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Below the threshold of sensory perception or outside the range of conscious awareness.
In 1898, E.W. Scripture published “The New Psychology” which is generally accepted as first discussing the basic principles of subliminal messages. In the late 50s, a market researcher claimed that inserting a quickly flashing message into a movie had influenced patrons to purchase more food and drinks.
The book, “Subliminal Seduction”, released in the 1970s, suggested that the photographs in print ads were manipulated in order to contain hidden messages. Imbedding certain sexy images and even the word “sex” into ice cubes, seemed to be the rage.
While there isn’t much empirical support for the effectiveness of subliminal messaging, consumers spend millions each year on subliminal self-help products that claim to communicate with the unconscious mind. These include music that is said to contain messages that will assist the listener with losing weight, quitting smoking or other powerful accomplishments.
Philosophical interest in the phenomena that has come to be called “psychology” goes back to ancient civilization, however, it wasn’t until the 1500s that humanists began to embark on the internal journey toward the mind. Verging on the paranormal, spiritual and highly experimental, informal studies continued and hypothesis were formed. It was the mid 1800s before the first accepted textbook of psychology was published.
Psychology remains a contentious study. There are still many who see it as a myriad of concepts with simple, anecdotal evidence, providing little or no basis for real scientific proof. Somewhere in the 60s, the body of knowledge known as psychology found a niche and was included as a behavioural science, along with sociology and anthropology-although, it has been seen as health science, as well.
California in the 70s was a time of social upheaval. A linguistics professor at University of California at Santa Cruz teamed up with a psychology student and developed the “meta-model”- a communication model of human "thinking" and "processing" which became the basis of Neuro-linguistic programming (NLP).
NLP aims to increase behavioral choice by the manipulation of personal state, belief and internal representation. The meta-model intends to help someone develop new choice in thinking and behavior. By listening to and carefully responding to the distortions (generalizations and deletions) in sentences, the listener seeks to respond to the form of the sentence rather than the content itself.
NLP became a strategy for social influence, proposing a number of techniques such as matching and pacing nonverbal behaviour like posture, tone of voice and gestures and matching speech and body rythms. Over the past 25 years, hundreds of techniques using the NLP technology have been combined in a step-by-step processes to produce outstanding results. There are patterns for effecting lasting change with phobias and trauma, for changing long-term habits and for changing traumatic reactions into more comfortable acceptance.
One particular model, known as the “Milton model” has been identified by the NLP originators as being “artfully vague”. In this model, the communicator makes statements using patterns that are intentionally non-specific and metaphoric- in this way, they allow the listener to fill in the gaps and make their own meaning from what is being said. In their book “Introducing NLP”, Joseph O'Connor, John Seymour described it as "a way of using language to induce and maintain trance in order to contact the hidden resources of our personality".
That’s kind of creepy… and it gets kind of creepier:
Recently, while watching a Clinton/Obama debate, I was really watching Obama. He’s been touted as an orator. In fact, I have to include what Mark Adams posted at http://www.rubyan.com/politics/2008/01/obama-what-a-speech.html
Mark said: “The man is an orator without peer. He pulled off that cadence reserved for the pulpit better than anyone I've seen.”
And Annie Rhiannon at
http://annierhiannon.blogspot.com/2008/02/barack-obama-is-wonderful-orator.html said “Barack Obama is a wonderful orator. Hmm. I'd never heard the word 'orator' used in conversation before, and now everybody's saying it. See? He really can change the world.”
I don’t know. I watched that one debate (I mean, really, really watched) and I thought he had a nice voice, a clean, clear presence but said a lot of nothing. Bafflegab. & it kind of bugged me that he closed every segement of speech with something akin to “…when I am President of the United States of America”. NLP or has he seen “The Secret”?
Seems to me that the “Milton model” has three principal aspects: 1/ build and maintain rapport 2/ overload and distract the conscious mind of the listner 3/ allow for interpretation of your words to occur at an unconscious level in the listner.
60s Canadian professor and media guru, Marshall McLuhan has confused generations with his "The Medium is the Message"...
& as Shakespeare said (in Romeo and Juliet) "What's in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet."
what does it all mean?
There has to be something subliminal going on.
Great post! Very interesting and I love your opinions regarding subliminals. Try out http://www.chargedaudio.com . They have plentiful of articles on subliminals & you might be interested in them!
Wow, Jody, you must have been housebound last week…. your verbosity went right through the moon…phew!!! I did check the Obama blogs (and speeches) and I believe the man has grasped the emotional power of JFK and Bill Clinton in his “Change!” attitude. I believe Hillary figured it ws just a cakewalk for her to move directly to the White House and she has been blind-sided by Obama… her message just does not “grab” and in elections with “just plain folks” you have to have a message they can grasp with Hope, and Obama is delivering that message. I believe that on Tuesday the 4th Obama will sweep again and Clinton should walk away while she still has a shirt on her back. Bow out with grace, as they say… unfortunately, I am also afraid she will hang on to the bitter end and be dragged kicking and screaming from the platform. Of such mettle is the Clinton clan….