Saturday, May 11, 2013

Subliminal Techniques

Subliminal Techniques

Subliminal stimuli are said to be any sensory stimuli below the threshold
for conscious perception. The classic experiments with subliminal
techniques involved flashing words like "popcorn" or "buy a cold drink" on
a movie screen for a duration that was too short for the conscious mind to
pick up, but with the assumption that the words would be seen and responded
to at a subconscious level. Supposedly sales of popcorn and rinks went up
when using this technique, but the experiments were largely discredited
later when the methodology was found to be suspect.

How much we are influenced by sounds we can't quite hear and things we
can't quite see is still an unsettled area of psychological science. But
the word subliminal has a more general meaning as well. It can simply refer
to any influences which are not consciously recognized. This includes many
things which are in plain sight, and the manipulation of language in ways
that affect the hearer without his or her awareness. In other words, the
stimuli might be consciously recognizable, but the effects may not be. With
that in mind, here are a couple examples of subliminal techniques.

Make Yourself Seem Warmer

According to Ruud Custers, a psychology professor at Utrecht University in
The Netherlands, research shows that if someone is holding warm cup of
coffee or in a warm room while with you, that person will think of you are
a warmer (nicer) person. The converse is true of cold drinks and rooms, by
the way. So if you want to impress someone you are just getting to know,
you might consider meeting in a warm room or handing her a cup of tea. In
any case avoid cold places.

Convince With a Word

Want to convince somebody to do something? There is a simple psychological
trick that has been proven to work; just provide a reason for the request.
For example, consider the experiment done by Social psychologist Ellen
Langer (and this is an experiment you could try yourself). According to an
article in Natural News;

"...she asked to cut in line to use a copy machine. She tested three
different ways of asking, and recorded the results:

Excuse me, I have five pages. May I use the Xerox machine? 60% said OK.

Excuse me, I have five pages. May I use the Xerox machine because I'm in a
rush? 94% said OK.

Excuse me, I have five pages. May I use the Xerox machine because I have to
make some copies? 93% said OK."

Just saying "because I'm in a rush" or "because I have to make some copies"
resulted in much higher compliance with the request, suggesting that the
actual reason wasn't the important factor. The word "because" was the key
element. After all, saying "because I have to make some copies" should be
irrelevant (what else would one need a copy machine for?). We are
conditioned to consider a request more important if we hear "because" (or
perhaps any words indicating a reason).

Smiling as a Subliminal Technique?

This last example is from Chapter 1 (Subliminal Persuasion Techniques You
Can Use Today) in my e-book, "You Aren't supposed to Know," which is part
of the Secrets Package. The chapter starts...

A smile can be a form of subliminal persuasion, assuming the person who is
persuaded is not consciously aware that they were influenced by it. In
fact, it has been shown in studies that patrons of bars buy more drinks and
tip more if the bartender smiles at them. No real surprise there, but still
a valuable tool for any waiters, waitresses and bartenders who haven't yet
put this income booster to work consistently.

Using subliminal techniques on people to get them to take a particular
action or to manipulate their feelings can be unethical, but it does depend
somewhat on the intent. After all, we try to convince family and friends to
do things all the time without announcing to them that we are trying to
influence their decisions, and without specifying the techniques we use (we
just aren't aware of them as techniques most of the time). You will have to
decide for yourself when it is appropriate to use this kind of knowledge
(my general rule is that the intent has to be good and there also has to be
a good reason not to use a more conscious approach to influencing someone).

Edited by: Lawyer Asad

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