Can advertisers really use subliminal messaging to control our behaviors? What about those flashing messages within videos used to manipulate us?
I recently wrote a short story for a competition that had to include a paranormal element. I’m not so much into creepy phantoms and evil sorcery. So, I started lightly researching phenomenon that could be perceived as paranormal for my short story. In that exploration, I hit on the concept of subliminal messaging (we can’t see or hear it, even if we are looking for it). Hysteria started because James Vicary, in the 1950s, claimed to boost concession sales at a movie theater by flashing “Eat Popcorn” and “Drink Coke” during a movie. But his claim was a hoax. ..
June 1st is National Heimlich Maneuver Day. I’ve never had to do the official Heimlich before, but I did almost choke to death when I was a baby. I had stopped breathing. My mother rushed to the bathroom. To this day she can’t explain why she ran with me all the way upstairs except that her unconscious “good guest” manners didn’t want a mess on her in-laws formal living room carpet. She flipped me upside down and slammed her hand against my small back. Repeatedly. A hard, round candy finally popped out. We both collapsed on the floor and cried together.
I wrote my first novel after being tormented by characters that wouldn’t go away. Their thoughts, their voices, their struggles played through my mind. I would start a conversation with a friend and realize I was about to tell a story that was made up. These people, these characters in my head did not exist. I’d swallow and reach for a family anecdote to share. My husband finally suggested I just start writing it down. So, I wrote a novel.
Did you know that people are more likely to imagine a person named Bob to have a rounder face than a person named Tim? This was reported by Dr. Zwebner, a lead researcher in the field, to Huffpost. He went on to say that he believed that stereotypes could, over time, actually affect people’s facial appearance.