Law School Discussion

subliminal studying?

Re: subliminal studying?
« Reply #20 on: January 26, 2006, 11:21:54 PM »
oops, sorry, wrong thread

Re: subliminal studying?
« Reply #21 on: February 14, 2006, 02:09:04 PM »
Are you looney.

You have to memorize the law and subliminal mind control only creates desires and states or mind. It does nothing else.


Re: subliminal studying?
« Reply #22 on: February 17, 2006, 09:07:34 AM »
Those who hope this will work are weenies who won't accept the fact that even Viagra probably won't help them.

Re: subliminal studying?
« Reply #23 on: September 28, 2006, 08:02:47 PM »

[...] but it's almost unbelievable that CIA would pay so much attention to this crazy stuff.


Are you sure?


Re: subliminal studying?
« Reply #24 on: March 03, 2007, 10:13:34 PM »

The CIA's subliminal experiments on unwitting Americans, alarming as they may seem, were hardly an extreme example of the abuses that the agency's scientists committed. By 1958, the CIA had already spent at least five years testing ways to breach the mind's defenses. CIA Director Allen Dulles had in 1953 launched MKULTRA, a super-secret set of experiments on the science and techniques of mind and behavior control. The program examined everything from sensory deprivation to hypnosis to drugs like LSD. Amidst this adventurous era that was the dawn of the "Cold War on the mind," as author John Marks calls it, the declassified Studies in Intelligence report on subliminals seems tame and cautious. Richard Gafford, the author of the report, brought a skeptical approach to the subject, and he raised many hard questions for those who take for granted the power of subliminals.

The report directly criticizes Vicary's claims of subliminal success. "It is evident that there are several mighty leaps in logic in the advertising man's argument, and a great many places where his scheme can go astray," Gafford wrote. "He has taken several psychological phenomena which have been demonstrated to a limited degree in controlled laboratory experiments and strung them together into an appealing argument for a 'technique.'" Gafford did not reject the feasibility of subliminal communication outright. The CIA was rather open-minded when it came to unconventional psychology, after all. "Interest in the operational potential of subliminal perception has precedent in serious consideration of the techniques of hypnosis, extrasensory perception, and various forms of conditioning," he noted. "By each of these techniques, it has been demonstrated, certain individuals can at certain times and under certain circumstances be influenced to act abnormally without awareness of the influence or at least without antagonism."

Ultimately these methods -- "although they occasionally produced dramatic results" -- proved unreliable, the report says. The subliminal tactic was likewise fraught with difficulties. It was too hard to identify and test indicators of the effects of secret stimuli, and probably impossible to standardize a technique that would succeed with most people. The Studies in Intelligence report concluded with a dim view of the effectiveness of the projection technique that was still spooking the nation: "there are so many elusive variables and so many sources of irregularity in the device of directing subliminal messages to a target individual that its operational feasibility is exceedingly limited."

Did the story of the CIA and subliminals end with Richard Gafford's skeptical assessment? Absolutely not, according to other declassified evidence. Gafford may or may not have been aware of the MKULTRA project, knowledge of which was off limits for all but a handful of CIA officials. His report, therefore, is best viewed as one piece of multi-dimensional puzzle; it represents one CIA officer's take on subliminals, but tells us little about how far the agency's mind control investigators may have gone with the technique. One CIA memo written shortly after Gafford's report appeared in Studies in Intelligence shows that the agency wasn't done with subliminals. On April 18, 1958, Dr. Sidney Gottlieb, the scientist who administered the various MKULTRA projects, summarized Subproject No. 83, which financed "technical surveys" of "controversial and misunderstood areas" such as ESP, hypnosis, truth drugs, and yes, "subliminal perception."

Whatever conclusions the CIA drew from the MKULTRA subliminal survey are not publicly known. Would the CIA have shied away from using subliminals on operational targets? The legacy of the MKULTRA experiments strongly suggests not. Time and time again, techniques developed under the auspices of the program were applied in Cold War covert operations. The presently available documentation does not say when (or if) the CIA quit investigating and/or using subliminals. However, Congressional investigations revealed that MKULTRA scientists tested several severe techniques on unwitting citizens that made subliminal manipulation seem like a walk in the park. So when it comes to the CIA and subliminals, we can be sure of one thing: the agency's mind molders would not have rejected subliminal persuasion operations on ethical grounds.

A subliminal message is a signal or message embedded in another object, designed to pass below the normal limits of perception. These messages are indiscernible to the conscious mind, but are alleged to be perceptible to the subconscious or deeper mind: for example, an image transmitted so briefly that it is only perceived subconsciously, but not otherwise noticed. Subliminal techniques have occasionally been used in advertising and propaganda; the purpose, effectiveness and frequency of such techniques is debated.

In 1900, Knight Dunlap, an American professor of psychology, flashed an "imperceptible shadow" to subjects while showing them a Mueller-Lyer illusion containing two lines with pointed arrows at their ends which create an illusion of different lengths. Dunlap claimed that the shadow influenced his subjects subliminally in their judgment of the lengths of the lines. Although these results were not verified, American psychologist Harry Levi Hollingworth reported in an advertising textbook that such subliminal messages could be used by advertisers.


Both set of arrows are exactly the same, the bottom one shows how the arrows are of the exact same length.

The Mueller-Lyer illusion is an optical illusion consisting of nothing more than an arrow. When viewers are asked to place a mark on the figure at the mid-point, they invariably place it more towards the "tail" end. Another variation consists of two arrow-like figures, one with both ends pointing in, and the other with both ends pointing out. When asked to judge the lengths of the two lines, which are equal, viewers will typically claim that the inward pointing pair is longer. One possible explanation is that one sees the lines as three-dimensional, such as the outgoing and ingoing corners of a room. Another possible explanation is that the line with arrows pointing inwards may simply appear longer because the arrows themselves extend past the line. The illusion is not cross-cultural. Non-Western subjects, and particularly subjects whose day-to-day surroundings are usually not rectangular (few buildings, doors, walls) are much less likely to be affected by it.

The Mueller-Lyer illusion occurs because the visual system processes that judge depth and distance assume in general that the “angles in” configuration corresponds to an object which is closer, and the “angles out” configuration corresponds to an object which is far away. Basically, there seems to be a simple heuristic that takes those configurations as 90º angles. This heuristic speeds up the interpretation process, but gives rise to many optical illusions in unusual scenes.

Neural nets in the visual system of (western) human beings learn how to make a very efficient interpretation of 3D scenes. That is why, when somebody goes away from us, we do not see him getting shorter. And when we stretch one arm and look at the two hands we do not see one hand smaller than the other. We should not forget that, as visual illusions show us quite clearly, what we see is an image created in our brain. Our brain projects the image of the smaller hand to its correct distance in our internal 3D model. This is what is called the size constancy mechanism.


The Mueller-Lyer effect in a non-illusion

In the Mueller-Lyer illusion, the visual system detects the depth cues, which are usually associated with 3D scenes, and incorrectly decides it is a 3D drawing. Then the size constancy mechanism makes us see an erroneous length of the object which, for a true perspective drawing, would be more far away. In the perspective drawing in the figure, we see that in usual scenes the heuristic works quite well. The length of the rug should obviously be considered shorter than the length of the wall in the back.



Proponents of the power of subliminal messages claim they gain influence or power from the fact that they circumvent the critical functions of the conscious mind, and therefore subliminal suggestions are potentially more powerful than ordinary suggestions. This route to influence or persuasion would be akin to auto-suggestion or hypnosis, wherein the subject is encouraged to be (or somehow induced to be) relaxed so that suggestions are directed to deeper (more gullible) parts of the mind; some observers have suggested that the unconscious mind is incapable of critical refusal of hypnotic or subliminal suggestions.

During the 2000 U.S. presidential campaign, a television ad campaigning for Republican candidate George W. Bush showed words (and parts thereof) scaling from the foreground to the background on a television screen. When the word BUREAUCRATS flashed on the screen, one frame showed only the last part, RATS. Democrats promptly asked the FCC to look into the matter, but no penalties were ever assessed in the case.

Re: subliminal studying?
« Reply #25 on: March 05, 2007, 11:13:38 PM »
Wow - some really interesting posts in this thread!