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Sensory Thresholds. Absolute Thresholds - The minimum amount of energy that can be detected 50% of the time Taste: 1 gram (.0356 ounce) of table salt in 500 liters (529 quarts) of water Smell: 1 drop of perfume diffused throughout a three-room apartment

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sensory thresholds
Sensory Thresholds
  • Absolute Thresholds - The minimum amount of energy that can be detected 50% of the time
  • Taste: 1 gram (.0356 ounce) of table salt in 500 liters (529 quarts) of water
  • Smell: 1 drop of perfume diffused throughout a three-room apartment
  • Touch: the wing of a bee falling on your cheek from a height of 1cm (.39 inch)
  • Hearing: the tick of a watch from 6 meters (20 feet) in very quiet conditions
  • Vision: a candle flame seen from 50km (30 miles) on a clear, dark night
subliminal threshold
Subliminal Threshold

Subliminal Threshold: When energy of the stimulus is below one’s absolute threshold for conscious awareness.

Kurt Scholz/ Superstock

subliminal perception sensation without perception
Subliminal Perception Sensation without perception?
  • Subliminal = stimuli that sensory system responds to, but due to short duration or subtle form, don’t reach threshold of cognition

Quick Survey

  • Do you think you are influenced by subliminal messages in advertising?
  • Do you think you are influenced by everyday advertisements that you perceive consciously (e.g. laundry detergent, beverages)?
slide4
Suppose you had a choice to listen to one of two speeches that argued against a position you believe in, such as whether marijuana should be legalized. In speech A, the person presents arguments against your position; in speech B, all arguments are presented subliminally.

Which speech would you rather listen to?

slide5
80% college students preferred not to receive a subliminal message b/c they thought it might influence them in an undesirable way.
  • 69% chose speech A; 31% chose B (subliminal)
  • Why are people afraid? Should you be?
you decide
…You Decide

Could 1/30th of a second really influence impressions of Al Gore?

you decide7
…You Decide

Could 1/30th of a second really influence impressions of Al Gore?

we are not obedient to subliminal messages
We are not obedient to Subliminal Messages
  • Research shows that the effect only occurs in controlled laboratory studies
    • Competitive Participants
    • More critical
    • ‘Comfort’ Words
  • Research outside the laboratory shows no significant effect of subliminal information
  • We don’t blindly obey!
  • Placebo Effect with subliminal self help tapes
vicary s study
Vicary’s Study
  • New Jersey, 1957:
    • Over 6 weeks, 45,699 people see subliminal ads
    • “Eat Popcorn” – sales up 57.5%
    • “Drink Coke” – sales up18.1%
      • “Minds have been broken and entered”
except
Except . . . .
  • The Vicary “Eat Popcorn/Drink Coke” Study well. . . .
  • In a 1962 interview, Vicary admitted that he had made the whole thing up!
backmasking
Backmasking
  • A recording studio technique where backward messages are deliberately superimposed on the soundtrack
  • The fear . . . “Human brains are capable of receiving, scanning, deciphering, storing and later reacting to subliminal or subconscious messages”
another one bites the dust
Another One Bites the Dust
  • Forward
  • Reverse
  • "It's fun to smoke marijuana"
stairway to heaven
Stairway to Heaven
  • Forward
  • Reverse
  • ""Glory glory to my sweet Satan, there was a little child born, it makes me sad, whose power is Satan"
the most famous backmasking ever
The most famous backmasking ever?
  • Forward
  • Reverse
  • Message - "Paul is a dead man, miss him, miss him, MISS HIM" The Beatles have vehemently denied this. Still fans of every generation have listened to this message and heard the same words.
twinkle twinkle little star
Twinkle Twinkle Little Star
  • Forward
  • Reverse
  • "I wish there were no Allah."
pokemon rap
Pokemon Rap
  • Forward
  • Reverse
  • "I love satan, love satan. I love satan, love satan."
  • http://www.backmaskonline.com/pop.html
not the last of it
Not the last of it…
  • Sexual imagery in ads?
    • Wilson Bryan Key: “sex” in ice cubes, nude figures in images from butter to icing in cake mix ads.
    • Even if images aren’t consciously perceived, they put us in good mood and pay more attention to ad
slide22
Why?
  • Vokey and Read 1985
  • More dramatically, propose how and why listeners may “hear” diabolical messages in rock music. Listeners are prepared to “discover” certain messages, and they do so.
  • Perceptual set is a bias or readiness to perceive certain aspects of available sensory data and to ignore others.
extrasensory perception
Extrasensory Perception
  • Refers to extraordinary perception such as
    • Clairvoyance – awareness of an unknown object or event
    • Telepathy – knowledge of someone else’s thoughts or feelings
    • Precognition – foreknowledge of future events
  • Research has been unable to conclusively demonstrate the existence of ESP
ganzfeld procedure
Ganzfeld Procedure
  • Bem & Honorton, 1994
  • All sensory information reduced
  • “receiver” in reclining chair in sound proof chamber with ping-pong balls, red light, earphones, white noise
  • In Separate room, “sender” concentrates on visual stimuli
  • 32% hit rate better than chance
  • Has not been replicated
  • Experimentation has not yet given

scientific support

expert groups
Expert Groups
  • Eye Structure / Receptor Cells – (Diagram and Blind Spot and Peripheral Demo)
  • From Eye To Brain – (Diagram)
  • Color Vision – After Image Effect