Subliminal Messages and Their Effects on Human Life Essay
By the significant advancement of technology, the vision and the way of thinking of humankind has been changed uncharacteristically. The word “uncharacteristically” can be counted as a stimulating word to explain the changes clearly due to the seriousness of the circumstance. Because while humans have developed owing to technology, they have started to forget their properties which acquired a humaneness qualification to them and as an obvious consequence of that they have started to be against their nature. One of the best instances of that is “Subliminal Messaging”.
The concept is formed by the words “Sub” which means “Below” and “Limen” which means “Threshold”. In other words, it can be named as the messages which are wanted to inject to people’s mind while they are unaware of them. The concept of subliminal messaging has been publicly known since 1957 owing to the book “The Hidden Persuaders” written by Vance Packard. Actually Packard didn’t assert a new method. Because the subliminal messaging has been used for many years as it dated back to 5th century BC (forecasted starting time) by its usage in rhetoric methods.
What makes this interesting is its effectiveness, usage areas and unethical, more so the abject side of it. It has a huge potential for abusing people’s feelings, minds and instincts however, some of this potential has already been used. The wondering questions about this subject are “Why the subliminal messages are used? What are the purposes of them? ”, “What are the usage areas of subliminal messaging? ”, “What is subliminal advertising and how it works? ” and mainly “Can subliminal messaging be ethically justified considering its effects on human life? In this essay, the subliminal messaging will be analyzed in the consideration of these questions. When considering its effectiveness, subliminal messaging cannot be acceptable, because it is very open to abuse as it has already been abused in its widespread usage areas, so that it cannot be ethically justified. It is possible that a thought can be planted into somebody’s mind by the subliminal techniques. Generally a person evaluates his mind as a safe zone because of the reason that the accessibility of his mind is under control of him.
However, one of the most efficient ways to influence people is persuade them to something while they are unaware of it. But paving the way in order to influence people while they are unaware of it, may take some time. During this process, the incidents occur around the mind activities. The mind activities can be analyzed in terms of the levels of consciousness. The levels of consciousness can be classified as 3 groups which are conscious, subconscious and unconscious.
The conscious is simply awareness while the unconscious is the socially unacceptable wishes and desires which occur during childhood, as for subconscious; it refers to the mental activities which occur at the circumference of the mindfulness (Klass 148). Not surprisingly, the subliminal techniques center round influencing subconscious and correspondingly unconscious. Conscious has more control over subconscious than unconscious and this can be counted as one of the basic differences between subconscious and unconscious. (Klass 148).
This means subconscious is more accessible than unconscious in order to recall the information and to use it by the conscious. So, in the thought instillation process, the virtuosity point is reaching out to the subconscious. The resultant circumstance can is that people accept the injected thoughts as their inner thoughts. Briefly, an idea can be instilled to somebody’s mind as well as it can be shaped in time by using the subliminal techniques. Because subliminal is the easiest way to instill an idea, comparing with the techniques which aim to reach the conscious and the unconscious.
Think about a seed; firstly it is planted to the ground, then it will start to take its roots by time and finally it will put forth. Here, subliminal messaging phenomenon pops-out at this point. These processes are all the same for the notion of thought qualitatively. If these processes are brought under control by someone, this condition will be wide open to abuse. A second bone to pick is the misuse of the subliminal messaging in advertising and the colonial angel of subliminal advertising.
There is no doubt that the advertising sector benefits from many techniques which belong to different fields. These fields generally concentrate on paying people’s attention and persuading them on a specific thing. With the developing technology new methods have occurred in time and it has recognized that subliminal techniques have became an important way to persuade people. People cannot feel any inquietude while they unwittingly do what is planted in their minds.
Not surprisingly if these methods worked without any trouble, this situation would be an absolutely magnificent technique for the aims of advertising sector. One of the vital instances of this circumstance is given by J. E. Gratz in his article, “In New Jersey, a market researcher named James Vicary used a tachistascope to flash ‘Hungry, Eat Popcorn’ between the frames of a film in a Ft. Lee, New Jersey movie house. ”(182)The result of the experiment is significantly interesting that the popcorn sales increase dramatically with the 57. 8 percent during the experiment.
In the book buy. ology, Lindstrom indicated that Today, some stores play tapes of jazz or Latino music that conceal recorded messages designed to prod shoppers into spending more or to discourage shoplifting. Among the messages: ‘Don’t worry about the money’, ‘Imagine owning it’ and ‘ Don’t take it, you’ll get caught. ’ According to one vendor, in stores that broadcast these tapes overall sales are up 15 percent, while store thefts have fallen by 58 percent (72) As it can be seen from the instances, the aims of subliminal messengers result in success.
They are selling the products while consumers are unconscious. Consumers have just thought that they want to have the product but they have no idea about how their inner desires are directed by the subliminal messengers. Lindstrom also gives the subliminal advertising example of McDonald’s which is the logo of McDonald’s was flashing for thirtieth of a second during the program Iron Chef America on the Food Channel (71) Obviously the advertising sector takes advantage from subliminal messages influentially put aside the ethical side of these actions.
Although the American television networks and the National Association of Broadcasters banned subliminal ads in June of 1958, today there is no actual federal law against the use of subliminal messages in advertisements. There are some regulatory policies, however, that prevent its use on television and radio. It seems that, in certain, subliminal advertising cannot be ethically justified due to the manipulations hidden in the advertisements while we are unaware of them. Due to the importance of the oney is at very high levels in the advertising sector, the ethical side has lost its worth on the firms’ eyes. The results of this circumstance can be easily seen in the daily life especially the misuse of the humane instincts. As the humane instincts are targeted for abusing, these seductions mostly gather round sexual associations. Owing to hidden messages and images, a trivial product can be transform into a gripping thing. Although the hidden messages and images are not percept consciously, the product can trigger the personal impulses and can arouse sympathy for a product in consumer’s mind.
Such tendencies completely occur in the subconscious. Key indicates that, “This very day, every time you looked at a TV commercial, or an ad In print, you very probably were being sexually assaulted by devices your conscious mind cannot detect. ”(1) For instance the ad of Bacardi can be analyzed. In that ad there is rum in a glass which has also three ice cubes and one lemon husk. This picture may not make sense consciously however, there are baffling figures hidden into the glass.
Some examples from this ad are the conventional SEX subliminal mosaic covering the glass, a cat face, a fish and a rabbit located above the liquid in the ice cubes, a bath figure which symbolizes the black magic, darkness and madness, a golden skull which is hidden in the ice cube in the center bottom of the glass. Again; unfortunately, the main aim is arousing the desires. Key makes some important comments in his book, “Gold, in Western culture, traditionally symbolizes great happiness and prosperity; the skull symbolizes death, mortality, and transitoriness.
The thematic implication, quite possibly, Bacardi will serve to protect the drinker from a fear of death. ”(107) Abusing potential of subliminal messages is used very frequently and this circumstance has led to the construction of a dark world which remains between the shadows of the personal ambitions, benefits and immorality. Some scientists and authors argue that the effectiveness of subliminal messages is at very low levels however; these claims lose their importance when the effectiveness of these messages is analyzed in detail. Claims are centered at the point which is related to scientific validity. Subliminal advertising is an idea whose scientific status appears to be on a par with wearing copper bracelets to cure arthritis. ” is said by Moore at the conclusion part of his article about subliminal messages while Klass advocates that the fears about the ability of subliminal messages to affect are extremely overrated(150).
After a series of experiments, the scientists recognized that there isn’t any evidence for the effectiveness of subliminal stimulation. But there is an incompatibility at this point. Because the effectiveness which can be understood from the examples conflict ith the scientific validity of subliminal messaging. Actually in this circumstance, it is hard to understand the content of the experiments. To analyze some instances from daily life and some experiments (which explains that the effectiveness of subliminal messages) can be beneficial to peruse this conflict. Take the case against the band Judas Priest. In 1990, according to charging of the family of two teenagers who are eighteen-year-old, committed suicide because of the song of a band. The song contains “Let’s be dead” and “Do it” messages subliminally.
The instances above which includes “Hungry, Eat Popcorn” message and encourager messages in jazz and Latino songs in music markets can be counted as the major evidences of the effectiveness of subliminal messages. Secondly, in accordance with the results of the research which is conducted in Harvard University. Researchers tested the influence of the subliminal suggestions and carried out that almost 10% of forty-seven people from sixty to eighty-five years old, made progress about their gait and this experiment indicates that there is positive evidence that subliminal messages could influence people’s behavior.
Moreover, consideration about the usage areas of these messages can explain the natural fears about their ability. It can be encountered the subliminal messages in music, cartoons, films and politics. Generally the contents about sex and satanist thoughts as these contents are enough to depolarize the ethical norms, values and social structure especially in the societies who take their power from the culture.
To exemplify these claims, Led Zeppelin-Stairway To Heaven(satanist) and Eagles-Hotel California(satanist) can be given for music, The Lion King (Sexual), The Little Mermaid (Sexual), Beauty and The Beast (Sexual & Sanatistic), Jessica Rabbit (Sexual), The Rescuers (Sexual), Pocahontas(Sexual), The Hunchbak of Notre Dame(Sexual), Aladdin(Sexual), Donald Duck (Racist), Tangled (Sexual) and Narnia (Satanist – Paganist) can be give for cartoons which is watched and loved by our children,Simpsons (Illimunati), The Family Guy (Illimunati),Lord of The Rings (Coca Cola),Fight Club (Sexual), Gladiator ( Flashes “Kennedy” when Maximus is taken to bi killed) and National Treasure (All about hidden messages) can be given for films and series.
These examples are revealed in songs, films and cartoons as they can easily be found at the web and the books which are related to subliminal messages. The worst thing is the usage of sexual and atanist contents in cartoons, the new generation-including me- have raised with those cartoons and have watched them with innocent feelings and thoughts. When considering the positive effectiveness of these messages, can they be ethically justified in your opinion? Finally, subliminal threats have circled all around of us, as we are purely unaware of these messages. With each passing day the immorality has been more dominated on our lives and the ethical norms and values have rotted in the dominance of immorality. When we consider about “Can subliminal messaging be ethically justified considering its effects on human life? ”, we can benefit from the words of Gratz.
He summarizes the subject very well, “There is, however, one area of ethical behavior that must be addressed. That is the over-riding issue of the ultimate invasion of a person’s privacy – his mind”(183) Notwithstanding the importance of subliminal messages have been emphasized in this essay, unfortunately we can easily see the reality that the aims are wanted to carry out by subliminal messages, have started to actualized openly and publicly nowadays in mass media and popular culture. These actions should be prevented in order to preserve the ethical values and identities whether the messages given by subliminal techniques or the messages given publicly.
-Lindstrom, Martin. Buy.Ology: Truth and Lies about Why We Buy. New York: Doubleday, 2008. Print. -Key, Wilson Bryan. Subliminal Seduction: Ad Media’s Manipulation of a Not so Innocent America. New York, NY: New American Library, 1981. Print. -Moore, Timothy E. “Subliminal Perception: Facts and Fallacies.” Feature 3rd ser. 16. (1992).CSI. Web. 28 Nov. 2011. ;http://www.csicop.org/SI/show/subliminal_perception_facts_and_fallacies/;. – Gratz, J. E. “The Ethics of Subliminal Communication.” Journal of Business Ethics 3.3 (1984): 181-84. -Klass, Bertrand. “The Ghost of Subliminal Advertising.” The Journal of Marketing (1958): 146-50. Business Source Complete. Web. 28 Nov. 2011.