Do subliminal messages actually work?

Hidden Persuaders: The Psychology of Subliminal Perception

Nearly fifty years ago an American writer called Packard argued that by using subliminal cues, advertisers and marketeers persuaded people to buy against their will. They were being cynically manipulated. The theory is that people can be emotionally and behaviourally affected by visual or vocal stimuli whose presence they do not report. Whether it is preconscious processing or unconscious perception, few psychologists dispute or would even be surprised by the idea that people can be affected by stimuli they claim not to have seen. What people say they saw and did see are not the same. By flashing up images and words very quickly scientists have been able to demonstrate reliably the process called subliminal perception. ….[READ]


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