“Subliminal perception is a subject that virtually no one wants to believe exists, and -- if it does exist -- they much less believe that it has any practical application. . . . The techniques are in widespread use by media, advertising and public relations agencies, industrial and commercial corporations, and by the Federal government itself.” ~ Wilson Bryan Key (thinkexist.com). Subliminal messaging is when the subconscious part of your brain would pick up a different meaning from a song, movie, or logo, than the meaning that was originally intended. Does subliminal messaging actually exist?
This topic interests me because, I have actually watched and saw something that was very disturbing in a Looney Tunes cartoon. When I was younger we had a Looney Tunes DVD and I’ve always watched the episodes on it. In one particular episode, which I decided to re-watch when I was older, it showed a picture of a naked woman in the background. I was shocked as I’ve never seen it before in that cartoon, and pointed it out to some people who didn’t see that image until I showed them. It was a very small portrait in that part of the movie that is displayed for a good five minutes while the animal characters are chasing each other around. That sort of picture may not affect us when we see it right there, but in kids’ subconscious, you never know how it affects them.
Subliminal messaging is when a signal or a message is embedded in another medium. It is designed to pass below the normal limits of the human mind's perception. These messages are unrecognizable by the conscious mind, but in certain situations can affect the subconscious mind. (selfGrowth.com) Subliminal messaging can be presented as a visual, audio, or in a form of electromagnetic waves. The ultimate goal of subliminal messaging is to manipulate and change a person’s way of thinking and a change in thinking patterns. Some people choose to change their way of thinking with self-help tapes, such as trying to lose weight. (dreammanifesto.com)
An example of an experiment to see if subliminal messaging does indeed work was claimed to be carried out by a man named James Vicary. In 1957, he carried out an experiment in a movie theater with words that would flash across the screen really fast in order for the people not to see it, but their brain would catch it. Words such as, “Drink Coca Cola”, or “Hungry? Eat more popcorn” was displayed and Vicary claimed the sales of popcorn and soda rose. He didn’t really do the experiment and it was false, but it still arose mass hysteria amongst people. The people now suspected almost everything they were watching and looked for subliminal messages everywhere. (explorable.com) The experiment of what Vicary claimed to have done, was actually done by different people after he said it. It took place in the same theater and the same movie played, and it did increase sales at the end.
There are also some scary but real stories on how subliminal messaging affects people. There were two boys who were big fans of Judas Priests songs, which were mostly rock songs about depressing stuff. They listened to the songs every day, and one day committed suicide on December 23, 1985. A team of researchers dissected the song and found the hidden message: “Do it” repeated many times. The parents of one of the boys filed a lawsuit against the Judas Priest band, concerning subliminal messages. In the end Judas Priest won, because there was not enough scientific evidence to prove that subliminal messaging influenced the boys’ decisions. (bbc.com)
In 1974 the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) received complaints that a television show had subliminal messages and the FCC said, "We believe that the use of subliminal perception is inconsistent with the obligations of a [broadcast] licensee, and therefore we take this occasion to make clear that broadcasts employing such techniques are contrary to the public interest. Whether effective or not, such broadcasts clearly are intended to be deceptive." The government tried to take steps in protecting the people from unwanted messages that would influence their minds. (umich.edu)
To conclude, subliminal messages are practically everywhere, hidden in billboards, ads, and songs. The brain can easily be influenced and it’s a frightening thought that something can be perceived in the subconscious. Even though the government banned subliminal messaging, it can’t control every little thing that goes out there. People can start selling stuff without resorting to hidden messages. More awareness about this issue should be raised, because most people are unaware about this topic. Subliminal messaging is capable enough to cause harm and/or death in some form. Some people doesn’t believe it exists, and some people believe it does, but the main point is that people can start to sell their ideas of movies, art, or songs without resorting to any type of deceit.
Subliminal Messages. Explorable.com. 2009. Web. 29 Oct. 2012.
Subliminal Effects. Selfgrowth.com. 1996. Web. 02 Nov. 2012.
Herold, Thomas. Dream Manifesto LLC. 2006-2012.
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Elias, John Ab. Seekers of wisdom.com. 2006-2009. Web.
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