Subliminal messages. Between the devil and the media.

  title={Subliminal messages. Between the devil and the media.},
  author={John R. Vokey and J. Don Read},
  journal={The American psychologist},
  volume={40 11},
We describe our entanglement in the controversial public issue of subliminal messages in advertising and popular music in order to provide a report of our research unencumbered by the misrep-resentations in the various media reports of this work. A distinction is drawn between the allegedpresence of these messages in the media concerned and the impact they are purported to have upon the listener or viewer. Our research is concerned primarily with the latter: Is there any evidence to warrant… 


Subliminal messages appear in movies, commercials, music videos, and even cartoons. These are hidden signals inserted into advertising messages sent to a target audience to influence their

Subliminal Advertising and the Perpetual Popularity of Playing to People’s Paranoia

Every 20 years, subliminal advertising pops back into popular culture. August Bullock (2004a) is the most recent "advocate" with his book The Secret Sales Pitch: An Overview of Subliminal

An Analysis of Subliminal Messages in Commercials

Advertisements are not only significant for advertisers but for the companies as well. The major purpose of the ads is to create motivation and appeal in people to buy the products. The advertisers

A Field Test of Subliminal Self-Help Audiotapes: The Power of Expectancies

In the face of evidence to the contrary, consumers continue to believe in the efficacy of subliminal message self-help (SMSH) audiotapes. The authors contend that the value consumers attribute to

Effectiveness of subliminal messages in television commercials: Two experiments.

Subjects watched television commercials, monitoring them for a message (the words choose this) presented at different levels of contrast with the background. Following each commercial, subjects rated

A Meta-Analysis of Consumer Choice and Subliminal Advertising

A meta-analysis is used to demonstrate the ineffectiveness of subliminal advertising to influence the consumer’s decision between alternatives. A review of narrative reviews is provided to illustrate

The case against subliminal manipulation

Claims persist that subliminal messages can have significant effects on motives and behavior. Among the more dramatic declarations are claims that: (1) subliminal auditory messages can induce weight

The Influence of Expectancy in Subliminal Perception Experiments

The relationship between belief in subliminal perception and the out-come of subliminal perception was examined. One hundred thirty-seven college students listened to a tape of a contemporary jazz

Review and appraisal of subliminal perception within the context of signal detection theory

There are many claims that stimuli too weak to be detected can affect behavior in powerful ways. There are also many counterclaims that such phenomena are artifacts. The origins of the subliminal

Subliminal Self-help Tapes : Promises , Promises . . . From the

An offspring of the New Thought movement in the 19th century and nurtured by the positive thinking and human potential movements of this century, self-improvement has attained the status of a secular



Unconscious perception re-revisited: A comment on Merikle’s (1982) paper

The purpose of this paper is to draw attention to the fact that, contrary to the implications of a recent paper by Merikle (1982), the case for unconscious perception does not stand or fall with

The Role of Suggestion in the Perception of Satanic Messages in Rock-And-Roll Recordings

Summary This study is an attempt to examine the role of suggestion in perceiving satanic messages in rock-and-roll recordings presented backward. Ss (N = 65) were placed in one of three groups: 1. no

Unconscious perception revisited

  • P. Merikle
  • Psychology
    Perception & psychophysics
  • 1982
Table I Example of Results Assumed to Support Perception Without Awareness condition, on the other hand, provides the critical observations. A masking stimulus that functions as a central mask (cf.

Iconic memory.

Investigations of the processing of brief visual displays, and the explanation of such processing in terms of iconic memory, are reviewed. It is concluded that the concept of a pre-categorical

Remembering without awareness

Amnesics reveal savings in their objective performance of a task even though they are not aware of remembering. Experiments that are described reveal a dissociation of memory and awareness for

Temporal integration in visual memory.

  • V. Di Lollo
  • Psychology, Biology
    Journal of experimental psychology. General
  • 1980
An inverse relationship between duration of inducing stimulus and duration of sensory persistence is suggested and allows the inference that visual persistence may be identified more fittingly with ongoing neural processes than with the decaying contents of an iconic store.

Temporal integration in visual memory.

An inverse relationship between duration of inducing stimulus and duration of sensory persistence is suggested and allows the inference that visual persistence may be identified more fittingly with ongoing neural processes than with the decaying contents of an iconic store.

Perception and memory for pictures: Single-trial learning of 2500 visual stimuli

The results of the experiment indicate the vast memory for pictures possessed by human beings and emphasize the need to determine mechanisms by which this is accomplished.