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Distinction Between Subliminal Perception and Persuasion

1. Why is it important to make a distinction between subliminal perception and persuasion?
2. What has empirical research revealed about each?

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RESPONSE:

1. Why is it important to make a distinction between subliminal perception and persuasion?

Subliminal perception is believed to be an unconscious process within the individual; persuasion is often at the conscious level, although techniques can aim at the subliminal perception of others. People use techniques to persuade others in persuasion. The goal of persuasion is to convince the target to internalize the persuasive argument and adopt this new attitude as a part of their core belief system. On the other hand, subliminal is a two part word consisting of the prefix sub- and the root word limen (Latin origins). Sub- means below and limen means threshold (http://www.umich.edu/~onebook/pages/tablepages/psych.html). Thus, subliminal perception comes to mean perception that is below threshold of conscious awareness. Thus, the two concepts are studied differently (see more in the next question), one being a conscious process and the other unconscious process.

In fact, Philip Merikle provides the first evidence of subliminal perception: that conscious and unconscious processes may be fundamentally different from one another. A particular stimulus, when presented consciously, may have a completely different effect than when it is presented unconsciously. In the Stroop Task experiment, Merickle and Joordens (1997) found that participants developed expectancies for certain color words when the presentations were conscious. These expectancies were not present when the stimuli were not consciously perceived, producing considerably different behavior between the two groups. (http://www.csic.cornell.edu/201/subliminal/#glossary).

2. What has empirical research revealed about each?

Due to the usefulness of influence, persuasion techniques have been studied and observed since ancient times, but social psychologists began formally studying these techniques early in the 20th-century. The goal of persuasion is to convince the target to internalize the persuasive argument and adopt this new attitude as a part of their core belief system. It is conscious process of decision-making. Research has found the effectiveness of many techniques. For example, the following highly effective techniques of persuasion have been researched; other methods include the use of rewards, punishments, positive or negative expertise, moral appeal, and many others.

1. Create a Need

One method of persuasion involves creating a need or an appealing a previously exiting need. ...

Solution Summary

Through discussion and example, this job makes the distinction between subliminal perception and persuasion. It also offers and discusses empirical research regarding each term. Supplemented with an excerpt on the terms for further expansion.

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