages were presented simultaneously.

Two hypotheses were put forward;

1) there would be disruptive effects of the simulated double bind communications, and

2) there would be positive effects with the congruent symbiotic stimulation.

The hypotheses were only upheld for the blocking scores on the word association test.
The lack of complete support for the subliminal activation of the double bind was discussed with reference to;

a) the elusiveness of the double bind concept,

b) the sensitivity of the subliminal technique to individual differences and minor procedural variations, and

c) the capability of the dependent measures to adequately reflect subtle short term changes in affective and cognitive states.

It was found that the complex interactions and effects involving various sex and hemispheric activation factors further complicated the interpretation of the data.
Further studies were recommended in order to investigate;

a) possible connections between a preference for a left hemisphere cognitive style,

b) susceptibility to the double bind, and

c) disruptions in associative thought processes.

It was suggested that further research focus on the interrelationship of cognitive and defensive styles, and inter- and intra-personal dynamics of males and females as these variables affect reaction to double bind situations, susceptibility to subliminal stimulation and performance on memory tasks.


Mibashan, D. (1992). Auditory subliminals: Effects on the emotional tone of a writing task and on the subjects' mood, U Ottawa, ON, Canada.


Miller, J.G. (1939). Discrimination without awareness. American Journal of Psychology, 52, pp 562-578.

James Miller used an opaque mirror to project five subliminal images.
The results showed that the subjects were able to discriminate projected objects to a degree significantly greater than chance. When the subjects were told that subliminal images had been projected during the trials, they were surprised and incredulous.


Miller, J.M. (1974). The effects of aggressive stimulation upon young adults who have experienced the death of a parent during childhood or adolescence. Dissertation Abstracts International, 35 (2-B), pp 1055-1056.


Miller, J. (1991). "Threshold variability in subliminal perception experiments: Fixed threshold estimates reduce power to detect subliminal effects." Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception & Performance 17(3): 841-851.

This study undertakes the threshold issue with repect to subliminal stimuli. The author points out that thresholds for individuals vary and this has serious consequences on the results of any subliminal perception study. Miller's research shows that the "true" threshold of a subject varies from trial to trial.


Miller, L. (1986). In search of the unconscious. Seton Hall University. Psychology Today, 20 (12), pp 60-64. ISSN: 0033-3107.

In this article, Lawrence Miller discussed the use of the techniques and concepts of the neurosciences to examine fundamental Freudian constructs such as the unconscious mind, repression, dream symbolism, sexuality, and the development of neurotic symptoms.
Amongst the relevant researched reviewed was subliminal perception.


Mind invasion: The facts. (December, 1973). Family Health, p. 42.

This article presents information about Hal Becker's "little black box," U.S. patent No. 3,278,676.

The article includes pro and con quotes from several experts in the fields of subliminal communication and law enforcement.


Mitchell, C. W. (1993). Effects of masked auditory verbal stimuli on behavior, Indiana State U, US.


Mitchell, C. W. (1995). "Effects of subliminally presented auditory suggestions of itching on scratching behavior." Perceptual & Motor Skills 80(1): 87-96.

This study presented verbal itching suggestions masked in music on an audio tape. No evidence for the subliminal influence was found.


Mitchell. M.S. (1985). The effects of subliminally presented praise and reprobation stimuli on willingness to self-disclose. Arizona State University. Dissertation Abstracts International, 45 (12-B Pt 1), p. 3986. ISSN: 0419-4209.


Mofield, J.P. (1986). Response of blood pressure to relaxation and subliminal suggestion. Ball State University. Dissertation Abstracts International, 46 (9-A), p. 2632. ISSN: 0419-4209.


Mogg, K., B. P. Bradley, et al. (1993). "Subliminal processing of emotional information in anxiety and depression." Journal of Abnormal Psychology 102(2): 304-311.

Using a modified version of the Stroop color test, researchers showed a realtively slower color identification (naming) when paired with supraliminal and subliminal negative words.


Mogg, K., J. Kentish, et al. (1993). "Effects of anxiety and awareness on colour-identification latencies for emotional words." Behaviour Research & Therapy 31(6): 559-567.

Using a modified Stroop color naming test the interference effect of subliminal and supraliminal emotional words was measured. Results show a correlation between mood state preparation (anxiety or relaxation) and increases in trait anxiety and interference on the naming task.


Moller, A. T., H. F. Kotze, et al. (1993). "Comparison of the effects of auditory subliminal stimulation and rational-emotive therapy, separately and combined, on self-concept." Psychological Reports 72(1): 131-145.

Findings show a significant increase in self concept for the subliminal group in this study which compared auditory subliminal stimulation with Rational Emotive Therapy (RET).

Subjects in the RET only treatment group showed significant gains in all dependent measures except for behavior.


Montgomery, D. P. (1990). The effects of subliminal visual symbiotic stimulation on the self concept of college students, Oklahoma State U, US.


Moore, J.F. (1982). An exploratory study of subliminal perception and field dependence in a concept learning task taught by television. Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. Dissertation Abstracts International, 44 (01-A), p. 49.

John Moore studied the effects of subliminal captions on recall of cognitive information presented in a TV program.

In 4 sessions, the subjects saw an 8-minute captioned TV program about ancient architecture and then completed the Group Embedded Figures Test, a recall test, several qualitative rating items concerning the program, and demographic questions.

A post-test only 2x4 design was used.
The captioning method was varied so as to give four experimental conditions;

1) subliminal captions only,

2) conventional (visible) captions only,

3) subliminal and visible combined for reinforcement, and

(4) subliminal and visible incorrectly matched for interference.

It was found that, in comparison to other treatments, the program having "combined" captions produced significantly higher recall among field dependents and received significantly higher ratings on teaching effectiveness and student interest.

It was concluded that recall is improved when conventional instruction is supplemented with subliminal.


Moore, T.E. (1982). Subliminal advertising: What you see is what you get. York University, Glendon College, Toronto, Canada. Journal of Marketing, 46 (2), pp 38-47. ISSN: 0022-2429.

Timothy Moore evaluates the evidence and arguments advanced in support of the effectiveness of various subliminal advertising techniques.

Subliminal advertising techniques are purported to influence consumer behavior by subconsciously altering preferences or attitudes toward consumer products.
While there is some evidence that subliminal stimuli may influence reactions, the marketing relevance of this finding is not documented.

The idea that subliminal directives can influence behavior is contradicted by much research and is incompatible with theoretical conceptions of perceptions and motivation.
Subliminal perception is real but the effects are subtle and obtaining them requires a carefully constructed context.

The potential impact of subliminal stimuli is easily countered by ongoing stimulation in the same sensory channel or by the attention being focused on another modality.


Moore, T.E. (1985). Subliminal delusions. Psychology Today, 19 (2), p. 10.


Moore, T.E.
(1988). The case against subliminal manipulation. Glendon College, York University. Psychology and Marketing, 5 (4), pp 297-316.

Timothy Moore claims that there is no scientific evidence to support the claims that subliminal stimuli can have significant effects on motives and behavior.

Moore states that there is nothing to be concerned about when advertisers or musicians use subliminals.


Moore, T. E. (1989). "Subliminal psychodynamic activation and the establishment of thresholds." American Psychologist 44(11): 1420-1421.

Comments on SPA research suggesting that mixed findings may be due to different "subliminality."


Moore, T. E. (1995). "Subliminal self-help auditory tapes: An empirical test of perceptual consequences." Canadian Journal of Behavioural Science 27(1): 9-20.

Tested certain commercially available subliminal audio tapes and determined that they do not meet the minimum necessary requirements for demonstrating subliminal perception.


Morgan D.L. (Ed.). (1987). Readings in subliminal communication. (Rev. ed.). Report No. 1. Clarion, PA: Center for Independent Research.


Morgan, D.L. & Cole, M.J. (1987). Subliminal suppression of pain. (Report No. 5.). Clarion University, PA: Center for Independent Research,

An investigation was carried to test the hypothesis that more than half the subjects who use the SCWL technique for pain relief would report a reduced intensity of pain.
The results showed that;

a) 52 percent of the subjects reported that while using the tape, they experienced no pain or it was forgotten except when their attention was directed to it.

b) 67 percent reported that they received the benefit that they expected from the tape.

c) 76 percent reported noticeable relief, and

d) 81 percent continued to use the tape.

No control group was used.

The number of patients who did report relief with the tape (76 percent) was statistically significant.


Morgan, D.L. & Morgan, P.K. & Kole, J. (1985). Effect of subliminal messages on academic performance. Report No. 2. Clarion University, PA: Center for Independent Research.

Don Morgan, Patricia Morgan and James Kole demonstrated the effectiveness of subliminal techniques for improving academic performance.

A double blind study was performed to test the effects of an SCWL program, designed to increase recall in test situations. The results showed that the experimental group outperformed their classmates who listened to identical sounding placebo tapes containing no subliminal messages.

It was found that;

1) the subliminal group reported an increase in the number of hours spent in study and the control group reported a decrease.

2) the experimental group quality point grade average went from 2.28 to 2.73 while the control group average dropped from 2.47 to 2.46.


Morgan, D.L. & Morgan, P.K. (1987). Subliminal learning. (Report NO. 4). Clarion University, PA: Center for Independent Research, 40 pages.

Don and Patricia Morgan surveyed the research related to use of subliminal communication in schools and other learning situations.


Morgan, P.K. & Morgan, D.L. (1988). Subliminal Research: Bibliography and Review. (Report No. 3). Center for Independent Research.

Patricia and Don Morgan presented a bibliography and review of all the literature relating to subliminal communication.


Moriarty, J.B. (1968). Cognitive functioning of schizophrenics as affected by "aggressive" stimuli subliminally and supraliminally presented. Fordham University. Dissertation Abstracts International, 29( 2-B), p. 775.


Moroney, E. & Bross, M. (1984). Effect of subliminal visual material on an auditory signal detection task. Concordia University, Montreal, Canada. Perceptual & Motor Skills, 58 (1), pp 103-113. ISSN: 0031-5125.

Elaine Moroney and Michael Bross performed this experiment in order to assess whether subliminally embedded visual material could have effects on an auditory detection task, which would indicate that subliminal registration occurred.

Subjects were presented tachistoscopically with words designated as "emotional" or "neutral" on the basis of prior GSRs and a word rating list under 4 conditions;

a) unembedded neutral,

b) embedded neutral,

c) unembedded emotional, and

d) embedded emotional.

On each trial, the subjects made forced choices concerning the presence or absence of an auditory tone (1000Hz) at threshold level.

Hits and false-alarm rates were used to compute non-parametric indices for sensitivity and response bias.

While overall ANVOAs yielded no significant differences, further examination of the data suggested the presence of subliminally receptive and nonreceptive subpopulations.


Moroney, E. and M. Bross
(1984). "Effect of subliminal visual material on an auditory signal detection task." Perceptual & Motor Skills 58(1): 103-113.

Results suggest a differentiation between subliminally receptive and subliminally non receptive populations.


Morrison, A.P. (1984). Reflections on "Unconscious oneness fantasies." Harvard Medical School, Massachusetts Mental Health Center, Boston. International Forum for Psychoanalysis, 1 (2), pp 167-180. ISSN: 0738-8217.

Andrew Morrison discusses the work of L.H. Silverman et al who found that the presentation of subliminal symbiotic messages to some psychiatric patients, including schizophrenics, had the effect of decreasing or increasing their psychopathology, depending on the message content (and, for schizophrenics, on the degree of differentiation).

Unlike the conclusions of Silverman et al, Morrison suggests that the ability to tolerate feelings of union and individuation is a major task of therapy.

A case history of a 30-year-old man who had fantasies of merging with a male friend is described.


Morse, R.C. & Stoller, D. (September, 1982). The hidden message that breaks habits. Science Digest, 90, p. 28.

This article reviews subliminal research and concludes that, "Experiments show subliminal stimuli possess mysterious therapeutic powers."

The example of subliminal advertising given was the six-week test of the technique in 1957, where viewers at a Fort Lee, New Jersey movie theater were exposed to "eat popcorn" and "drink Coca-Cola" messages flashed on the screen every five seconds for about 1/1000 of a second during the film.

Popcorn sales increased by 57.5% and Coca-Cola sales by 18%.


Moss, M. R. (1988). Effects of subliminally activated merging fantasies on memory, New York U, US.

Mowbray, G.H. (1964). Perception and retention of verbal information presented during auditory shadowing. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 36, pp 1459-1464.


Mullins, W.W. (1978). Convexity theorem for subthreshold stimuli in linear models of visual contrast detection. Carnegie-Mellon University. Journal of the Optical Society of America, 68 (4), pp 456-459. ISSN: 0030-3941.

Mullins discusses the convexity theorem for subthreshold stimuli in linear models of visual contrast detection.

If it is assumed that visual contrast detection occurs by a parallel array of linear detectors, either without probability summation or with probability summation of a commonly used type, then the set of functions representing subthreshold stimuli must be convex.


Murch, G.M. (1965). A set of conditions for a consistent recovery of a subliminal stimulus. Journal for Applied Psychology, 49 (4), pp 257-260. ISSN: 0021-9010.

Gerald Murch conducted this study,

a) in order to test the possibility for the recovery of subliminally presented stimuli, and

b) to aid in the understanding of the conditions under which effects of subliminal stimulation can be found with consistency.

Three experimental groups, each with their corresponding controls, were given mathematical problems in a tachistoscope as a supraliminal stimulus.

The experimental groups received subliminal answers to the problems at a level established by a pre-test group.

Group 1 attempted to solve the problems, group 2 to guess the answers and group 3 to select their answers from dual possibilities on a given list.

Groups 1 and 2 showed a significant tendency to repeat various subliminally projected digits in their answers , without the answers directly affecting their computational processes.
Group 3 selected the projected answers significantly over the correct answers.

It was found that their is a need for a positive relationship between supra- and subliminal stimuli as well as the relevancy of the task to the subject's present activity.


Murch, G.M. (1967). Temporal gradients of response to subliminal stimuli. Portland State College. Psychological Record, 17 (4),pp 483-492.

Gerald Murch performed this study in order to investigate the duration of the effects of subliminal stimulation in a discrimination situation.

Parts of two letters were shown supraliminally in a three-field tachistoscope.

Subliminal completions of these letters were presented which were to be discriminated from two other equally likely alternatives not previously presented subliminally.

The presentation of the response categories was delayed for 0, 100, 250, 500, 1000 or 2000 msec.

The major results of each experiment indicated increased response probabilities after delays of 1, 100 and 250 msec.

A tendency for more rapid responding to correspond to the selection of the subliminal stimulus was observed, however.

Lengthening the time in which a response could be made did not increase response accuracy.

A general model based on threshold changes of stimulated receptors is presented.


Murphy, S. T. and R. B. Zajonc (1993). "Affect, cognition, and awareness: Affective priming with optimal and suboptimal stimulus exposures." Journal of Personality & Social Psychology 64(5): 723-739.

This study showed that minimal cognitive exposure could result in displaced or diffused onto unrelated stimuli. The Zajonc hypothesis of affective primacy which asserts that both positive and negative responses can be evoked with minimal stimulus input and virtually no cognitive processing was supported. Further, the data from this study suggest that when minimal exposure to a stimulus occurs, eliciting affect out of awareness, it is diffuse and non-specific.


Mykel, N.B. (1977). Emergence of unreported stimuli into imagery as a function of laterality of presentation. Georgia State University School of Arts and Sciences. Dissertation Abstracts International, 37 (8-B), p. 4158.

Nancy Mykel performed three experiments.

Experiment 1 successfully replicated Henley and Dixon (1974).

Two experimental groups received subliminal words to the right ear and music to the left ear or vice versa.

After eight minutes, the subjects were asked to report all imagery evoked during the session and complete a checklist containing stimulus, associated, and nonrelated words, guessing as to which might have been presented during the session.

The results showed that emergence of subliminal material was greater with words to the right ear (i.e. to the speech hemisphere) than with no words.

In experiment 2 the music was eliminated. The experimental subjects therefore received subliminal messages to the right ear, and the control subjects received no input at all.
Again, the emergence and number of stimulus or associated words checked by the subjects were greater for the experimental group.

In the third experiment, the subjects were trained in relaxation and instruction in becoming aware of the imagery, and reported imagery during stimulus presentation rather than after.
The subjects were divided into three groups;

a) group 1 received subliminal words to the right ear,

b) group 2 received subliminal words to the left ear, and

c) group 3 received no input.

The group which received words to the right ear was judged to contain the least amount of emergence.

Possible reasons for this result were discussed.


Mykel, N. & Davies, W.F. (1979). Emergence of unreported stimuli into imagery as a function of laterality of presentation: A replication of and extension of research by Henley and Dixon (1974). Gallia-Jackson-Meigs Community Mental Health Center, Gallipolis, OH. British Journal of Psychology, 70 (2), pp 253-258. ISSN: 0007-1269.

Nancy Mykel and Walter Davies performed two experiments.

For experiment 1, the subjects were divided into to groups, group one received subliminal words to the right ear and music to the left, and group two, words to the left and music to the right.

The results showed that emergence of subliminal material was greater with words to the right ear than with no words.

There was no difference in the results obtained from the group who received words to the left ear, and the control group.

For experiment 2, the music was eliminated and additional subjects received either subliminal words to the right ear or no words at all.

The results showed a significant difference between the groups for emergence of the subliminal stimuli and on the checklist, but not when the results were categorized by judges.

These results replicate the work of Henley and Dixon and extend them to the condition where no music is presented.


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