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Peripheral Perception via Subliminal Stimuli

Desk Reference
Revised 10/2000

Written, compiled and edited by E. Taylor, R. Sadana and R. Bey
Progressive Awareness Research
ISBN: 1-55978-030-4

Copyright 1990
Progressive Awareness Research
P.O. Box 13249
Spokane, WA 99213

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements i

Forward ii

Introduction iii

The Controversy (iv)

Understanding Subliminal (vi)

Subconscious Mind Power (viii)

History (xi)

Theoretical Models of Subliminal Perception (xiv)

The Legal Status of Subliminal Communication in America (xvi)

Remarks for the Revised Edition (Winter 2000)

Subliminal Literature:


To those whose work fill these pages, the authors extend their deepest gratitude for both the research and the courage necessary to venture off the beaten path and into the fringes, as all pioneers must do.

Special acknowledgement is also due the following individuals for their efforts in dialogue, review, ideas, support and encouragement:

Professor Wm. Guillory
Dr. Don Morgan
Dr. Jim Seidel
Dr. Charles McCusker
Catherine Sanders
Mr. Steve Fisher
Mr. Lee Liston and the Ut. State Prison Staff
and lastly, but certainly not in order of importance, we wish to acknowledge you the reader, who this reference was assembled for.

Thank you !


The material in this reference has been organized alphabetically and chronologically. The field of subliminal science is so rapidly expanding that we, as compilers and editors, were literally reviewing, writing and editing the contents of this work right up to the day before it left for press.

The information was verified by use of the Dialog Information Service.

Our desire was, and is, to create a reference work. We were mixed about its form only because of our feelings that it should be expandable. Finally the decision to bind blank pages for your notes opposite each print page was settled upon. This way comments and new studies could be made and updated while not disturbing either the organization or the quality of the work.

It is our sincerest hope that you find this format both convenient and durable.

Thank you,

The Editors


On numerous occasions Progressive Awareness Research has been asked to provide some sort of review of the literature regarding perception without awareness or what popularly is known as subliminal communication. Since this is a field of our expertise we have repeatedly been called upon to explain the process in terms that anyone could understand.

What follows is a simple explanation developed by our president, Eldon Taylor and a review of the literature with brief comments relevant to the various findings produced in the different studies.

Our own research is ongoing with studies underway at the time of this writing at, or in conjunction with, Colorado State University, Weber State College and the University of Wisconsin at Oshkosh. Planned studies for the future include incorporating "negative" messages in an audio subliminal tape to determine if alleged messages in heavy metal recordings do indeed adversely effect the listener.

It is the opinion of Progressive Awareness Research that there is no reasonable doubt remaining regarding the presence of perception without awareness. What remains to be thoroughly researched is the behavioral effects for both short- and long-term periods. In Eldon Taylor's words, "What is really now at question is the power of language. If language indeed creates inappropriate responses that we term maladaptive then it stands to reason that language has the possibility to reverse this process. In other words, if one has been raised to believe that they are no good, due largely in part to words that were so stated, then is it possible to alter this belief by addressing the subconscious with positive words? I believe so."

We at Progressive Awareness Research hope that what follows provides insights to those who desire to contribute to the quality of the human experience. We encourage all to share their findings in an effort to sophisticate each other's understanding of the human condition. We are proud and happy to be able to share our findings as well as a review of the work of many dedicated researchers.

Although this literature review has been checked and re-checked for errors, the nature of the work is such that some errors may still remain. If you come across any errors or omissions, we would be very grateful if you would inform us.

The Controversy

Research in the fields of hypnosis and subliminal stimuli has demonstrated the effectiveness of words delivered while in trance to produce a great number of effects, both physiological and psychological. Still, a number of research findings further suggest that a great controversy regarding the results of certain audio subliminal tape studies divided the academic field of psychologists on the general efficacy of any subliminally presented message when delivered in an audio modality. A thorough review of this controversy yielded great differences in technical methods used to produce audio tapes.

Unlike visual subliminal technology, which is normally either accomplished via slide insertion, Tachistoscope or candle power ratios, audio subliminal programs are produced by commercial companies who use as many different methods to create a tape as there are companies. Researchers in the field seem to have all to often overlooked the basics of chemistry when attempting to replicate others findings and\or to produce new results from expanded hypotheses. Often, therefore, the psychological researcher has forgotten that science requires exacting methods including the basics of technical creation, like the temperature a gas is heated to, in order to verify another's findings. One such study was conducted (this year) by a doctoral student in the Philosophy of Psychology at the California School of Professional Psychology. She employed a tape produced by a commercial company to measure the effect of subliminal auditory stimuli on academic learning and motor skills performance among police cadets. Her findings indicate that "neither music nor music with subliminal messages improved" either learning or motor skills. (Lenz, 1989).

Careful examination of her documentation however indicates that the tape producer created the audio subliminal at 40 to 50 decibels beneath the music. (Ibid). When the psychologist is ignorant of electronics this is perhaps an understandable error since most players utilized to play subliminal messages have a dynamic range of less than 50 db. Nevertheless, a clear theoretical limit of perception thresholds does exist in the literature and as such should have been reviewed. Despite these comments many research projects have been conducted without an eye to the technical and theoretical aspects of magnetic media and audiology. Research designed without an awareness of the technical aspects offer protocol that produces statistics, all of which says absolutely nothing about subliminal stimuli; rather they speak to technical inadequacies.

A yet unannounced 3 part study by Anthony Greenwald et al, employed tapes from four commercial companies. The results indicate that no statistical difference exists between the placebo groups and the test groups. However, when asked, Greenwald admits that he knows nothing of the technical design of these tapes and cannot release the names of the manufacturers. In essence, therefore, the results speak only of the four companies, their methods, etc., and not audio subliminal stimuli.

In my various books I often discuss technical inadequacies that are passed off as "silent voices" or audio subliminal stimuli. The bottom line is simple: NO voice is not subliminal. You cannot create an audio subliminal stimuli by lowering the speech into or beneath the sound floor of magnetic media.

Thank You,
Eldon Taylor

Understanding Subliminal - >

Acknowledgements | Forward | Introduction | The Controversy
Understanding Subliminal | Subconscious Mind Power | History
Theoretical Models of Subliminal Perception | The Legal Status of Subliminal
Communication in America
| Remarks for the Revised Edition

Subliminal Literature Bibliography and Review


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