Monday, September 18, 2006

Subliminal Messages Part 5

L. Ron Hubbard wasn't that on target with "engrams," but one thing is for sure...Pamela Anderson can excite a cell that wasn't turned on by Jennifer or John Lennon.

And that's crucial in understanding subliminal persuasion. (When I first read about this in popular form last week, I was VERY skeptical. The research bares it out though and my skepticism has been quelled.) I'll go into the research about all of this later in the summer, it's beyond "pretty incredible."

The brain acts on external and internal impulses.

And that's where visually stimulated subliminal persuasion begins. Without someone's awareness, you can cause them to want to drink, for example, via subliminal perception. Carefully look at this example.

Out-of-lab scenarios should start popping into your mind shortly.
What did the researchers learn? Continue the article to find out.

What Does New Research Show?

***1*** People alter their consumption behavior based on subliminal exposure to faces.

In studies led by Piotr Winkielman, associate professor of psychology at the University of California, San Diego, people altered their consumption behaviors after exposure to subliminal facial expressions.

***2*** Subliminal perception of smiles and frowns have profound effects on behavior.

Hidden smiles persuaded thirsty subjects to pour more and drink more of an unidentified beverage than did neutral expressions. Frowns had the opposite effect.

***3*** Subliminal perception of happy faces cause people to be willing to spend more money...a lot more money.

Study participants who were unconsciously "primed" with happy faces also reported being willing to pay up to triple the price for the mystery drink. And they reported wanting another half cup instead of just a sip or two more.

***4*** The entire process is covert at the emotional level. People have no idea their feelings have CHANGED.

Remarkably, the test subjects, whose actions had been influenced by these emotional cues, were not aware of their feelings having changed.

"This is the first demonstration that you can influence consequential, real-world behavior without affecting conscious feeling. We can change what you do, without changing how you feel," Winkielman said.

Winkielman, coeditor of the forthcoming book Emotion and Consciousness, believes the findings, presented at the American Psychological Society annual convention in Los Angeles, May 26-29, support the existence of unconscious or "unfelt" emotion.

"Emotional states operating outside conscious awareness can drive behavior. The subjective experience of a feeling is not always necessary to the process," said Winkielman.