APP - 33 Subliminal and ESP

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					               Sensory Thresholds
• Absolute Thresholds - The minimum amount of energy
  that can be detected 50% of the time
• Taste: 1 gram (.0356 ounce) of table salt in 500 liters (529 quarts) of
• Smell: 1 drop of perfume diffused throughout a three-room apartment
• Touch: the wing of a bee falling on your cheek from a height of 1cm
  (.39 inch)
• Hearing: the tick of a watch from 6 meters (20 feet) in very quiet
• Vision: a candle flame seen from 50km (30 miles) on a clear, dark
          Subliminal Threshold
 Subliminal Threshold:
  When energy of the
stimulus is below one’s
 absolute threshold for
 conscious awareness.

                          Kurt Scholz/ Superstock
        Subliminal Perception
     Sensation without perception?
•  Subliminal = stimuli that sensory system
   responds to, but due to short duration or subtle
   form, don‟t reach threshold of cognition
Quick Survey
1. Do you think you are influenced by subliminal
   messages in advertising?
2. Do you think you are influenced by everyday
   advertisements that you perceive consciously
   (e.g. laundry detergent, beverages)?
Suppose you had a choice to listen to one of two
speeches that argued against a position you believe
in, such as whether marijuana should be legalized.
In speech A, the person presents arguments against
your position; in speech B, all arguments are
presented subliminally.
    Which speech would you rather listen to?
1. 80% college students preferred not to receive a
   subliminal message b/c they thought it might
   influence them in an undesirable way.

2. 69% chose speech A; 31% chose B (subliminal)
     • Why are people afraid? Should you be?
                 …You Decide
Could 1/30th of a second really influence impressions of
                       Al Gore?
                 …You Decide
Could 1/30th of a second really influence impressions of
                       Al Gore?
           We are not obedient to
           Subliminal Messages
• Research shows that the effect only occurs in
  controlled laboratory studies
   – Competitive Participants
   – More critical
   – „Comfort‟ Words
• Research outside the laboratory shows no
  significant effect of subliminal information
• We don‟t blindly obey!
• Placebo Effect with subliminal self help tapes
               Vicary‟s Study

• New Jersey, 1957:
  – Over 6 weeks, 45,699 people see subliminal ads
  – “Eat Popcorn” – sales up 57.5%
  – “Drink Coke” – sales up18.1%

     • “Minds have been broken and entered”
             Except . . . .
• The Vicary “Eat Popcorn/Drink Coke”
  Study well. . . .
• In a 1962 interview, Vicary admitted that
  he had made the whole thing up!
• A recording studio technique where
  backward messages are deliberately
  superimposed on the soundtrack
• The fear . . . “Human brains are capable of
  receiving, scanning, deciphering, storing
  and later reacting to subliminal or
  subconscious messages”
    Another One Bites the Dust
• Forward
• Reverse
• "It's fun to smoke marijuana"
         Stairway to Heaven
• Forward
• Reverse
• ""Glory glory to my sweet Satan, there was
  a little child born, it makes me sad, whose
  power is Satan"
The most famous backmasking ever?

• Forward
• Reverse
• Message - "Paul is a dead man, miss him,
  miss him, MISS HIM" The Beatles have
  vehemently denied this. Still fans of every
  generation have listened to this message and
  heard the same words.
    Twinkle Twinkle Little Star
• Forward
• Reverse
• "I wish there were no Allah."
              Pokemon Rap
• Forward
• Reverse
• "I love satan, love satan. I love satan, love
         Not the last of it…

• Sexual imagery in ads?
   – Wilson Bryan Key: “sex” in
     ice cubes, nude figures in
     images from butter to icing in
     cake mix ads.

   – Even if images aren‟t
     consciously perceived, they
     put us in good mood and pay
     more attention to ad
• Vokey and Read 1985
• More dramatically, propose how and why listeners
  may “hear” diabolical messages in rock music.
  Listeners are prepared to “discover” certain
  messages, and they do so.
• Perceptual set is a bias or readiness to perceive
  certain aspects of available sensory data and to
  ignore others.
      Extrasensory Perception
• Refers to extraordinary perception such as
  – Clairvoyance – awareness of an unknown
    object or event
  – Telepathy – knowledge of someone else‟s
    thoughts or feelings
  – Precognition – foreknowledge of future events
• Research has been unable to conclusively
  demonstrate the existence of ESP
          Ganzfeld Procedure
• Bem & Honorton, 1994
• All sensory information reduced
• “receiver” in reclining chair in sound proof chamber
  with ping-pong balls, red light, earphones, white
• In Separate room, “sender” concentrates on visual
• 32% hit rate better than chance
• Has not been replicated
• Experimentation has not yet given
scientific support
            Expert Groups
1. Eye Structure / Receptor Cells – (Diagram
   and Blind Spot and Peripheral Demo)
2. From Eye To Brain – (Diagram)
3. Color Vision – After Image Effect

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