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Subliminal Messages Might Actually Work

kdawson posted more than 7 years ago | from the buy-popcorn-now dept.

Privacy 172

GrumpySimon writes "New research indicates that subliminal messages may actually work. In a paper titled Attentional Load Modulates Responses of Human Primary Visual Cortex to Invisible Stimuli, Bahrani et al. demonstrate that even though stimuli may not be available to consciousness, they are processed by the visual cortex. While I'm sure that marketing agencies all over the world are rubbing their hands in glee at this news, the authors report that there's no evidence that this can make people buy things against their will. So with any luck the use of subliminal messages in advertising will remain an urban legend."

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Confused (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18304434)

So... subliminal messages in ads work, but you hope they'll remain an urban legend?

Yea, good luck with that.

They sort of work, but aren't very effective (4, Interesting)

PIPBoy3000 (619296) | more than 7 years ago | (#18305180)

If I remember my college psych classes properly, subliminal messages to buy a product may work to some degree, but obvious ads to buy a product work far better. There's lots of studies on the effectiveness of advertising, and not very many on the effectiveness of subliminal messages.

I think Greenwald [millisecond.com] is the author I was thinking of, but some of these other articles may be useful.

Nothing Subliminal In Advertising (3, Funny)

Alaren (682568) | more than 7 years ago | (#18305290)

Remember, if you don't buy more stuff, then the terrorists fnord have won. Wherever subliminal messaging might be successfully employed, I assure you, it is not in advertisements.

(fnord clueless mods may click here [wikipedia.org] fnord)

Re:They were outlawed in the US years ago. (1)

Technician (215283) | more than 7 years ago | (#18305506)

http://www.blufr.com/?t=subliminal [blufr.com]

Until the practice was outlawed in 1993, movie theaters used to insert single-frame ads for concessions during the course of films to try to subliminally influence viewers to buy popcorn.

Re:They were outlawed in the US years ago. (1)

omeomi (675045) | more than 7 years ago | (#18305746)

Until the practice was outlawed in 1993, movie theaters used to insert single-frame ads for concessions during the course of films to try to subliminally influence viewers to buy popcorn.

Well, I'm glad that's a fake...I can picture our government trying to make such a law, but I can't imagine any sequence of events that would allow that to remain illegal...terrorists or not...

Television (5, Insightful)

The Living Fractal (162153) | more than 7 years ago | (#18304436)

I can garauntee that they don't work well in television. At least, not on me. Because, even if they're only 1 frame, I can see them at 24fps. And it greatly annoys me when things flicker on the screen. I might not be able to tell what's flickering there (depending on the complexity of the image), but I promise you I will find out (record, pause, learn). And when I do, and it's some total BS thought up by some ad company, I can further promise you I will be purposefully not buying their product.

Nope, stick with good old quality writing and you'll get my interest. Then I'll at least look into your product and consider buying it. Otherwise, good luck.

TLF

Re:Television (4, Funny)

bheer (633842) | more than 7 years ago | (#18304474)

I agree with you, drink slimeball marketing tactics only piss of consumers.
There are many more enviga honest ways to sell wares.

Re:Television (1)

The Living Fractal (162153) | more than 7 years ago | (#18304516)

ROFL.

That reminds me of the SNL skit Kevin Neilan (sp?) did..

"I was thinking we could go out for some hotsex dinner and then maybe later a movie..."

Well, it went something like that anyway. Damned good.

TLF

Re:Television (2, Interesting)

Eternauta3k (680157) | more than 7 years ago | (#18304498)

Nope, stick with good old quality writing and you'll get my interest. Then I'll at least look into your product and consider buying it. Otherwise, good luck.
I agree. Sure, some argue any kind of marketing is manipulating the customer, but companies should stick to making their product known. Manipulating people is, in my opinion, shifting them from the best product (price/quality ratio) to the one with the best advertisements. That way, money is wasted both by the consumers and by the companies (which ultimately charge it to their clients).

Re:Television (1)

deevnil (966765) | more than 7 years ago | (#18305766)

...companies should stick to making their product known.

They might even want to consider making their product known for it's quality or taste, etc. instead of making stuff cheaper to fund marketing campaigns and research.

Re:Television (2, Funny)

DigitAl56K (805623) | more than 7 years ago | (#18304688)

I can garauntee that they don't work well in television. At least, not on me. Because, even if they're only 1 frame, I can see them at 24fps.

Sure, but what happens when you start blending images, i.e. instead of flashing a message or product image briefly on the screen, subtly adjust the existing image so that you can still perceive the message, but no flashing occurs.

Anyway, as much as I hate subliminal messaging, I would rather put up with that than have Billy Mays [wikipedia.org] yelling at me to buy OxyClean, OrangeGlo, the Hercules Hook, or whatever else he's pushing. When questioned about the topic, Billy is alleged to have screamed out, "SUBLIMINAL MESSAGING: ORDER YOURS TODAY!".

I've been wondering... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18304918)

Hey Slashdot, why are PC users such ugly dweebs [imageshack.us] in comparison to Mac users [imageshack.us] ? Is it because nobody has the time or patience to put up with Windows/Linux except for friendless, sexless nerds like you?

Re:I've been wondering... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18305764)

Errr... your mac users in that photo are pretty ugly too.

Re:I've been wondering... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18305850)

Errr... your mac users in that photo are pretty ugly too.

Well, parent is full of fallacies anyway - the PC "users" in the other photo are actually developers. Do you suppose the average Mac programmer is hot?

Here's a fuckable [darkeye.net] little PC user. Better than the one above anyway.

Re:Television (1)

Andrew Kismet (955764) | more than 7 years ago | (#18305060)

I prefer Barry Scott [wikipedia.org] ...

DO YOU HAVE PROBLEMS WITH LIMESCALE, RUST, AND GROUND-IN DIRT? THEY'RE A CHALLENGE, BUT NOT, FOR CILLIT BANG!!

((y'know, the lameness filter is useful sometimes, but it's bloody annoying when you're legitimately trying to convey shouting))

Re:Television (1)

/dev/trash (182850) | more than 7 years ago | (#18304696)

Have you met the 16 th amendment dude? You two would get along great.

Re:Television (1)

venicebeach (702856) | more than 7 years ago | (#18304798)

Well it should be noted that the experimental technique used in this article cannot be done with a standard televison, since it requires input to each eye to be controlled separately. They used continuous flash suppression [wikipedia.org] , where an image presented to one eye is suppressed by flashing another image in the other eye.

Re:Television (2, Insightful)

Pc_Madness (984705) | more than 7 years ago | (#18305160)

I thought flashing hidden messages was illegal in most countries? I thought it was in Australia atleast.

Re:Television (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18305438)

You and your super fast eyes are so cool!

Re:Television (2, Informative)

Jartan (219704) | more than 7 years ago | (#18305548)

I can garauntee that they don't work well in television. At least, not on me. Because, even if they're only 1 frame, I can see them at 24fps.


TV is not 24 fps. It's 60 fps interlaced. Slashdot needs a -1 "my eyeballs/ears are amazing" tag I think.

Re:Television (1)

Eli Gottlieb (917758) | more than 7 years ago | (#18305680)

Doesn't that depend on your region? I think NTSC runs at 24 fps, while PAL (or somewhere else) runs at 60fps.

Or I could have them reversed, but you get the basic point.

Re:Television (1)

omeomi (675045) | more than 7 years ago | (#18305756)

I can garauntee that they don't work well in television. At least, not on me. Because, even if they're only 1 frame, I can see them at 24fps.

Why does "subliminal" have to be visual? Music affects the mood/emotions of a viewer in a way that isn't fully conscious. Probably quite a bit better than flashing single frames of food or whatever on the screen...

And even if it is visual, why does it have to be the single-frame thing? Product placement works somewhat subliminally, doesn't it? Most people aren't really all that aware when they see someone in a movie drinking a Coke, because you see people drinking Coke all the time. So, you're not consciously thinking about it, but it's there, and clearly it has some effect on consumers because advertisers are willing to pay to place their objects in movies/TV...

Re:Television (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18305878)

if you can't see the fnord, it can't eat you.

Re:Television (1)

mrbluze (1034940) | more than 7 years ago | (#18306132)

Doesn't have to be annoying, even at 24 or 30fps (depending on the system), as the message can be a watermark or some other such thing.

Furthermore, it doesn't follow to say they don't work just because they are noticed, since advertisements and suggestions come in many forms, such as the labels on objects used in films, such as cars or watches and foodstuffs in kitchens.

What works is name recognition. You may not be in the market for the name-brand, but when you eventually are (such as for nappies for your kids, or for a new car when the old one's had it, or whatever), all those flash-cards you saw without taking notice have etched themselves into your neural networks, and will spring to mind when the moment is right.

Just how much can be achieved using subliminal messages is debatable and depends on suggestiveness and suggestability of the viewer/listener. Once, however, an emotional connection has been formed with the object being viewed, many other doors to the mind open.

"Buy things against their will" (4, Insightful)

catbutt (469582) | more than 7 years ago | (#18304468)

What does that even mean?

Just plain old advertising could be said to make people "buy things against their will", if it tips the balance from "slightly inclined to not purchase" to "slightly inclined to purchase".

Speaking in such black and white terms is misleading.

Re:"Buy things against their will" (5, Funny)

TheRealMindChild (743925) | more than 7 years ago | (#18304536)

I was flabbergasted to find that bathing with Axe body didn't bring in the babes. I even told them they love me. But I guess I got a bad batch or something because they just ran away. Fast.

Re:"Buy things against their will" (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18305786)

I was flabbergasted to find that bathing with Axe body didn't bring in the babes.
Check the manufacture number on top; if it begins with "2111" it's a bad batch.

Also it's peanut butter.

Re:"Buy things against their will" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18304576)

the difference being print advertising appeals to the conscious mind, subliminal tv advertising targets the unconscious mind. Wait, remember the subliminal messages in coke PRINT ads? http://www.ebaumsworld.com/2006/07/cokesubliminal. html [ebaumsworld.com]

Re:"Buy things against their will" (1)

catbutt (469582) | more than 7 years ago | (#18304882)

the difference being print advertising appeals to the conscious mind, subliminal tv advertising targets the unconscious mind
Well, print or tv, my point was neither for nor against subliminal advertising.

It is simply that we can discuss it more reasonably if you don't try to look at something that is inherently a "shades of gray" issue as a black and white one.

Most advertising, I'd guess, tries to use subtle psychological "tricks" to try to influence you to buy the product. What if they use shades of yellow and orange, because some study says that those colors connote trust? Or whatever. Is that subliminal? I don't think so, but it might be said to be influencing you without you knowing why you are influenced.

Oblig. Simpsons (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18304472)

!yvaN eht nioJ

Re:Oblig. Simpsons (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18305100)

Hey you! Join the Navy!

Mr Subliminal - SNL (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18304500)

[ Ted walks into a bar with Mr. Subliminal ]
Mr. Subliminal: Two beers, please.
Ted: I just can't get the hang of it..
Mr. Subliminal: That's because it's new to you. Believe me, Ted, subliminal advertising can be very, very effective.
Bartender: Alright, gentlemen, here's your beers.
Mr. Subliminal: Thanks, partner - on the house - that was quick - on the house - what do we owe you?
Bartender: Uh.. forget about it - on the house!
Mr. Subliminal: Oh? Thank you very much! Hey.. you know something - free cash - this is a real classy place - free cash - first time we've been here.
Bartender: Oh, I'm glad you like it. I've been working here for years.
Mr. Subliminal: Oh, no kidding- free cash - that's great!
Bartender: [ opens cash register and drops cash on the counter ] Here ya go.
Mr. Subliminal: What's this for?
Bartender: It's free cash, take it.
Ted: [ chuckles ] This is a real nice place!
Mr. Subliminal: No, really - free cash - we can't take this - your wallet - I mean, what would we do with it?
Bartender: Well, don't be ridiculous! [ drops his wallet on the counter ] Here, you take my wallet, you can put it in there!
Mr. Subliminal: Well, okay, if you insist! [ takes wallet, turns to Ted ] You see?
Ted: See what?
Mr. Subliminal: [ spots an attractive Woman on the next barstool ] Hi! Come here often?
Woman: [ laughs ] Oh, come on. That's the oldest line in the book.
Mr. Subliminal: Hey, sorry if I was out of line - lonely - I just thought that you might - lonely - you know, like to talk.
Woman: Well.. I am feeling a little.. lonely. It's just that I'm so sick and tired of guys hitting on me all the time, you know?
Mr. Subliminal: Oh, believe me - hot sex - I'm not hitting on you - hot sex - I just can, you know, understand that lonely feeling!
Woman: [ nods ] You do, don't you?
Mr. Subliminal: Sure do.
Woman: You seem like a very sensitive man.
Mr. Subliminal: Well..
Woman: And.. sexy, too! [ giggles ]
Mr. Subliminal: [ turns and whispers to Ted ] You gonna get the hang of it?
Ted: Uh.. yeah..
Mr. Subliminal: [ to Woman ] The name's Phil, Phil Maloney - kiss me - and it's a real plasure meeting you - kiss me - a real pleasure!
Woman: [ quickly jumps in and kisses him ]
Mr. Subliminal: [ catches his breath ] What was that for - your place - I mean, that was nice - your place - I mean, and you are..?
Woman: I'm Wanda! What do you say we go to my place?
Mr. Subliminal: Oh, great!
Woman: It's a five-story walk-up, I hope you don't mind..
Mr. Subliminal: Mind? - hotel - No, I don't mind - luxury hotel - maybe I'll lose some weight - your treat - [ laughs ].
Woman: Better yet - how about we go away to a luxury hotel - I'll pay! How about that?
Mr. Subliminal: Great idea - horny - there's one right around the corner - handcuffs - let's go!
Woman: Okay, let's go!
Mr. Subliminal: Okay, then - spank me - let's go1
[ they rush out of the bar ]
[ a beautiful woman sits next to Ted ]
Ted: Ahhhhh, yeah, I think I'm beginning to see.. [ notices the woman next to him ] Yeah..
Policeman: [ enters bar ] Alright! Who owns the white volvo out front?
Ted: Uh.. that's mine, Officer. Is there a problem?
Policeman: Yeah, it's a $50 problem. You parked in front of a fire hydrant. Let me see your license.

Ted: Uh.. oh, yeah, sure, Officer.. Uh.. to be honest, Officer - HOT SEX! - I didn't see the hydrant - TIE ME UP! - it was dark.

Policeman: What did you say?

Ted: I said - HOT SEX! - I didn't see the hydrant - SPANK ME! - it was dark.

Policeman: Hot sex? Spank me? Alright, pervert, come on, you're going downtown! [ drags Ted away ]

Ted: Uh, no, Officer, please - KISS ME! Officer, no - KISS ME! Officer, no - HORNY! Please - YOUR PLACE! Officer..

[ fade out ]

Re:Mr Subliminal - SNL (1)

The Living Fractal (162153) | more than 7 years ago | (#18304568)

Bahah thank you, I was looking for that in a earlier post. Awesome.

TLF

Nah (4, Funny)

istartedi (132515) | more than 7 years ago | (#18304512)

Nah, I don't see how that could be. However, this article was unusually good for some reason. I think I'm going to subscribe to Slashdot.

Photoreading (2, Interesting)

bennyp (809286) | more than 7 years ago | (#18304524)

Reminds me of "Photoreading"... the concept is that by relaxing the gaze and not looking at any one word, but the whole page, one is capable of absorbing books at a rate of 1 page per second. The pages are stored in the mind somewhere, then through a series of activities, one brings up the info into consciousness. Unfortunately, rather than go the scientific way, the inventor has chosen to market it as a self-help course. Weird!

Re:Photoreading (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18304796)

They are marketing it like that because it doesn't work :)

Considering the focal distance, size of a typical page, and the fact that outside of our foveal vision (the point at which our cones are concentrated) our vision becomes very fuzzy (ie. peripheral vision), it seems highly doubtful that anyone would be capable of discerning actual text from an entire page at once.
From rough memory, I think that at each point our eyes stop while reading we only see a few words with any accuracy, and our eyes stop almost constantly as we read, even including jumping back over single words two or three times.

Not to mention, it doesn't take into account the way our brain processes information, or stores it as memory.
Photoreading just seems like wishful thinking and poor psuedoscience - trust me, if it was true then we would see it used to teach reading to everyone.

Re:Photoreading (2, Informative)

Brickwall (985910) | more than 7 years ago | (#18305110)

From rough memory, I think that at each point our eyes stop while reading we only see a few words with any accuracy, and our eyes stop almost constantly as we read, even including jumping back over single words two or three times.

Well, only if you've been poorly trained. If you've ever looked at increasing your reading speed, the techniques most recommended are training your eyes to take in larger chunks (i.e. wider) of text at each time, and to move down the page constantly. I took an Evelyn Wood course at 8 or 9 years old, and increased my reading speed to over 400 words per minute (the average adult reads about 100-150 wpm), while still maintaining high comprehension scores. Now that's when I'm trying to absorb information which I basically understand, like history, fiction, or literature. If I'm reading a text on SQL programming, I have to slow down to make sure I understand how the code works.

Re:Photoreading (1)

Fission86 (1070784) | more than 7 years ago | (#18305600)

that's intresting, i never knew this had a name, but this is how i've been studying for the extent of my college career.

please don't READ THIS COMMENT (5, Funny)

waynemcdougall (631415) | more than 7 years ago | (#18304526)

SO what the article is saying is that attentional load
MODulates attentional responses to
MEssage that are carrying an embedded message. I will not put
UP with these shenanigans that are calcualated to
INCITE us make a
FOOL of ourselves.

Re: please don't READ THIS COMMENT (5, Funny)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 7 years ago | (#18304554)

SO what the article is saying is that attentional load
MODulates attentional responses to
MEssage that are carrying an embedded message. I will not put
UP with these shenanigans that are calcualated to
INCITE us make a
FOOL of ourselves.
Funny, after reading that I got an irresistable urge to run out and buy some SMMUIF.

Re:please don't READ THIS COMMENT (1)

Eli Gottlieb (917758) | more than 7 years ago | (#18305750)

I get this weird urge to mod you "Foolish", but I don't have mod points and that option doesn't even exist. WTF?

"Subliminal Messages Might Actually Work" (3, Funny)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 7 years ago | (#18304532)

How come this article gets 5% shorter when I turn on my browser's ad filter?

Subliminal messages are everywhere (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18304544)

Everything you read, watch, consume has elements to it that only get picked up by the parts of your brain that act below regular consciousness. You can see it in the writing style of legal briefs written by the best legal scholars. The best television commercials do exactly this. The word unspoken, the context shift, the interplay of familiar elements to yield one result. The sublime is the everyday when multinational corporations can pay billions to change your mind by whatever means works best. This tends to be below your guard. And your mind is changed.

Re:Subliminal messages are everywhere (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 7 years ago | (#18304680)

Yeah really, just watch those natural male enhancement ads. Many tall objects when they are talking about the benefits and a lot of drooping hoses when they talk about how the neighbors are now envious of his natural male enhancement.

Hold it... (5, Funny)

20th Century Boy (903797) | more than 7 years ago | (#18304556)

hanG on there folks, I haVe my doubts ovEr such claiMs, howEver Mildly innOceNt thEY seem.

Re:Hold it... (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 7 years ago | (#18304716)

Plenty of people are nodding in agreement with you comment, not to your benefit, but because you have given their own greed a pat on the back.

Re:Hold it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18305864)

Many Of us have Doubts, however Please just give the ARticlE a chaNce before you Talk baDly abOut it With impudeNce...

Woo. Hoo. (1)

susano_otter (123650) | more than 7 years ago | (#18304566)

So visual stimuli are processed by the visual cortex?

Groundbreaking science! Good work, gentlemen!

Now all we have to do is show that images glimpsed for a fraction of a second have more effect than images viewed for noticeable lengths of time, and we'll know for sure! Subliminal advertising ahoy!

Re:Woo. Hoo. (1)

aussie_a (778472) | more than 7 years ago | (#18306104)

You don't need to prove it works better then traditional advertising, only that it does work.

Re:Woo. Hoo. (1)

susano_otter (123650) | more than 7 years ago | (#18306176)

Hrm. Good point. People might walk around with Coca-Cola on their mind, and not even be aware they'd been exposed to any Coca-Cola advertising...

Non-issue (2, Interesting)

Barny (103770) | more than 7 years ago | (#18304604)

In the states at least, since the FCC have http://web.archive.org/web/20060503194404/www.para scope.com/articles/0497/sublimdc.htm [archive.org] already made their stance on this to broadcasting networks.

I think I read somewhere that the UN had a similar knee-jerk to it back then too and said the same, anyone got a link to it?

VERY LATE FIRST POST (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18304636)

Very late first post!!! lolololololololololol.

movie name (1)

anagama (611277) | more than 7 years ago | (#18304642)

What was that movie about subliminal advertising and the guns that caused people to black out for hours?

There was a TV show too! (1)

Brickwall (985910) | more than 7 years ago | (#18305134)

And let's not forget about Max Headroom, the Zikzak Corporation, and "blipverts".

Re:movie name (1)

GrumpySimon (707671) | more than 7 years ago | (#18305644)

What was that movie about subliminal advertising and the guns that caused people to black out for hours?

"Legally Blonde 2"

Re:movie name (1)

bmo (77928) | more than 7 years ago | (#18305728)

"What was that movie about subliminal advertising and the guns that caused people to black out for hours?"

"Looker"

Get to see Susan Dey nakkid.

--
BMO

Now /. is resorting to posting BS? (2, Funny)

The Real Toad King (981874) | more than 7 years ago | (#18304654)

Whatever, I'm going out to buy some popcorn.

So they work, eh? (4, Funny)

zCyl (14362) | more than 7 years ago | (#18304702)

They rally you like industrial ninjas use xeroxes.

My summary (3, Informative)

venicebeach (702856) | more than 7 years ago | (#18304756)

Well I just read the article and it appears that the main point of this paper is that attention affects the processing of unconscious, invisible visual stimuli.

What they did was to have a task in central vision that was either easy (not requiring much attention) or hard (requiring lots of attention). At the same time, invisible pictures were flashed in the periphery (made invisible by masking). Looking at the voxels in visual cortex which correspond to the locations of the invisible, peripheral stimuli, they found greater activity in easy mode than in hard mode. In other words, when the central visual task required lots of attention, the invisible stimuli in the periphery activated visual cortex more weakly.

To quote the article "The present findings are the first to show that neural processes involved in the retinotopic registration of stimulus presence in V1 depend on availability of attentional capacity, even when they do not invoke any conscious experience. These findings challenge previous suggestions that attention and awareness are one and the same."

Re:My summary (1)

invisiblemonki (568189) | more than 7 years ago | (#18305606)

So, ah, we are aware of things, even when we're not specifically paying attention to them. Hense, I can read in traffic. Yeah. Knew that. But thanks for letting me not have to read the whole article.

nitsche (1)

EnigmaticSource (649695) | more than 7 years ago | (#18304774)

"<i>N</i>ew research <i>i</i>ndica<i>t</i>es that <i>s</i>ubliminal messages may a<i>c</i>tually work. In a paper titled Attentional Load Modulates Responses of <i>H</i>uman Primary Visual Cort<i>e</i>x to <i>I</i>nvisible <i>S</i>timuli, Bahrani et al. <i>d</i>emonstrate that <i>e</i>ven though stimuli m<i>a</i>y not be available to consciousness, they are processed by the visual cortex. While I'm sure that marketing agencies all over the world are rubbing their han<i>d</i>s in - <i>g</i>lee at this news, the auth<i>o</i>rs report that there's no evi<i>d</i>ence that this can make people buy things against their will. So with any luck the use of subliminal messages in advertising will remain an urban legend<b>.</b>"

OT:Drunk Re:nitsche (2, Funny)

EnigmaticSource (649695) | more than 7 years ago | (#18304806)

Stupid lysdexia, I wish ./ would make me preview when I'm drunk.

Oh Well, so much for my Karma bonus

subject (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18304822)

Josie and The Pussycats is the Greatest Band ever!

Join the Army!

Reminds me of something (1)

Diordna (815458) | more than 7 years ago | (#18304826)

The Psy Corps is your friend.
Trust the Psy Corps.

(couldn't use all caps like the original)
(obscure?)

Re:Reminds me of something (1)

plasmacutter (901737) | more than 7 years ago | (#18304880)

babylon 5 ( season 4 i think).

Blipverts from max headroom seem more fitting to this study though.. lets hope nobody explodes from them : )

Now and Zen (1)

BillGatesLoveChild (1046184) | more than 7 years ago | (#18304828)

> While I'm sure that marketing agencies all over the world are rubbing their hands in glee at this news,

Let's mount our own subliminal ad campaign: "Ban Advertising" or better still "Ban Advertising Executives"

Old news, bad conclusions. (5, Interesting)

alisson (1040324) | more than 7 years ago | (#18304998)

This isn't exactly new information. It's been widely available for decades that yes, in fact, you do register subliminal messages. But it's also been proven time and again, that they have a statistically insignificant effect on your desires, and CERTAINLY not enough to change your opinions.

Re:Old news, bad conclusions. (1)

Walt Dismal (534799) | more than 7 years ago | (#18305066)

While I read this thread, I kept wanting to have hot sex. Then I looked at the page's source. Every word was followed by the words 'Hot sex!" and "Cmdr Taco!" coded to render in white text on a white background. Unfortunately, my browser didn't render it all properly, and I ended up having sex with Mexican food. Many times. In one hour.

Re:Old news, bad conclusions. (1)

BigDukeSix (832501) | more than 7 years ago | (#18305898)

What haven't been available for decades are things like CT/PET and functional MRI. These techniques allow one to map increases in metabolic activity to specific regions of the brain in response to stimuli. Eventually advertisers might be able to choose visual patterns which excite both emotions (limbic region) and memory (prefrontal cortex).

Let's say Madison Avenue discovers a combination of embedded images which increase favorable memory retention in five percent of subjects, but induce seizures in 1 out of 10,000 people. My opinion is that a large portion of advertisers would ask, "What's the down side?"

Re:Old news, bad conclusions. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18305920)

Not just messages per sé, but other information as well. Some conditions can prevent a person from being able to consciously see an object in a section of their field of vision, even though it can still be registered by their visual cortex. However, this oddly enough does not prevent them from being able to reach out and grab the object if asked to attempt it, although I imagine they must be surprised at being able to do so.

Re:Old news, bad conclusions. (1)

kripkenstein (913150) | more than 7 years ago | (#18305954)

This isn't exactly new information. It's been widely available for decades that yes, in fact, you do register subliminal messages. But it's also been proven time and again, that they have a statistically insignificant effect on your desires, and CERTAINLY not enough to change your opinions.

100% true, but it is a complaint against the summary, not the actual article (as usual). TFA is about a more specific topic, and has humbler conclusions than the summary would indicate.

Regarding the summary, as you say, this is old news. Subliminal effects are easy to see in the lab - priming, for example - but have very minor effects. Not enough to base an ad campaign on.

All I got to say... (1)

toupsie (88295) | more than 7 years ago | (#18305050)

RATS!

Re:All I got to say... (1)

mdsolar (1045926) | more than 7 years ago | (#18305190)

Republocrats!

Correction: not an urban legend (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18305086)

Subliminal ads were used decades ago, and work. I think they may be illegal now, but not ineffective.

The will to buy (1)

gvz (410344) | more than 7 years ago | (#18305102)

no evidence that this can make people buy things against their will
If consumers really believe that their (our) will is unmodified after being bombarded by publicity, it must mean we know very little about who or what we are.

People is greatly influenced by their surroundings, and while nobody can say I drink Coke, wear Docker's, drive GM or read Slashdot against my will, it is quite undeniable that the knowledge of their existence wasn't in my mind before I saw some publicity. At some moment I decided on using such products, and usually, rejecting at the same time other choices.

As someone said a few comments above, a little tip to the will is good enough to make me buy some product (against some other or even against no product at all). And while subliminal won't have me acting against my will, the process of "tipping my will" is most decidedly against my will. Publicity -subliminal or otherwise- has a definite effect on my will, and the only way to avoid that would be to make such an effect conscious, and consciously deny it, or isolate myself from the cause (a little hard to do).

In that sense, subliminal publicity, as far as it is a lot harder to make conscious, is also harder to "fight" against. No, I won't buy against my mill but I could be more inclined to make a certain choice and not know why.

somewhat on-topic...cool nonetheless (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18305114)

Cdnuolt blveiee taht I cluod aulaclty uesdnatnrd waht I was rdanieg. The phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid, aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it dseno't mtaetr in waht oerdr the ltteres in a wrod are, the olny iproamtnt tihng is taht the frsit and lsat ltteer be in the rghit pclae.

Re:somewhat on-topic...cool nonetheless (1)

MontyApollo (849862) | more than 7 years ago | (#18305554)

Cdnuolt blveiee taht I cluod aulaclty uesdnatnrd waht I was rdanieg. The phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid, aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it dseno't mtaetr in waht oerdr the ltteres in a wrod are, the olny iproamtnt tihng is taht the frsit and lsat ltteer be in the rghit pclae.

VERY COOL

Also Investigate (1)

dave562 (969951) | more than 7 years ago | (#18305138)

Neuro Linguistic Programming - And also as an adjunct, Bandler and Grinder's two books on Eriksonian hypnosis as a delivery method for subconscious suggestions Influence by Cialdini. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Cialdini [wikipedia.org]

Subliminal messages have been around for a while (1)

Seantotheizzo (1011799) | more than 7 years ago | (#18305176)

In audio especially. I am not here to prove they exist, because I am anti-alarmist by nature. But don't be so naive to think that marketers, especially in the music business, rely strictly on ethical black-and-white methods of advertising. The subconscious is far more powerful than the conscious, and is much more accessible via audio techniques than any other media. Don't be afraid, but be aware.

Old News? (2, Interesting)

Wazukkithemaster (826055) | more than 7 years ago | (#18305186)

My psych 111 class went over things like this... the brain processes a lot of things that aren't consciously picked up upon especially when it comes to vision. Experiments have been done that prove that people really don't notice what is right in front of their faces. A bunch of people were shown a video of 2 people tossing a basketball back and forth for probably 10 minutes (i dont recall exactly) but then a man in a gorilla suit walks by behind the people tossing the basketball, then everything proceeds as normal again. When asked later if the viewers remembered the gorilla walking by a large % responded no (again, i can't remember specifically).

Re:Old News? (1)

TCaM (308943) | more than 7 years ago | (#18305268)

sounds like a vonage commercial

Re:Old News? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18305306)

The phenomenon you're referring to is called inattentional blindness. The demo of it that you're referring to (the gorilla suit guy) is located here: http://viscog.beckman.uiuc.edu/grafs/demos/15.html [uiuc.edu]

Re:Old News? (1)

freedomlinux (1072142) | more than 7 years ago | (#18305342)

Umm... I have seen this experiment and have come to a slightly different conclusion. If I am correct, the test subject is instructed to count the number of time the baseball is thrown. While many people do not report seeing the gorilla, this seems to prove that many people don't notice because they are distracted by keeping an accurate count on the baseball. I believe a portion of the group not reporting the gorilla could be attributed to the human mind focusing on a given task, rather than observing object which are not noted as the targeted object or action.

Re:Old News? (1)

Wazukkithemaster (826055) | more than 7 years ago | (#18305410)

You are probably right. You seem to be much more familiar with the experiment than i am. However, it would be easy to see how an advertisement might also use this methodology to focus the viewers attention to a specific task or object while displaying other images.

Re:Old News? (1)

GrumpySimon (707671) | more than 7 years ago | (#18305618)

There were also other Change Blindness experiments which were more convincing, mainly conducted by Daniel Simons. For example, in one study, participants went into a room and asked to sign up for something. The person behind the desk, ducked down to get them a form, and a *different* person stood up and continued the conversation.

The vast majority of subjects didn't notice anything wrong, even when there were large differences in the two people.

Re:Old News? (1)

Wazukkithemaster (826055) | more than 7 years ago | (#18305670)

Ahh yes. Now I remember that the article was about un-attentional(non-attentional?) blindness. Still I think that this could be useful for advertisers if it can be proven that the differences would register in the persons subconscious.

Well, Here's A Rare Opportunity For Trolls... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18305188)

One of those few occasions when posting TFA text with an ASCII goatse rendering embedded in it is actually on topic.

Subliminal adverts are already out there! (1)

John Jamieson (890438) | more than 7 years ago | (#18305284)

So with any luck the use of subliminal messages in advertising will remain an urban legend.... ha ha ha. They are already out there!

I work a lot in the gameing(gambling really, but we call it gameing) industry as a coder.
The national/public news organization up in Canada has been ripping apart one or the provincial lottery organizations lately. In the investigation they found that some KONAMI slots were displaying subliminal messages. They were flashing winning hands. This affected 3 newer types of slots(If I remember correctly, and the Ontario Lottery Corp pulled them immediately).

Point is, some people already knew subliminal worked and were using it. Oh ya, want a laugh? Konami says it was just a bug in the code.

http://www.cbc.ca/canada/story/2007/02/25/video-lo ttery.html [www.cbc.ca]
http://it.slashdot.org/it/07/02/26/1614216.shtml [slashdot.org]

Reading between the lines... (0, Redundant)

dantheman82 (765429) | more than 7 years ago | (#18305294)

Never overestimate the human intellect not getting theoretical or subliminal enterprising Elbonians hiding ephemeral ridiculous epistles.

Moreover only very efficient altruistic living organisms never grovel!

Like others said, not really news. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18305368)

The article was apparently on the importance of attentional focus in the quality of subliminal visual perception, not whether it occurs at all. Psychologists have confirmed subliminal perception and priming in hundreds of experiments; however, the question of whether subliminal advertising works is more complicated.

The consensus is generally "no," however. There is some experimental evidence that subliminal priming increases behaviors when a motivation already exists (e.g. subliminally priming "thirsty" when a subject is already thirsty increases drinking), but on the whole most psychologists don't worry about the possibility of subliminal advertising being used to manipulate people. At least, not any more than they worry about supraliminal advertising being used on us everywhere we go.

Huh? (1)

CPNABEND (742114) | more than 7 years ago | (#18305430)

"Attentional Load Modulates Responses of Human Primary Visual Cortex to Invisible Stimuli" Isn't it too early for April Fools?

Of course this is absurd: (0, Redundant)

Sfing_ter (99478) | more than 7 years ago | (#18305446)

This is absurd (buy a computer), this could never work (bill gates is a god), there is now way that (microsoft is best company ever) could work, the powers that be would take care of us (the government is here to help you), they will know if it is possible for us to affected by (eat more bacon) these kinds of things (big macs make your heart stronger). Who do they think we are, (america NEEDS oil) sheep to be led around until it's time (electric cars are for fags) to be led to the slaughter?

I don't know about you, (buy more things, you need MORE), but I for one would never fall for any (solar power is for pussies) scheme like that.

I'm off now to get a new computer, with Windows Vista, pay my taxes, and get a snack; can you get bacon on a bigmac? I'll be drivin my patriotic Hummer H2 so stay the fuck outa my way....

LSD messes up the reaction (1)

infonography (566403) | more than 7 years ago | (#18305558)

Whatever you do;

Do not think about your tongue.

/thats a very old and dirty trick, best said to acidheads. but if you think somebody can't put something in somebody's head well, what are you thinking about right now?

Re:LSD messes up the reaction (1)

mano_k (588614) | more than 7 years ago | (#18306142)

Whatever you do;
Do not think about your tongue.
/thats a very old and dirty trick, best said to acidheads. but if you think somebody can't put something in somebody's head well, what are you thinking about right now?

What I am thinking about right now? A certain girl's tongue!

;-p

Who doesn't 'know' this... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18305576)

it should be obvious that are perceptions can affect our moods and state of mind. over time, these can form associations. an extreme example would be to repeatedly show me a picture of linsay lohan naked while stabbing me with a fork. after awhile, everytime i see her semblance, i'm going to have a strong desire to curl up in a ball in a corner and whimper in terror like an abused monkey. But here's the deal, stuff i see, hear, feel, or smell for a fraction of a second is MUCH less likely to have an effect on me than stuff i see, hear, feel or smell for minutes. the longer the exposure, the more effect. so, if subliminal is defined as something that lasts only a fraction of second or even a second, then subliminal messages are not a threat. when was the last time you saw a good commercial only to be turned off by the fine print? however, make no mistake about it, we are all being hacked by commercials and advertising. i call it the black arts :)

Just a reminder (1)

tearmeapart (674637) | more than 7 years ago | (#18305848)

This is just a reminder:
SUPERLIMINAL MESSAGES ALSO WORK
In other news, the lameness filter is lame.

Induced Suggestions (1)

tantaliz3 (1074234) | more than 7 years ago | (#18305884)

Subliminal messages don't cause people to buy things against their will, especially in this day and age when people have become resistant to advertising. They are designed to make people think about a product without the filter of advertising. That way people will think about a product unbiased by the advertising they are normally subjected to, instead of just dismissing the product when they see a commercial. My 2c

SMOKE. (1)

macserv (701681) | more than 7 years ago | (#18305966)

SMOKE. [youtube.com]

Are ya smokin' yet?!

Fr;isT psot (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18306030)

contribUted code [goat.cx]
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