What Are Subliminal Messages & How Do They Work

Published: 31st December 2008
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Subliminal messages are suggestions that are offered below the level of conscious awareness.

They are messages that take the form of either visual images or spoken words. Such suggestions are hidden in other forms of communication such as still pictures, movies, music or other sound files.

These suggestions are designed to bypass ordinary awareness of perception and elicit a response from the subconscious.

Subliminal messages can be visual or auditory in nature and are designed to stimulate a response from the subconscious mind so that it affects the thinking processes and decisions that we make consciously. It is thought that they can have either a negative or positive influence on the decisions of the person in contact with them and are believed to heavily influence thoughts, beliefs, feelings and most importantly actions!

We can trace the word subliminal back to its latin origins. Sub in latin means below and liminal is taken from the latin word limen which means threshold. So, subliminal messages are suggestions that are received below the level of threshold.

They came to the attention of the general public in the middle of the last century. Back in 1957 a researcher named James Vicary conducted a highly controversial experiment in a local movie theater. Vicary flashed the words popcorn and coca cola on the screen for a few milliseconds and claimed the sales of both increased significantly. Vicary's experiment created hot debate amongst scientific experts.

The resulting press attention led to the banning of subliminal messages by several countries, including the USA and UK. However, Vicary later admitted that he falsified the data and results from the experiment. This brought the effectiveness of them into question something that has been aggravated because the Vicary experiment has never been duplicated successfully by anyone else. In fact, many people believe Vicary did not even carry out the experiment at all!

Therefore a majority of people, within the scientific community, concluded that subliminal messages have no affect on teh brain and do not enter our awareness at all.

In recent years, however, there have been a few high profile studies carried out by experienced researchers that have found subliminal messages to be much more effective than we have been led to believe. For instance a highly respected scientific researcher, named Bahador Bahrami, at Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience University College London discovered these kind of suggestions do grab the attention of the brain!

In fact there is a growing number of studies, and mounting evidence, to suggest that they do affect us at a deep level of mind.

In 1958 a book by Wilson Bryan Key called Subliminal Seduction made claims that subliminal techniques were widely used in advertising. If you take a look at YouTube you will clearly see many examples of subliminal messages still being widely used in advertising today!

Subliminal messages, when used in marketing and advertising, can be seen (when pointed out) to take the form of images. However, in personal development and self improvement programs these messages are usually auditory in nature. The suggestions are recorded at an audible (you can hear it) volume but become imperceptible when another track, such as music or ocean waves, is added to the recording. This is known as masking.

In some cases they are added to the recording so that one message enters one ear and another message enters the other ear. This technique is called stereo confusion and is popular in many self improvement and hypnotherapy recordings.

On occasions they are also presented backwards which is known as back-masking. However this technique is controversial and even many devout advocates of subliminal technology doubt its effectiveness. However, many people think this approach is the most powerful of all because it completes eliminates the chance that the consciou smind will hear the messages. this leaves the powerful subconscious to hear and decipher the back playing suggestions. While the conscious mind is listening to the music or sounds on the track the subconscious is free to decode the backward suggestions.

I have altered aspects of my own personality and made many leaps forward in my personal development through the use of subliminal technologies. I therefore believe very strongly in their ability to create deep change.

However, as with everything we are told in life, there is only really one way to get a clear view of whether subliminal messages are effective and that is through experience! The only way you will know for sure is if you try them.


If you would like to learn more about subliminal programming and read free reviews of the best recordings and custom ones available go to Subliminal Messages. If you are interested in reading about the effectiveness of a very powerful subliminal messages program which allows you to create your own read the review at Subliminal.

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