Nick Jenkins posted an update 2 weeks ago
The net conclusion: Subliminal messaging works.”Pictures With High Arousal Value” That is how scientists described sex-explicit images used by them in an earlier study on visual subliminal cues, conducted on both the male and female Homo sapiens species (duh, that’s us).The research in question was conducted by Professor Sheng He and his colleagues from the Department of Psychology, University of Minnesota, along with Patricia Costello of the Gustavus Adolphus College, Minnesota and Miner Huang of Sun-Yat Sen University, Guangzhou. In the above instance, the erotic picture and its scrambled counterpart became invisible, and the participants only saw the noise.After 0.8 seconds of seeing this image, something called a “Gabor Patch” was randomly overlapped on the erotic picture or the control image before the same eye that saw them. This patch is an abstract shape that throws the viewer off balance, and prevents them from linking one set of images with the following set. The viewer was asked to report whether they saw the Gabor Patch hiding the erotic picture, or whether they saw it hiding the control picture. Then the sets of images were swapped – the dominant eye got to see the erotic picture + control picture set, while the non-dominant eye saw noise. Again the Gabor Patch was shown; and this process continued. Each time the images were shown for only 0.8 seconds, not enough for the Why Are There Sexual Images In Temples? conscious mind to capture the image, and thus qualified to be called “invisible”. The real crux of the experiment was to test the participants’ ability to accurately judge whether the Gabor Patch overlapped the erotic picture, or the control picture.Results We like sex! Or rather, we gravitate towards our sexual preferences. This was the conclusion reached at the end of the experiment. When the Gabor patch hid an erotic picture that a participant liked (was sexually oriented towards), the participant pinpointed this fact with high degree of accuracy. Very pertinently, erotica that was not in tune with their sex preference was rejected outright.For the researchers, the main focus of attention was the impact of gender and sexual orientation over the reaction of an individual’s emotional system towards the erotica they were subliminally seeing (invisible pictures). To us lay folks – still unsure about the power of subliminality; the main focus is that the human mind can subliminally see things that they naturally gravitate to. Despite being invisible (they saw erotica of their liking for _only_ 0.8 seconds), they could see it!There is yet another interesting observation that the paper makes – totally missed out by popular media. The participants were not as attuned towards an erotic image of their liking when it was presented to the dominant eye, as it was when the image was presented to the non-dominant eye! It was as if the conscious mind tried to hide its true feelings about the sex images that it was seeing. (“What will the good Doctors think if I tell them what I saw?”) However, the subconscious exposed its true feelings gaily and with abandon! This could also imply that the neural pathways that handle subliminal messages get privileged processing, over the pathways that handle conscious stimuli! The paper conjectures that the reason behind this could be to ensure survival and facilitate reproductive success of the organism (we are talking s-e-x here).How distracted can the media get? There is another gem of information available in the paper.