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Subliminal Literature: Bibliography and Review


Peripheral Desk Reference NO

Nachmias, D. (1981, March). Subliminal politics. Annals of American Academic Politics and Social Science, 454 (2), p. 230.


Nakamura, Y. (1990). Explorations in implicit perceptual processing: Studies of preconscious information processing, U California, San Diego, US.


Narens, L., K. A. Jameson, et al. (1994). Subthreshold priming and memory monitoring. Metacognition: Knowing about knowing. A. P. S. Janet Metcalfe, MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, US: 71-92.

(from the chapter) describes research concerning the influence of subthreshold as well as conscious priming on (1) recall, (2) subjective evaluation of knowing answers to questions, and (3) subjective evaluation of learning / the empirical findings show different patterns of results for evaluations of knowing and evaluations of learning / a theory is presented that explains these patterns in terms of differences in putative strategies used to relate the evaluations of knowing and learning to later performance tests.


Nash, C.B. (1986). Comparison of subliminal and extrasensory perception. Journal of the Society for Psychical Research, 53 (805), pp 435-455.

This study compared subliminal perception (SP) and ESP. The author contends that many instances of SP are present during ESP events.


Neuberg, S. L. (1988). "Behavioral implications of information presented outside of conscious awareness: The effect of subliminal presentation of trait information on behavior in the Prisoner's Dilemma Game." Social Cognition 6(3): 207-230.

Using subliminal primes, a significant increase in competitiveness among 105 male undergraduates , resulted. Behavioral predispositions were matched with primes and where congruent, the data indicated significant increases in competitiveness.


Nicholson, H.E. (1980). The effect of contradictory subliminal stimuli and sensitization thereto upon viewer's perceptions of video-taped testimony. Michigan State University. Dissertation Abstracts International, 40 (9-A), p. 4802.

Henry Nicholson designed this study in order to ascertain whether video taped testimonies in legal proceedings are alterable by superimposing subliminal messages on these tapes.
Several items of testimony in a video tape deposition, which were intrinsically equivalent in terms of viewer retention, belief and perceived importance, were identified.

Four video tapes were produced which contained visual testimony-contradicting messages.
The intensity of the superimposed messages was different in each of the four tapes.

The subjects were divided into two groups, one sensitized to the presence of the messages, and the other not.

Results showed no difference between the subliminal experimental group and the control group.

Subjects in the supraliminal conditions exhibited significantly lower belief of testimony and significantly more positive attitude towards participation than did other subjects.

Sensitization to the presence of the stimuli was found to significantly decrease belief and increase perceived importance of testimony.

The conclusions drawn from this study is that video taped presentations of testimony can be made to juries without adverse effects from subliminal messages.


Nicholson, S.M.
(1980). The effects of four types of subliminal stimuli on female depressives. Yeshiva University. Dissertation Abstracts International, 40 (7-B), pp 3412-3413.

Niedenthal, P. M. (1988). Unconscious affect in social cognition, U Michigan, US.


Niedenthal, P. M. (1990). "Implicit perception of affective information." Journal of Experimental Social Psychology 26(6): 505-527.

Evidnece was derived in this study for implicit perception of nonverbal affective information. The role of undetected affective information in society is discussed.


Niedenthal, P. M. (1992). Affect and social perception: On the psychological validity of rose colored glasses. Perception without awareness: Cognitive, clinical, and social perspectives. T. S. P. Robert F. Bornstein, Guilford Press, New York, NY, US: 211-235.

(from the chapter) affective reactions are elicited by objects of perception; thus, affect could both be elicited by and influence perception of the same stimulus / this would require that the stimulus, or some aspect of it, be perceived implicitly (nonconsciously) and that the affect guide the nature of the final conscious percept /// evaluate evidence for both of these implications, particularly as they apply to social perception / attempt to conceptualize the role of affect in perception in such a way as to integrate various early and more recent experimental findings.


Nissenfield, S.M. (1980). The effects of four types of subliminal stimuli on female depressives. Yeshiva University. Dissertation Abstracts International, 40 (7-B), pp 3412-3413.


Nolan, K.A. & Caramazza, A. (1982). Unconscious perception of meaning: A failure to replicate. University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia. Bulletin of the Psychonomic Society, 20 (1), pp 23-26. ISSN: 0090-5054.

Karen Nolan and Alfonso Caramazza failed to substantiate A.J. Marcel's claim that semantic information (SI) can be extracted from visually presented words and can affect responses to subsequent stimuli under conditions that prevented identification of the stimulus word and even awareness of its presence.

The subjects were assigned to either visual or semantic groups.
The results obtained were consistent with the traditional information processing models of reading, which state that retrieval of a semantic representation for a visually presented word requires prior computation of a graphemic code for the word and that SI cannot become available in the absence of corresponding visual/graphemic information.


Novomeysky, A.
(1984). "On the possible effect of an experimenter's subliminal or telepathic influence on dermo-optic sensitivity." PSI Research 3(1): 8-15.


Oberlander, R. (1979). Beauty in a hospital aids the cure. Hospitals, 53 (6), pp 89-92. ISSN: 0018-5973.

It has been found that color photography, combined with nature, acts as a healing medium on a conscious level as well as on subliminal levels.

O'Dowd, W. T. (1987). "Comment on Silverman and Weinberger: Rankian hypotheses confirmed." American Psychologist 42(10): 955-956.

Comments on the comparison between Rank's observations and ideas set forth in the mid 1920's and the work of Silverman and Weinberg with SPA's.


Ofman, P.S. (1988). Effects of sexual and aggressive subliminal stimulation on response to sexual and aggressive humor. Dissertation Abstracts International, 48 (7-B), p. 2105.


O'Grady, M. (1977). Effect of pictorial stimulation on skin resistance. Perceptual and Motor Skills, pp 1051-1056.


Oliver, I. (1984). Controlling stock shrinkage by subliminal suggestion. Unpublished manuscript. Subliminal Security Systems, P.O. Box 247, Jamison, ACT, 2614, Australia.


Oliver, J.M. & Burkham, R. (1982). Subliminal psychodynamic activation in depression: A failure to replicate. St. Louis University. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 91 (5), pp 337-342. ISSN: 0021-843X.

This study attempts to replicate S. Nissenfield's (1979) application of L.H. Silverman's technique of subliminal psychodynamic activation, in which a significant effect on statelike psychopathology symptomatic of depression was found for the "symbiotic" stimulus.
The subjects were administered 3 subliminal stimuli;

1) a control stimulus (people talking),

2) the symbiotic stimulus (mommy and I are one), and

3) a rapprochement stimulus (mommy loves me as I am).

Dependent variable were anxious and depressed affect as measured by the Multiple Affect Adjective Check List, depressed and hypomanic themes rated from the TAT, the Digit Symbol subscale from the WAIS, the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale, and Silverman's measure of pathological nonverbal behavior.

The MANOVA found no significant effects for any of the independent variables.
Neither the inadequate power of statistical tests nor deficient methodology accounted for this failure to replicate Nissenfield's findings.


Oliver, J.M. & Burkham, R. (1985). Comments on three recent subliminal psychodynamic activation investigations: Reply to Silverman. St. Louis University. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 94 (4), p. 644. ISSN: 0021-843X.

The authors believe that their failure to replicate L.H. Silverman's 1976 description of subliminal psychodynamic activation, can be traced in part to Silverman's 1978 description of the "symbiotic" stimulus (mommy and I are one), one of the two experimental stimuli used, as a "ubiquitous therapeutic agent."

The authors also believe that, although Silverman's is prepared to modify his theory in light of empirical findings, modifications that are too frequent and numerous will pose problems for both theory and research.


Olson, M.C. (1975). Subliminal messages in advertising. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Conference on English Education.

Miles Olson discusses the use of subliminals in advertising.
In his books, Wilson B. Key has demonstrated that subliminal messages in ads are perceived and do have an impact on attitudes and actions.

Olson has found as a result of his own personal research, that advertisements are full of hidden information, which is usually sexual in nature.

Olson also believes that we cannot accept or reject such information until we become conscious of it and are able to act on it in our normal, rational ways.


Olson, J. M. (1988). "Misattribution, preparatory information, and speech anxiety." Journal of Personality & Social Psychology 54(5): 758-767.

Neutral subliminal stimuli was presented in two experiments with undergraduate students. The data suggests neutral labels can reduce anxiety due to misattribution interpretation.


Olson, J. M. and M. Ross (1988). "False feedback about placebo effectiveness: Consequences for the misattribution of speech anxiety." Journal of Experimental Social Psychology 24(4): 275-291.


Orbach, I., R. Shopen-Kofman, et al. (1994). "The impact of subliminal symbiotic vs identification messages in reducing anxiety." Journal of Research in Personality 28(4): 492 504.

This study compared effects of the symbiotic message, "Mommy and I are one" with "Mommy and I are alike" and a neutral message, "People are walking." Only the symbiotic message reduced anxiety.


Ostrander, S. & Schroeder, L. (1979). Superlearning, New York: Dell publishing.

Ostrander, S. & Schroeder, L. (1985). Subliminal Report, New York: Super-learning.

Sheila Ostrander and Lynn Schroeder have written review of the literature regarding subliminal research.


Overbeeke, C.J.
(1986). Changing the perception of behavioral properties by subliminal presentation. Delft University of Technology, Netherlands. Perceptual & Motor Skills, 62 (1), pp 255-258. ISSN: 0031-5125.

Subjects were asked to estimate the age of a profile of a 10-year-old boy preceded subliminally by an older (old group) or younger (young group) profile or by a blank card (control group).

The results show the mean estimate of the young group to be significantly smaller than that of the control group.

The mean estimate of the old group was not significantly greater than that of the control group.

The results indicate that higher level perceptual processing (the perception of behavioral properties) can precede lower level perceptual processing (the perception of physical properties).


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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