Subliminal messaging can be defined as conveying information in such a way that the conscious mind is unaware of the message but the subconscious mind is able to register the information. The information is passed passively making the conscious mind unaware of what is happening. Subliminal messaging can cause you to execute what is being relayed to your subconscious mind. The information could be presented as images, sound or texts. The idea that the subconscious mind can be tapped into and coerced to act is both interesting and scary. Subliminal messages are said to make people do unplanned or out of the ordinary things.
Let us look at one of the first experiments done using subliminal messaging. This was way back in 1957. In this year, at the New Jersey movie theatre, an advert of eat popcorn and drink coke was flashed during the movie repeatedly for 1/3 of a second. The people who went to the movie got exposed to the advert for a period of 6 weeks. A man by the name James Vicary, claimed that it worked and that both the coke and popcorn sales increased. Vicary, however, had no evidence to back the results of this experiment. This has raised a number of questions about the effectiveness of subliminal messages with others claiming that they do not work. Subliminal form of advertising was banned by FCC as it was regarded as a form of mind control or brainwash of the pubic and raised demonstrations from the residents of the countries.
It is very difficult to tell exactly how long it takes for subliminal messages to work. It is dependent on a number of factors. These factors include:
- The effectiveness of the message and the media it is being conveyed through. Subliminal messages can be conveyed through smell, sight, touch or sound. Some of the media used are more effective than others.
- How often a person listens to, smells or sees the message. An audio subliminal message, for example, depends on how frequent you listen to it. If you listen to it for 30 minutes a week, it is unlikely to yield quick results.
- A person's morals and beliefs. Morals and beliefs regarding certain issues may stop the subconscious mind from acting on the message being conveyed.
- Resistance to change. Some people are just resistant to change and this affects the subconscious mind as well. In addition, some people are not as receptive to the messages as others are.
In light on the above factors, only an estimate can be given in terms of how long it takes for subliminal messages to work. They may take a few days for some people while for others it could take several months because the messages are highly dependent on the individual who uses them. A person who is frequently exposed to the messages will take on average 2-5 weeks to recognize and act on them. During this time, only minor changes are seen. Major changes begin after 90 days while for others it may take 6 months. People should bear in mind, that according to a series of experiments done on the human mind, it takes on average 30 days to permanently change the subconscious mind.