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): 271-290. 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 Choice 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 advertising. 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.