to see an assignment I completed regarding the use of sublilminal

Jenna Ransberger
BIS 302
Assignment #4
Professor Hammond
Annotated Bibliography
Block, Martin P., Bruce O Vanden Bergh. “Can You Sell Subliminal Messages to
Consumers?” Journal of Advertising 14 (1985): 59-62.
The authors, researchers at the Department of Advertising at Michigan
State University, conducted a telephone survey of 330 adults to investigate
consumer attitudes towards the use of subliminal messages for self help purposes
versus advertising purposes. The testing involved using a person’s home
computer and flashing brief positive messages on the screen to help the owner of
the computer to improve their emotional or physical well-being. The survey
asked questions such as, does the subliminal messages make you do things you
don’t want to and a series of questions about their personal background (age,
marriage, and children). The study found consumers to be cynical toward the use
of subliminal messages for the purpose of self improvement and concerned it
would make them do something they did not want to do. The group that was
favorable toward subliminal messages was less educated and had family
problems. Regardless of how subliminal messages are presented to the consumer
via self help purposes or advertisement ads the consumer is still concerned about
the messages changing their behavior.
Clause, Jasper, Johan C. Karremans, and Wolfgang Stroebe. “Beyond Vicary’s
Fantasies: The impact of Subliminal Priming and Brand Choices.” Journal of
Experimental Social Psychology 42 (2005): 792-798.
The authors, researchers at Radbound University and Utrecht University,
collected data from their own basic research testing their hypothesis that
subliminal priming of a brand name of a drink can affect people’s choice for that
brand of drink, and whether being thirsty has anything to do with the individual
preferring the brand name. The study was actually broken down into two
different studies. The first study primed individuals with subliminal messages to
drink the preferred brand and then asked them a series of questions. The second
study had a control and variable group answer questions regarding which brand
they would choose if they were really thirsty. The variable group was asked to
lick salt in order to make them thirstier. When both of the studies results were
measured the subliminal priming of a brand name of a drink did affect the
participant’s choice for and intent to drink the brand name, but only worked for
the participants who were thirsty.
Jue, Arthur L., Bahaudin Mujtaba. “Deceptive and Subliminal Advertising in
Corporate America: Value Adder of Value Destroyer?” Journal of Applied
Management and Entrepreneurship 10 (2005): 59-82.
The authors from Nova Southeastern University and University of Phoenix use
the research of other individuals to support their point that subliminal advertising
does affect consumer’s attitudes, perceptions, judgments, and behaviors. Formal
and informal research throughout the article indicates that consumers will avoid
companies or brands that use subliminal advertising. But, research indicates that
many subliminal messages influence consumer’s attitudes, behaviors, and
judgments about a product. There are many alternatives that exist for companies
to use to market their product. Companies should abide by company policies,
industry standards, and government laws when considering how to advertise their
brand. The American Marketing Association has attempted to beat unethical,
subliminal advertising by creating a code of ethics for advertisers to abide by.
The 21st century is going to continue to see subliminal advertising used by
companies as a way to target their product.
Parker, Kenneth. “On the Use of Subliminal Messages as an Adjunct in Teaching.”
American Business Law Journal 15 (1977): 143-152.
The Assistant Professor of Business of Law at Queens College, New York
conducted a six week study as an extent to back up a study once conducted by
Lloyd Silverman. Lloyd believed when the phrase, “Mommy and I Are One” are
shown at subliminal levels it stimulates the unconscious to allow oneself to
perform better on tasks than they normally would. Parker tried to replicate
Lloyds’ study but used college students meeting for the same class at different
times. There were three classes of college students tested and each class was
shown a different subliminal message than the other one. The three subliminal
messages tested were, “Mommy and I Are One”, “My Professor and I Are One”,
and “People are walking.” The students also had to spend one on one time with
the professor each week and talked about the class. The results showed that the
groups shown the Mommy and Professor subliminal messages did significantly
better on their test than the control group. When students have a good
relationship with their instructor and experience subliminal techniques it seems
they do better in class.
Rogers, Martha, and Christine A. Seiler. “The Answer is No: A National Survey of
Advertising Industry Practitioners and Their Clients about Whether They Use
Subliminal Advertising.” Journal of Advertising Research 34 (1994): 36-46.
The authors from Bowling Green State University and Hancor, Inc. sent out a
survey to advertising agencies to find out if advertising practitioners are using
subliminal messages or have ever been involved with a company that has used
subliminal techniques. The survey was sent out to 750 advertising industry and
media production representatives in the United States. The survey consisted of a
four page questionnaire, asking questions regarding subliminal advertising
experiences with former and previous employers. Subliminal advertising was
defined in the questionnaire as, “the use of words, pictures, and shapes that are
purposely inserted in advertising materials so that the viewers of the material
cannot process the imagery at the conscious level, but rather at the subconscious
level.” The results of their survey were that nearly all of the companies surveyed
did not use subliminal messages as their advertising strategy.
Rosen, Dennis L., and Sandra N. Singh. “An Investigation of Subliminal Embed
Effect on Multiple Measures of Advertising Effectiveness.” Psychology & Marketing
9 (1992): 157-173.
The authors, researchers from University of Kansas used data they collected from
their cross-sectional research to determine if their hypothesis that embed material,
either words or pictures, referring to either sex or death in print advertising has
any impact on the advertiser’s effectiveness to get through to the consumer. They
tested 150 female and male college students and exposed them to either liquor or
cologne print ads. They were then exposed to one of four test ads containing sex,
death, body embeds, or no embeds present. The subject was asked to look at
each ad then fill out a set of questions presented to them. The results of the
findings show no significant effect of embeds in advertisement ads dealing with
sex or death. The results also show that further research is needed in deciding
which embeds should go with a certain product and the effects of unnoticed items
in advertisements.
Rowe, Wayne, Tanya G. Russel, and Albert D. Smouse. “Subliminal Self-Help
Tapes and Academic Achievement: An Evaluation. Journal of Counseling &
Development 69 (1991): 359-362.
The researchers at University of Oklahoma and University of California tested
self-help audiocassettes with subliminal messages to see it the messages had
changed people’s academic achievement. The researchers tested a career
development class at a university for 10 weeks and had the students listen to selfhelp tapes aimed at improving academic achievement. One group was assigned a
tape with subliminal messages masked by ocean waves, the second group listened
to a tape of just ocean waves with no subliminal messages, and the last group
didn’t listen to tapes at all. The groups with tapes were asked to listen to the tapes
10 hours a week and keep a log of when and where they listened to the tapes. The
final outcome of this study was that subliminal messages as told by the companies
who produced the tapes would improve academic performance it actually did not
improve anyone’s academic performance. The marketing claims of changing
academic achievement by listening to the tapes were obviously falsely advertised.
Schubert, James N., and Patrick A. Stewart. “Taking the ‘Low Road’ with
Subliminal Advertisements a Study Testing the Effects of Precognitive Prime ‘Rats’
in a 2000 Presidential Advertisement.” The Harvard International Journal of
Press/Politics 11 (2006): 103-114.
The authors, researchers at Arkansas State University and Northern Illinois
University studied the effects of the 2000 presidential campaign and the impact of
the word “RATS” that appeared in a TV ad attacking presidential candidate Al
Gore’s prescription drug plan. The advertisement raised question if subliminal
messages can effect voter’s perception of a candidate, if the voter doesn’t know
that much about the candidate or his position on issues. According to the FCC, it
has little or no authority on dealing with subliminal messages. An experiment
was conducted on the day of the 2000 presidential election. Those tested in the
study were taken from a college American Government class. They were split into
four groups and the first group watched the video with the word rats appearing in
the ad. The second group watched the advertisement without the word rats
appearing in it. The third group watched the pro-Bush / anti Gore Rats ad and the
fourth group watched the pro-Gore / anti-Bush Medicare ad with no appearance of
the word rats. After each group watched their commercial they were asked to
answer a series of questions. The study showed that the subliminal messages of
the word “RATS” did play a role in people not trusting Al Gore, the Democrats,
and the Medicare plan he was supporting. The researchers believe subliminal
messages in the mass media need to be examined more in detail by scholars.
Theus, Kathryn. “Subliminal Advertising and the Psychology of Processing
Unconscious Stimuli: A Review of Research.” Psychology & Marketing 11 (1994):
The author from Rutgers University reviews the progress of research that has been
studied about the use of subliminal stimulation on individuals and the techniques
used to persuade individuals. The three areas in which the author touches on are
the psychological, physiological, and behavioral responses of subliminal
messages. A physiological factor studied by Sanford cited that people who were
deprived of food were more likely to respond to a food relevant stimulus. A study
by Champion & Turner showed a movie with a subliminal message of a bowl of
rice named “Wonder Rice” and after the experiment either the control or
experiment group could name the brand of rice. Through continuous research it
appears that the use of subliminal messages does not affect individual’s brand
choice behavior. Advertising and marketing specialist are still trying to research
the next greatest subliminal technique in order to persuade their consumer’s
attitude or preference.
Trappey, Charles. “A Meta-Analysis of Consumer Choice and Subliminal
Advertising.” Psychology & Marketing 13 (1996): 517-530.
The author from National Chiao Tung University uses a meta-analysis to test his
hypothesis that subliminal messages have an effect on consumer’s choice
behavior. The author discusses the research that past researchers have studied on
subliminal message and the outcome of their study. The author then combines all
the research that they have done on subliminal messages and does an analysis on
the results to prove his hypothesis. Five out of the nine journal reviews discussed
in this article conclude that subliminal advertising is ineffective in changing
people’s behavior. The selected studies were chosen based on their use of
subliminal messages and their strong correspondence relating them to behavior
choices. Once the author did his own testing on the nine researcher’s results he
concluded with the majority of their study that subliminal messages don’t have an
influence on consumer’s choice behavior.
Best Three Articles:
1. Taking the “Low Road” with Subliminal Advertisements a Study testing the
Effect of Precognitive Prime “Rats” in a 2000 Presidential Advertisement
2. The Answer is No: A National Survey of Advertising Industry Practitioners
and Their Clients about Whether They Use Subliminal Advertising
3. Beyond Vicary’s Fantasies: The Impact of Subliminal Priming and Brand
The reason I chose these three articles from my annotated bibliography
was they related to my topic on how subliminal messages are used. I also could
make sense out of the research they conducted. Much of the research in the
articles was tough to follow along and you had to continually read it over and
over again for it to make sense. The research and language used in the above
journal articles were easy to follow and the research they conducted could make
sense to anyone. Two of the journal articles actually conducted studies on how
subliminal advertising is used and the third article conducted a survey to find out
if advertising agencies were actually using subliminal message techniques. If I
were to write a research paper on my topic I could use all three research articles to
support my topic.
The first journal article listed above used exploratory research to find out
if advertising agency members are using subliminal messages as a way to market
their product. The article stated it’s research was, “To settle this issue once and
for all, a survey of advertising agency members, their clients and media
production professionals is conducted as to whether or not they have ever used, or
been connected with a firm that used, subliminal advertising” (36, 1). The
research in this article used basic research and a quote provided reads, “Yet the
goal is to provide every opportunity to generate positive responses from survey
participants. By doing so, the principal investigators believe the present study’s
negative findings are even more meaningful in their refutation of the wide spread
misbelieve that subliminal advertising is used” (39, 1). The also used crosssectional research because they wanted to use the simplest and least costly method
to get their responses. According to the article, “The postal survey method of data
collection was chosen for its most pertinent benefits to the type of study: It had
no geographical limitations, it was cost effective, and it was the most appropriate
method for obtaining candid responses to sensitive issues” (41, 2). Lastly, the
research was designed on quantitative methods. The research asked individuals
questions in a written questionnaire form. The research was also summarized
using a table. A quote from the article states, “Table 1 summarized the findings.
Of those responding (n=256), 167 denied any use of or knowledge of use of
subliminal advertising at either their present or former employment” (42, 2).
This article is most useful for me understanding the literature on my topic because
most people in the United States think subliminal advertising is constantly being
used by the media. People think the media are trying to brainwash us into buying
their product. The article states, “ Most people believe that advertisers engage in
the practice of embedding images, words, or sounds in print, audio, or video
advertising media, so that they are not consciously seen or heard, to help sell their
products” (37,1). This article explores if researches really use subliminal
advertising and came to the conclusion that the majority do not use subliminal
The second article listed above uses description research to find out how
subliminal messages are being used and if they have an effect on individuals. The
research was trying to discover if a certain advertisement about an election was
changing the minds of who voters should vote for. According to the article, “The
advertisement raised speculation that the use of subliminals in the 2000 election
might have unduly influenced the voters, especially those not particularly
motivated to learn about the candidates and their issue positions” (106, 3). The
article also uses applied research because they want to get to the bottom of this
issue. The article says, “The study carried out here tests the effect of precognitive
stimuli on candidate assessment and policy preference” (107, 4). The study wants
to know as soon as possible if precognitive stimuli used in the advertisement had
anything to do with voter’s choice of president. It was also a cross-sectional
study because the study was done in one day and was actually done on the day of
the election. The article explains the use of cross-sectional research by saying,
“Subjects were recruited from an Introduction to American Government class in
exchange for extra credit and took park in the experiment during the middle of
Election Day 2000” (108, 2). The study was conducted in a conference room and
the students were split into four groups to watch four different advertisements.
The researchers were collecting quantitative data and the article says, “After each
commercial was viewed and evaluated separately, five questions concerning
political attitudes and behavioral intentions were asked” (108, 1). The answers
to the questions were organized on a number scale depending how the respondent
answered. I find this article very useful for me in understanding my topic because
it actually contains a situation in which subliminal messages were used and shows
how individuals responded to the subliminal messages. The research showed
when the word “RATS” appeared in an advertising campaign for presidency it
actually had an effect on people. According to the research it proves and states,
“The RATS precognitive prime was related to diminished trust in the Democrats
to protect the Medicare system and to reduced support to Al Gore” (109, 2). This
research was a good tool on how subliminal messages are used in a real life
situation and the effects they can have on individuals which goes along perfectly
with my topic about the use of subliminal messages.
The third best research article stated above used descriptive research as the
purpose of their research. The researchers provided details of a situation in which
the individuals being tested only wanted the preferred drink they had been
subliminal primed to if they were thirsty. The researchers thought other studies
had left this aspect out of their studies by saying, “However, we believe that these
studies neglected a crucial condition for subliminal priming of a brand of drink to
affect choice behavior, namely that the presence of the motivation to drink (i.e.,
being thirsty) is essential for subliminal priming of brand of drink to be effective”
(3, 3). The researchers describe a scenario of individuals who with subliminal
priming to certain drink brands will only go with that brand when they are thirsty.
The research uses basic research as a source of new ideas and supports the theory
of how individuals interact and behave under certain conditions. The researchers
say, “The present findings demonstrate that subliminal advertising could be
feasible-an idea that has been debated for many years, but so far has lacked
empirical knowledge. Our studies suggest that exposing individuals subliminally
to the brand name of a drink increases the probability that they will choose this
drink, provided that they are thirsty” (9, 3). This study is taking the information
they already know about subliminal priming and twisting the conditions a little to
show how individuals will go for a certain drink brand if they are thirsty. The
study used cross-sectional research because it only tested the individuals once and
it was the simplest method to use for this research. The researchers observed
people only at one point of time during the study because when they asked this
question, “If you would sit on a terrace right now, how likely is it that you would
order Lipton Ice, [1= not likely at all, 7= very likely]” the researchers never came
back to this question for further research. The research was gathered by using
quantitative data methods and according to the article, “They made their choice
by pushing the q-key on the keyboard if they preferred the brand name located on
the left side of the screen, and by pushing the p-key if they preferred the brand on
the right side” (5, 3). All of the data was collected in a timely manner and by
using computers and number scales for the participants to give their responses.
The data was collected and put into a series of graphs and tables to be analyzed. I
believe this article is a useful tool for me in understanding my topic about how
subliminal messages are used because the research shows how subliminal priming
affects the choice of people’s behavior for certain brands. The study actually
takes a real product and puts it through subliminal priming tests to see if it really
works on individuals wanting the product. The study also brings into the mix if
being thirsty under subliminal priming makes the customer want to drink the
brand of choice. The article said, “Thus, when sitting on a terrace, subliminal
flashes of ‘Lipton Ice’on a television screen next to the terrace may alter one’s
choice to order Lipton Ice” (11, 1). This article proves theirs many uses to
subliminal priming and some methods work and some just don’t cut it.