By page 29, I knew I had hit pay dirt. It would have taken less ink, effort and energy to have underlined sentences and concepts that were NOT important than to underline almost everything. The underlining is accompanied by heavy annotations, comments and questions.
The blurb on the book jacket says in part: “Your preference in politicians, the amount you tip your waiter — all judgements and perceptions reflect the workings of our mind on two levels: the conscious of which we are aware and the unconscious, which is hidden from us. The latter has long been the subject of speculation, but over the past two decades, researchers have developed remarkable new tools for probing the hidden, or subliminal, workings of the mind. The result of this explosion of research is a new science of the unconscious and a sea change in our understanding of how the subliminal mind affects the way we live.”
The research described in this book is the “smoking gun” from previous speculation (such as by Freud and Jung) as well as by previous peeks behind the curtain from books such as “The Selling of the President 1968? — how they successfully re-branded Nixon to be a “kinder, gentler” commodity, and a 1970s book called “Subliminal Seduction” which analyzed the way advertising images were, basically, a reverse Rorschach test to activate the pleasure part of the brain, the Ventromedial pre-frontal cortex (VPFC) to manipulate people into buying this or that.
There have also been other “peeks behind The Wizard’s curtain” in other media. I recall — perhaps a 60 Minutes segment — that revealed how marketers were experimenting to use “fragrances” in the background of stores that would tend to make a person more likely to buy something. This book shows how colors, images, sound, music, weather and more are used in advertising/branding/product/marketing and are unconscious, subliminal motivators for human behavior. (Particularly buying one kind of wine over another, providing big or small tips to waiters, and whether sunny days in New York City produce fewer trading on The New York Stock Exchange than on cloudy days, or vice versa. Think Homo sapiens sapiens is rational as the capitalist free marketeers keep telling us? Think again.
The author is a theoretical physicist at Cal-Tech, has several New York Times best sellers and has previously co-written a book called “The Grand Design” with Stephen Hawking. (Yes, THAT Stephen Hawking.) SUBLIMINAL is very accessible — no equations so far — and the author has the added value of being humorous. AND having heavily footnoted the research.
SUBLIMINAL also follows up on previous research on what is called “Brain Based Learning”.
SUBLIMINAL is probably too new to be in paperback or electronic formats, but it is so interesting by page 29 that I recommend it for your consideration. And I have NO financial or other interest in Cal-Tech, the author, or in Pantheon Books ; )
SUBLIMINALis probably too new to be in paperback or electronic formats, but it is so interesting by page 29 that I recommend it for your consideration. And I have NO financial or other interest in Cal-Tech, the author, or in Pantheon Books ; )