New tests show that subliminal messages really do have an impact in what decisions you make, leading advertising executives across the world to celebrate, and the rest of us to get more paranoid than usual.
New Scientist reports that a new Northwestern University study has demonstrated that the decision-making areas of the brain can actually be affected by images that we don't even consciously remember seeing:
Joel Voss of Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, and colleagues showed volunteers 12 kaleidoscope images for 2 seconds each while they also performed an unrelated number task to distract them from consciously committing the images to memory. A minute later, volunteers were asked to look at pairs of similar-looking images and choose the one they had seen before. They were also asked whether they were sure, had "a feeling" they were right, or were just guessing. Those who took a shot in the dark were as successful as the rest. "They were 70 to 80 per cent accurate; it would be only 50 per cent if it was chance," says Voss.
Suddenly, it's time to worry if those images in Fringe that appear before the commercial breaks are doing something to our brains.
Subliminal messages really do affect your decisions [New Scientist]