Use and Misuse Of Subliminal Messages
by Terje Brooks Ellingsen
What are subliminal messages? A subliminal message is a message displayed for such a short period of time that your mind does not consciously register what it sees or hears. Instead your mind registers it sub-consciously. This means that your conscious mind cannot build and use arguments against the ideas exposed and thus you can be more susceptible to the unconscious idea. We’re talking about mind control from the outside that is working below the threshold of our awareness.
Like many others you may ask, is it really possible that the content or meaning of an event can affect people’s behaviour without their being aware of this event? The commercial and advertising businesses would probably pay millions to confirm whether or not such techniques are more effective than promotional communications of which people are aware.
Here are some examples of how such communications have been applied;
- sexual imagery embedded in print and video advertising
- film and video commercials containing briefly-flashed messages
- messages in rock and other types of music barely heard in the background
- sub-audible communications in self help audios
Examples of purposes of a hidden communication are;
- to lead people to make non intended purchases
- to get people to commit suicide
- an aid for helping smokers to stop smoking
Controversy and ethics
There has been a lot of controversy about using unconscious messages on unwilling or unaware subjects. This is not a strange thing, because for years hidden persuasive messages have been used, to manipulate viewers or listeners to behave in ways they otherwise would not by using imperceptible or masked stimuli. There have been two particular areas where the ethics of this practice have been questioned
- In commercials and advertising
- By fundamentalists and rock music
There’s no doubt of the insidious character of subliminal persuasion. There has been much criticism regarding the unscrupulous, unconscious persuasive methods many large corporations have used in their cravings for increased profits.
Another ethical inquiry has been targeted towards religious and political fundamentalists who have promulgated their belief of occult, satanic communications in rock music.
The self help market
The most useful application of hidden persuasive messages according to my opinion is the self help or self improvement market. This $50-millions a year industry is still expanding at a high rate. Subliminal self-help tapes, CD’s and mp3’s have been used by thousands of people all over the world and there are also numerous testimonials available showing their effectiveness in personal improvement. Examples of areas where concealed audios have been useful are
improvement in sexual function
improved bowling scores
and more. Some of these programs enable you to display your own unconscious communications and use them to change your life the way you want. These audios can be used anywhere; while driving your car, at work, playing with the kids, watching TV, doing workout, etc.
You use the subliminal program to display your own positive affirmations unconsciously in word or picture form. You are in total control of all communications which are displayed and also how they are displayed.