We've all heard of it: the use of so-called subliminal messaging, such as inserting quick-flash secretive messages into frames of viewed media, to influence viewer perception regarding some object or idea.
A good, quick account of how it works, and some interesting facts about
And some real-life examples:https://www.mentalfloss.com/article/67223/7-sneaky-subliminal-messages-hidden-ads
A rather interesting conclusion from the first link above is that: subliminal messaging generally doesn't work. But it may
actually work if
the subject is already inclined to be influenced by the message. Example given in the link: a subliminal message "drink soda" won't get a non-thirsty person who sees it to buy a soda and drink it, but clinical studies show it might just actually work if the person was already thirsty.
this topic while randomly websurfing recently made me wonder if subliminal messaging in texts or videos involving cancer
has ever/still does take place, and what the implications of that might be.
Actually, a little searching I did turned up virtually no serious academic studies on the use of subliminal messaging in a cancer context, such as in drug or treatment ads, or therapy videos, or whether such things were even effective.
Such as whether the phrase (including its subliminal message, indicated in parentheses)
"Exercise is a very helpful (you will exercise more) way to improve one's health."
occurring in a cancer-therapy video would do any good or not.
No luck there, although I did find a rather good number of Youtube videos claiming
that the subliminal messages within them would definitely, while not curing one's cancer, help psychologically, through their subtle but positive internal messaging and its presumably suconscious effect on the listener/viewer.
OTOH, I did locate a few articles that seemed to have, or at least approach, some scientific responsibility in this area. Under the umbrella term "psychodynamic therapy" is the idea that the power of suggestion further enabled by subliminal messaging might actually work to a degree.
But I would guess, as the link above suggests, that the use of subliminal messaging in a cancer context, such as
"An important decision will be which treatment to choose (choose radiation) for oneself."
would be effective only if one were leaning toward radiation in the first place.
Then there would be the matter of the ethics of ever even using subliminal messaging in anything involving a cancer ad or discussion, which could certainly explain the lack of examples of it on the web.
One suspects that subliminal messaging will remain controversial (it's even illegal in some countries, I found), and as to what its future, if any, might be. For example, might the power of computer programming tricks make it even more effective?
An interesting topic to follow in the future.