Subliminal Messaging and Popcorn!

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Subliminal Messaging has been a fascination to all for many years. According to http://www.snopes.com/business/hidden/popcorn.asp, the first experiment with subliminal messaging was done by James Vicary. He was testing the effects of subliminal messaging on movie goers. While the movie was playing he would show images promoting Coca-Cola and popcorn for about 1/1300th of a second. After doing so he reported an increase of 18.1% in Coke sales and a 57.8% increase in popcorn sales! popcorn.jpgHis results effected advertising for over 40 years! However, as it turns out. His findings were proven wrong. The scientific thinking principle of replicability aided in disproving this. When he was asked to redo his experiment and yield the same results, his data showed no significant increase in coca-cola or popcorn sales.

The fact that people still believe in subliminal messaging even though his findings were found to be false is an example of confirmation bias. People refuse to accept the evidence that proves it wrong and continue to believe in subliminal messaging. Radio and television companies started to put subliminal messages in their ads and it became so much of a problem that it lead to two congressional bills being drafted to ban the practice of it. A lot of time and effort was put into stopping subliminal messaging when it was only a problem because of confirmation bias. If people would have used the scientific thinking principle of replicability this would never have been an issue.


This photo is an example of subliminal messaging. gin.jpgThe word "sex" is written the ice cubes. Ads like this were found everywhere when subliminal messaging first appeared.

Sources: http://www.snopes.com/business/hidden/popcorn.asp
(I was not able to make the link process work)

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This page contains a single entry by laue0148 published on October 9, 2011 2:12 PM.

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