Progressive Awareness Research

Improving Lives One Person at a Time since 1984.

Subliminal Literature: Bibliography and Review


Peripheral Desk Reference U and V

Underwood, G. (1976). Semantic inference from unattended printed words. British Journal of Psychology, 67, pp 327-338.


Underwood, G. (1977). Attention, awareness and hemispheric differences in word recognition. Neuropsychologia, 15, pp 61-67.


Underwood, G. (1980). Memory systems and conscious processes. In G. Underwood (Ed.)

Aspects of Consciousness.


Underwood, G. (1994). "Subliminal perception on TV." Nature 370(6485): 103.

Determined whether a smiling face imposed subliminally on an expressionless face could effect the judgement of emotion. Results indicated that emotional judgements could be so effected.


Underwood, G. & Moray, N. (1971). Shadowing and monitoring for selective attention. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology. 23, pp 284-295.


Ungaro, R. (1982). The role of ego strength and alternative subliminal messages in behavioral treatment of obesity. Adelphi University. Dissertation Abstracts International, 42 (10-B), pp 4215-4216. ISSN: 0419-4209.


Urban, M. J. (1992). "Auditory subliminal stimulation: A re-examination." Perceptual & Motor Skills 74(2): 515-541.

Provides a review of methodological difficulties in the production of commercial subliminal audio tapes and comments and reliable methods of masking.


Urban, M. (1993). "Auditory subliminal stimulation: Methods." Perceptual & Motor Skills 76(3, Pt 2): 1103-1106.

A standard method for creating subliminal audio tapes is proposed.


Valind, B. & Valind, L.
(1968). Effects of subliminal stimulation on homographs. Lund University, Psychological Lab., Sweden. Psychological Research Bulletin, 88, 9 p.

Brigitte Valind and Lars Valind
studied the effects of subliminal stimulation on homographs.

For this experiment, a picture was flashed on a screen at a subliminal exposure time.
This picture was related to 1 of the 2 meanings of a homograph, which was presented immediately after the picture, but at supraliminal exposure time.

The subliminal stimulus was shown to have an effect on verbal associations to the homograph, but not on latency.

This effect was evident only for homographs, where in a pilot study the subject's association could be traced equally often to 1 or the other of the 2 meanings of the homograph.


Van den Hout, M., N. Tenney, et al. (1995). "Responding to subliminal threat cues is related to trait anxiety and emotional vulnerability: A successful replication of Macleod and Hagan (1992)." Behaviour Research & Therapy 33(4): 451-454.

Replicated the findings of C. Macleod and R. Hagan demonstrating the correlation between threat relevant interference and trait anxiety. Researchers used the Stroop (MST) to investigate the relationship between subliminal threat cues and selective attention.


Van Selst, M. and P. M. Merikle (1993). "Perception below the objective threshold?" Consciousness & Cognition: an International Journal 2(3): 194-203.

Researchers conducted three studies to test the findings of M. Snodgrass et al suggesting that words are perceived even when forced -choice analysis fails to indicate so. Subjects were divided into groups. One group was allowed to say whatever "popped" into their heads. Results for the "popped" group revealed preference for one of the two task strategies used in the study deviated significantly more than chance.


VandenBoogert, C. (1984). A study of Potentials Unlimited subliminal persuasion self-hypnosis tapes. Grand Rapids, MI: Potentials Unlimited.

Carol VandenBoogert
surveyed 600 Potentials Unlimited subliminal tape users.
It was found that success tended to increase after listening to subliminal tapes for more than 15 days, with many individuals needing longer exposure.
A consistent pattern of listening was not important.

She reported that subliminal tape users are able to carry on with their regular business without needing to follow a particular frequency or playing pattern.


Varga, M.P. (1974). An experimental study of aspects of the psychoanalytic theory of elation. New York University. Dissertation Abstracts International, 34 (8-B), pp 4062-4063.

Michael Varga
performed this experiment in order to investigate experimentally the psychodynamics of elation.

The subjects all showed mood instability with both depressive and hypomanic trends.
The subjects were divided into four groups, and received one of following four subliminal presentations of various pictorial and verbal stimuli,

1) a picture of a person about to stab an older woman, the aggression stimulus,

2) a picture of a child crying over a coffin in which a woman is laid out, with the caption "I have lost mommy", the loss stimulus,

3) a picture of a woman nursing a baby, with the caption "mommy feeds me", the "oral-gratification" stimulus, and

4) either of two pictures of people standing side by side, with the caption "people are walking", the control stimulus.

The subjects were primed prior to the presentation of the stimuli.
It was hypothesized that;

a) the subliminal presentation of the oral gratification stimulus would reinforce images related to hypomanic denial, resulting in a hypomanic mood state, whereas

b) the presentation of the aggression and the loss stimuli would each results in a depressive mood state, the first through arousal of threatening depressive drive derivatives which would be turned innards resulting in depression, and the second through reinforcing depressive images and fantasies.

The results supported the hypothesis that the arousal of aggressive drive derivatives may lead to depression since there was a highly significant drop in hypomania, and a significant rise in mood depression for subjects receiving the aggression stimulus.

The hypotheses for the oral gratification and loss treatment conditions were not supported.


Vilenskaya, L. (1985). Firewalking and beyond. PSI Research, San Francisco, CA. PSI Research, 4 (2), pp 89-109. San Francisco, CA.

Larissa Vilenskaya reports observations of the Fear into Power: The Firewalker Experience seminar in San Francisco.

The use of neurolinguistic programming techniques and Eriksonian embedded (subliminal) commands by the leader is described.


Vitiello, M. V., A. S. Carlin, et al. (1989). "The effect of subliminal oedipal and competitive stimulation on dart throwing: Another miss." Journal of Abnormal Psychology 98(1): 54-56.

Results of this study failed to show an improvement in motor skills due to the presentation of SPA.


Voight, R.A. (1982). Stress reactivity of cardiorespiratory fit and unfit individuals after progressive neuromuscular relaxation training. University of Maryland. Dissertation Abstracts International, 43 (07-A), p. 2278.

Robert Voight used both neuromuscular relaxation training and subliminal audio tapes to prepare fit and unfit subjects for response to stress.

It was found that the degree of fitness did not influence the effect of relaxation training, and that stress response was not related to level of cardiorespiratory fitness.


Vokey, J.R. & Read, J.D.
(1985). Subliminal messages: Between the devil and the media. University of Lethbridge, Canada. American Psychologist, 40 (11), pp 1231-1239. ISSN: 0003 066X.

John Vokey and Don Read examined the controversial public issue of subliminal messages in advertising and popular music.

The subjects completed a wide variety of tasks to determine whether any evidence exists that such messages affect behavior.

The results revealed no evidence to support such a claim.

It is suggested that the apparent presence of backward messages in popular music is more a function of active construction on the art of the perceiver than of the existence of the messages themselves.


Voronin, L. G., P. P. Novikov, et al.
(1984). "Formation and development of temporary connections with participation of perceived and nonperceived sound stimuli." Zhurnal Vysshei Nervnoi Deyatel'Nosti 34(5): 855-860.

Perceived and non-perceived sound stimuli were found to be processed in different manners. The hypothesis of relative independence of process of formation of reactions is discussed.


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