Subliminal Messaging Experiment

For those of you that have read my confirmation bias article, you'll be aware of my “inconsiderate driver” experiment. After writing that article, I started to think about a few other experiments I could carry out. One such experiment jumped out regarding the use of “subliminal messaging software”. I've used a subliminal messaging program on my computer since starting my body transformation – so a reasonable amount of time now.

From the majority of the research I've read on subliminal messaging, i haven't found much info that concludes the effectiveness of subliminal messages on the unconscious mind. At least on a scale that would result in tangible real-world changes, i.e. influence beliefs, behaviours and ultimately – day-to-day actions.

So why use it all?

Firstly, I don't claim to have read every bit of research regarding subliminal messaging – there may be more conclusive studies out there that I've missed (I'd be grateful for any such references and views from readers).

Secondly, the research I have read lacks longevity – or at least the longevity i believe is required to see noteable differences. If the unconscious is bombarded with positive statements in the absence of a strong emotional impact – then I cannot see how affirmations alone would influence the unconscious mind (significantly) in the short-term. In actuality, however, this is the same for reading positive statements or using visualisation techniques… neither of these methods alone influence a person's self perception and beliefs instantaneously, they typically take time and consistency.

Thirdly, it takes two seconds to set the subliminal messaging software going – and I'm unable to consciously perceive the messages. Therefore if it works – great. If not, it's no big loss and I've learnt something new. I believe that the only way to truly know something is to experience it personally.

Given that I've used subliminal messaging since the beginning of my transformation, I'd like to make it clear that I cannot credit subliminal messaging for overcoming depression, transforming my physique, changing my mindset, helping me to realize a state of inner peace and happiness – or anything that I've done in the last few years. Correlation doesn't equal causation, and during my transformation I've used affirmation pop-up software, visualisation techniques, goal setting, reframing techniques and have read many enlightening books. Therefore, my transformation is likely a synergistic effort combining of all of these activities with determination, applied knowledge and a strong desire. So effectively, I don't know how big of a part subliminal messaging played in my transformation. It may have been an integral cog or it may have contributed nothing at all – but that's what this experiment is about, to answer the question "does subliminal messaging work?"

To lessen the effects of the placebo effect, wishful thinking and confirmation bias; I intend to use subliminal messaging to help control my dreams at night.

I've put together a list of affirmations along the lines of

I am aware of when I begin to dream
I am in control while I dream

I will set the subliminal messaging software going in the morning as usual, however, it will only display dream related messages. Over time this will expose me to a greater number of affirmations. I will edit this post with daily updates regarding perceptible changes in my dreams. Of course this is hardly an airtight experiment, but I intend to be blogging about my experiences over the next few months – which if my hypothesis is correct, should be ample time for any truly noticeable effects to take place.

Daily Dream Journal Experiment

Night 1:

Subliminal messaging exposure 6 – 8 hours.
Messages set to display every 3 seconds.
Total time displayed 0.20 milliseconds.
Total potential messages exposed to between 7200 and 9600.

The first night i've noticed no significant changes in the way i dream. I can't recall what i dreamed about in vivid detail – or anything at all in fact.

Night 2:

Subliminal messaging exposure 6 – 8 hours.
Messages set to display every 3 seconds.
Total time displayed 0.20 milliseconds.
Total potential messages exposed to 1200 per hour

I can vaguely recall some my dream from last night, however, i couldn't control anything – and nothing felt out of the ordinary. The dream was something about me competing in a triathlon, and it had a collection of strange obstacles I had to overcome (such as a river of fire). That's about all I can remember.

Night 3:

Subliminal messaging exposure 4-6 hours.
Messages set to display every 3 seconds.
Total time displayed 0.20 milliseconds.
Total potential messages exposed to 1200 per hour

I can recall some of my dream last night, however, again i could not control anything. I also had one of those 2 part dreams and i've forgotten the first part. The second part was one scene looped over, in which a couple were trying to convert me to their religion… but i kept asking them for evidence for things and they seemed to get defensive… pretty boring dream!

Night 4:

Subliminal messaging exposure 4-6 hours.
Messages set to display every 3 seconds.
Total time displayed 0.20 milliseconds.
Total potential messages exposed to 1200 per hour

I can't recall much of anything from my dream from last night. I couldn't control anything within my dream and nothing felt out of the ordinary.

Night 5:

Subliminal messaging exposure 6 – 8 hours.
Messages set to display every 3 seconds.
Total time displayed 0.20 milliseconds.
Total potential messages exposed to 1200 per hour

I can't recall much of anything from my dream from last night. I couldn't control anything within my dream and nothing felt out of the ordinary.

Night 6:

Subliminal messaging exposure 6 – 8 hours.
Messages set to display every 3 seconds.
Total time displayed 0.20 milliseconds.
Total potential messages exposed to 1200 per hour

I can't recall much of anything from my dream from last night. I couldn't control anything within my dream and nothing felt out of the ordinary.

Night 7:

Subliminal messaging exposure none. Away from computer.

Night 8:

Subliminal messaging exposure 6 – 8 hours.
Messages set to display every 3 seconds.
Total time displayed 0.30 milliseconds.
Total potential messages exposed to 1200 per hour

I can't recall much of anything from my dream from last night. I couldn't control anything within my dream and nothing felt out of the ordinary.

Night 9:

Subliminal messaging exposure 6 – 8 hours.
Messages set to display every 6 seconds.
Total time displayed 0.50 milliseconds.
Total potential messages exposed to 600 per hour

Starting to try a few different display variables.
As for last night, I can't recall much of anything from my dream. I couldn't control anything within my dream and nothing felt out of the ordinary.

Night 10:

Subliminal messaging exposure 6 – 8 hours.
Messages set to display every 6 seconds.
Total time displayed 0.50 milliseconds.
Total potential messages exposed to 600 per hour

I can recall my dream in fairly great detail from last night… i was on holiday when a nuclear bomb went off a few miles away from my hotel.. i could see the blast moving towards me but i took cover and was OK. A second bomb went off right next to a populated beach and i think i woke up at that point. I couldn't control anything within my dream and although i don't have many nightmares, nothing felt noticeably of the ordinary.

Night 11:

Subliminal messaging exposure 6 – 8 hours.
Messages set to display every 6 seconds.
Total time displayed 0.50 milliseconds.
Total potential messages exposed to 600 per hour

I can't recall much of anything from my dream. I couldn't control anything within my dream and nothing felt out of the ordinary.

Night 12:

Subliminal messaging exposure 2 – 4 hours.
Messages set to display every 6 seconds.
Total time displayed 0.50 milliseconds.
Total potential messages exposed to 600 per hour

I can't recall much of anything from my dream. I couldn't control anything within my dream and nothing felt out of the ordinary.

Night 13:

Subliminal messaging exposure 6 – 8 hours.
Messages set to display every 6 seconds.
Total time displayed 0.50 milliseconds.
Total potential messages exposed to 600 per hour

I had a strange dream in which my brother cut off his own fingers and tried to offer them to me as an apology for something. However, I couldn't control anything within my dream and nothing felt out of the ordinary.

Night 14:

Subliminal messaging exposure 6 – 8 hours.
Messages set to display every 6 seconds.
Total time displayed 0.50 milliseconds.
Total potential messages exposed to 600 per hour

My dream was something to do with a gang of homeless people taking over the town center, they all had weapons and when i tried to flee, one of them chased after me. He ran and jumped off a really high building to get to me and broke his own legs. I stopped and had to make a decision whether or not to help a man that was trying to harm me, or leave him to his fate. I couldn't control anything within my dream and nothing felt out of the ordinary.

Night 15:

Subliminal messaging exposure 6 – 8 hours.
Messages set to display every 6 seconds.
Total time displayed 0.50 milliseconds.
Total potential messages exposed to 600 per hour

I can't recall much of anything from my dream. I couldn't control anything within my dream and nothing felt out of the ordinary.

Night 16:

Subliminal messaging exposure 6 – 8 hours.
Messages set to display every 6 seconds.
Total time displayed 0.50 milliseconds.
Total potential messages exposed to 600 per hour

I can't recall much of anything from my dream. I couldn't control anything within my dream and nothing felt out of the ordinary.

Night 17:

Subliminal messaging exposure 6 – 8 hours.
Messages set to display every 6 seconds.
Total time displayed 0.50 milliseconds.
Total potential messages exposed to 600 per hour

I can't recall much of anything from my dream. I couldn't control anything within my dream and nothing felt out of the ordinary.

Night 18:

Subliminal messaging exposure 6 – 8 hours.
Messages set to display every 6 seconds.
Total time displayed 0.50 milliseconds.
Total potential messages exposed to 600 per hour

I can't recall much of anything from my dream. I couldn't control anything within my dream and nothing felt out of the ordinary.

Night 19:

Subliminal messaging exposure 6 – 8 hours.
Messages set to display every 6 seconds.
Total time displayed 0.50 milliseconds.
Total potential messages exposed to 600 per hour

I can't recall much of anything from my dream. I couldn't control anything within my dream and nothing felt out of the ordinary.

Night 20:

Subliminal messaging exposure 6 – 8 hours.
Messages set to display every 6 seconds.
Total time displayed 0.50 milliseconds.
Total potential messages exposed to 600 per hour

I can't recall much of anything from my dream. I couldn't control anything within my dream and nothing felt out of the ordinary.

Night 21:

Subliminal messaging exposure 6 – 8 hours.
Messages set to display every 6 seconds.
Total time displayed 0.50 milliseconds.
Total potential messages exposed to 600 per hour

I can't recall much of anything from my dream. I couldn't control anything within my dream and nothing felt out of the ordinary.

Night 22:

Subliminal messaging exposure 6 – 8 hours.
Messages set to display every 6 seconds.
Total time displayed 0.50 milliseconds.
Total potential messages exposed to 600 per hour

I dreamt that I was a soldier in a barracks and I was sharing old drinking and war stories with a friend. It was quite vivid, however, I couldn't control anything within my dream and nothing felt out of the ordinary.

Night 23:

Subliminal messaging exposure 6 – 8 hours.
Messages set to display every 6 seconds.
Total time displayed 0.50 milliseconds.
Total potential messages exposed to 600 per hour

I had the kind of dream that was broken into hundreds of different dreams. I couldn't control anything and nothing felt out of the ordinary.

Night 24:

Subliminal messaging exposure 6 – 8 hours.
Messages set to display every 6 seconds.
Total time displayed 0.50 milliseconds.
Total potential messages exposed to 600 per hour 

I'm not 100% sure but I think I became aware while I was dreaming last night. It was only briefly, but it felt like it I was consciously choosing how the dream unfolded. Progress perhaps?

Night 25:

Subliminal messaging exposure 6 – 8 hours.
Messages set to display every 6 seconds.
Total time displayed 0.50 milliseconds.
Total potential messages exposed to 600 per hour

I can't recall much of anything from my dream. I couldn't control anything within my dream and nothing felt out of the ordinary.

Night 26:

Subliminal messaging exposure 6 – 8 hours.
Messages set to display every 6 seconds.
Total time displayed 0.50 milliseconds.
Total potential messages exposed to 600 per hour

I can't recall much of anything from my dream. I couldn't control anything within my dream and nothing felt out of the ordinary.

Night 27:

Subliminal messaging exposure 6 – 8 hours.
Messages set to display every 6 seconds.
Total time displayed 0.50 milliseconds.
Total potential messages exposed to 600 per hour

I can't recall much of anything from my dream. I couldn't control anything within my dream and nothing felt out of the ordinary.

Night 28:

Subliminal messaging exposure 6 – 8 hours.
Messages set to display every 6 seconds.
Total time displayed 0.50 milliseconds.
Total potential messages exposed to 600 per hour

I can't recall much of anything from my dream. I couldn't control anything within my dream and nothing felt out of the ordinary.

Night 29:

Subliminal messaging exposure 6 – 8 hours.
Messages set to display every 6 seconds.
Total time displayed 0.50 milliseconds.
Total potential messages exposed to 600 per hour

I can't recall much of anything from my dream. I couldn't control anything within my dream and nothing felt out of the ordinary.

Night 30:

Subliminal messaging exposure 6 – 8 hours.
Messages set to display every 6 seconds.
Total time displayed 0.50 milliseconds.
Total potential messages exposed to 600 per hour

I can't recall much of anything from my dream. I couldn't control anything within my dream and nothing felt out of the ordinary.

After 30 days, my experiment has shown that even with repeated and fairly consistent exposure to subliminal messaging, the desired result to control my dreams at night has not been achieved. Of course, this is far from a controlled or even meaningful experiment, the results could mean any number of things and could be influenced by a myriad of factors. Personally, I still instinctively believe that there's something to the repetition of subliminal messages and that it can, overtime, influence the unconcious mind.

I'm going to set up a series of more controlled and long-term experiments in the near future. I suppose I'm just finding it hard to believe that the rapid and huge psychological leaps I've made in the past few years can be attributed to the other run-of-the-mill techniques.

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One Response to Subliminal Messaging Experiment

  1. Walking in these shoes didn't feel totally weird-s says:

    Cheers for this content, guys, continue to keep up the good work.

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