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Using or abusing the subliminal?
Using or abusing the subliminal?

Author(s): Mihaela Boza, Andrei-Corneliu Holman
Subject(s): Psychology
Published by: EDITURA POLIROM S.A.
Keywords: subliminal stimulation; behavior control; manipulation; disease representation; processing errors; neuropsychological disorders

Summary/Abstract: The article aims to present in a synthetic manner the current perspectives over a topic which, during last decades, has been a theme eliciting hot debates and gradually receiving an almost “mythical” aura among people outside scientific psychology, namely the consequences of the exposure to subliminal messages (stimuli outside individual’s conscious awareness). The foundation of general interest in this topic has usually been the possible manipulations of people’s behavior and inner states through subliminal techniques, and, consequently, the fears concerning these endeavors. We will briefly present results of nowadays studies in psychology which aimed at verifying and exploring the mental mechanisms of subliminal activation. In the first part, we will present proofs of the manipulative potential of subliminal messages, based on the possibilities of influencing and even of human behavior by elements outside consciousness from the immediate environment. As we will show, such subliminally induced actions are not limited to automatic imitation, but they can be oriented towards complex social purposes. In the second part we will also illustrate ways of putting the subliminal mechanisms to good use, especially towards stimulating behaviors aiming at maintaining or regaining health. Also, we will present the manners in which the investigation of cognitive dynamics unfolding in the subliminal processing can help us understand the mechanisms involved in various neuropsychic diseases, such as schizophrenia, borderline personality disorder or anorexia nervosa

  • Issue Year: 2010
  • Issue No: 26
  • Page Range: 87-97
  • Page Count: 10
  • Language: English