Progressive Awareness Research

Improving Lives One Person at a Time since 1984.

Peripheral Perception via Subliminal Stimuli
Desk Reference

Revised 10/2000

Written, compiled and edited by E. Taylor, R. Sadana and R. Bey
Progressive Awareness Research
ISBN: 1-55978-030-4

Copyright 1990
Progressive Awareness Research
P.O. Box 1139
Medical Lake, WA 99022

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements i

Forward ii

Introduction iii

The Controversy (iv)

Understanding Subliminal (vi)

Subconscious Mind Power (viii)

History (xi)

Theoretical Models of Subliminal Perception (xiv)

The Legal Status of Subliminal Communication in America (xvi)

Remarks for the Revised Edition (Winter 2000)

Bibliography and Review

Subliminal Literature:


To those whose work fill these pages, the authors extend their deepest gratitude for both the research and the courage necessary to venture off the beaten path and into the fringes, as all pioneers must do.

Special acknowledgement is also due the following individuals for their efforts in dialogue, review, ideas, support and encouragement:

Professor Wm. Guillory
Dr. Don Morgan
Dr. Jim Seidel
Dr. Charles McCusker
Catherine Sanders
Mr. Steve Fisher
Mr. Lee Liston and the Ut. State Prison Staff
and lastly, but certainly not in order of importance, we wish to acknowledge you the reader, who this reference was assembled for.

Thank you!


The material in this reference has been organized alphabetically and chronologically. The field of subliminal science is so rapidly expanding that we, as compilers and editors, were literally reviewing, writing and editing the contents of this work right up to the day before it left for press.

The information was verified by use of the Dialog Information Service.

Our desire was, and is, to create a reference work. We were mixed about its form only because of our feelings that it should be expandable. Finally the decision to bind blank pages for your notes opposite each print page was settled upon. This way comments and new studies could be made and updated while not disturbing either the organization or the quality of the work.

It is our sincerest hope that you find this format both convenient and durable.

Thank you,

The Editors


On numerous occasions Progressive Awareness Research has been asked to provide some sort of review of the literature regarding perception without awareness or what popularly is known as subliminal communication. Since this is a field of our expertise we have repeatedly been called upon to explain the process in terms that anyone could understand.

What follows is a simple explanation developed by our president, Eldon Taylor and a review of the literature with brief comments relevant to the various findings produced in the different studies.

Our own research is ongoing with studies underway at the time of this writing at, or in conjunction with, Colorado State University, Weber State College and the University of Wisconsin at Oshkosh. Planned studies for the future include incorporating "negative" messages in an audio subliminal tape to determine if alleged messages in heavy metal recordings do indeed adversely effect the listener.

It is the opinion of Progressive Awareness Research that there is no reasonable doubt remaining regarding the presence of perception without awareness. What remains to be thoroughly researched is the behavioral effects for both short- and long-term periods. In Eldon Taylor's words, "What is really now at question is the power of language. If language indeed creates inappropriate responses that we term maladaptive then it stands to reason that language has the possibility to reverse this process. In other words, if one has been raised to believe that they are no good, due largely in part to words that were so stated, then is it possible to alter this belief by addressing the subconscious with positive words? I believe so."

We at Progressive Awareness Research hope that what follows provides insights to those who desire to contribute to the quality of the human experience. We encourage all to share their findings in an effort to sophisticate each other's understanding of the human condition. We are proud and happy to be able to share our findings as well as a review of the work of many dedicated researchers.

Although this literature review has been checked and re-checked for errors, the nature of the work is such that some errors may still remain. If you come across any errors or omissions, we would be very grateful if you would inform us.

The Controversy

Research in the fields of hypnosis and subliminal stimuli has demonstrated the effectiveness of words delivered while in trance to produce a great number of effects, both physiological and psychological. Still, a number of research findings further suggest that a great controversy regarding the results of certain audio subliminal tape studies divided the academic field of psychologists on the general efficacy of any subliminally presented message when delivered in an audio modality. A thorough review of this controversy yielded great differences in technical methods used to produce audio tapes.

Unlike visual subliminal technology, which is normally either accomplished via slide insertion, Tachistoscope or candle power ratios, audio subliminal programs are produced by commercial companies who use as many different methods to create a tape as there are companies. Researchers in the field seem to have all to often overlooked the basics of chemistry when attempting to replicate others findings and\or to produce new results from expanded hypotheses. Often, therefore, the psychological researcher has forgotten that science requires exacting methods including the basics of technical creation, like the temperature a gas is heated to, in order to verify another's findings. One such study was conducted (this year) by a doctoral student in the Philosophy of Psychology at the California School of Professional Psychology. She employed a tape produced by a commercial company to measure the effect of subliminal auditory stimuli on academic learning and motor skills performance among police cadets. Her findings indicate that "neither music nor music with subliminal messages improved" either learning or motor skills. (Lenz, 1989).

Careful examination of her documentation however indicates that the tape producer created the audio subliminal at 40 to 50 decibels beneath the music. (Ibid). When the psychologist is ignorant of electronics this is perhaps an understandable error since most players utilized to play subliminal messages have a dynamic range of less than 50 db. Nevertheless, a clear theoretical limit of perception thresholds does exist in the literature and as such should have been reviewed. Despite these comments many research projects have been conducted without an eye to the technical and theoretical aspects of magnetic media and audiology. Research designed without an awareness of the technical aspects offer protocol that produces statistics, all of which says absolutely nothing about subliminal stimuli; rather they speak to technical inadequacies.

A yet unannounced 3 part study by Anthony Greenwald et al, employed tapes from four commercial companies. The results indicate that no statistical difference exists between the placebo groups and the test groups. However, when asked, Greenwald admits that he knows nothing of the technical design of these tapes and cannot release the names of the manufacturers. In essence, therefore, the results speak only of the four companies, their methods, etc., and not audio subliminal stimuli.

In my various books I often discuss technical inadequacies that are passed off as "silent voices" or audio subliminal stimuli. The bottom line is simple: NO voice is not subliminal. You cannot create an audio subliminal stimuli by lowering the speech into or beneath the sound floor of magnetic media.

Thank You,
Eldon Taylor

Understanding Subliminal

In the many lectures I have presented in the United States and Europe there has always been a nagging need to find an analogy that could accurately describe what occurs with the users of subliminal audio tapes. I have worked with the construct of peripheral perception to describe the manner in which voices speaking positive affirmations to the subconscious can, and do indeed, impress the listener even though they are unaware consciously of the process.

Peripheral perception is normally thought of as that aspect of sight that borders on the fringes of how far out to ones right or left side one can see. The fringe always has clarity problems. That is, one may report the ability to see an object to their side, and even slightly behind them, but the further the object moves toward the limit of vision the less clear the object becomes. In a very real sense, and yet only as a model of understanding, this is a substantially similar process to the manner in which audio perception occurs.

The fringe is known as "threshold" and the audio threshold is established by determining the point at which the conscious mind can hear a particular sound, 50% of the time. A threshold is that place where sometimes one hears the signal and other times they do not. When a subliminal audio tape is created properly the messages are sometimes audible and sometimes not. The entire message may not be understood but the voices are acknowledged by the conscious mind as being there; or, in other words, from time to time one hears the message even though they do not understand every word. Similar to the limit of our peripheral sight, where we see an object but without the clarity that comes from looking directly at it, subliminal audio messages are sometimes heard but without the clarity that the conscious mind is accustomed to requiring in order for it to repeat the message. Still, research shows that the subconscious absolutely does recognize signals too weak for the conscious mind to recognize.

The comparison of peripheral sight to the audio perception of a subliminal stimuli continues to be a model that serves the purpose of communicating very complex issues in a clear way. The analogy of what happens to the user of the audio subliminal tape as they use it was much more difficult for me until a friend and I sat down to discuss just that. As we talked over our personal experiences with subliminal programs it became very obvious that our benefit had been gradual and from the inside out, almost intuitive in its inner direction. Often, only when the affirmations contained on the tape were reread did we have one of those "aha's" that acknowledged consciously why certain aspects of our drives and emotions and therefore behavior had changed.

Intuitive perception is just what seems to take place when you work with a subliminal program. One day you act differently because you are thinking differently. Gentle nudges from the inner mind, just like those that are intuitive, begin to guide one's choices. In my friends instance, Professor Bill Guillory, creativity became natural. New ideas, concepts and the like just seem to flow through him. Later he experienced successes with different programs but they were in process substantially the same as with the first tape: I Am Creative.

My experiences have been all akin to his. At first there seems to be little noticeable change but after a few days things just seem to have a different arrangement. One day I was afraid of public speaking to the point that I would do almost anything, invent almost any excuse, just to avoid it. Then it was like the next day public speaking was tolerable, and the following day I was excited about the opportunity to share with others. Today lectures, workshops, radio and television "stuff" is just something I do like any other activity I engage in.

What we believe in our subconscious is who and what we are! The conscious mind can only guess at what is contained in the subconscious while the subconscious has every thought the conscious will ever have long before the conscious thinks it. In order to change we need to change the way we think. Speaking directly to the subconscious is verbal subliminal messages that do just that. What's more, their power seems in part to reside in the fact that the conscious mind with its defense mechanisms can not argue with the positive affirmations. One day there just seems to be more positive than negative information in the subconscious and that wonderful bio-computer changes old equations and so do we! Our pursuits are consistent with our inner beliefs about ourselves and the world around us and almost magically those goals, ideals and ambitions are ours!

Continue Reading » Subconscious Mind Power

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements | Forward | Introduction | The Controversy Understanding Subliminal | Subconscious Mind Power | History | Theoretical Models of Subliminal Perception | The Legal Status of Subliminal Communication in America | Remarks for the Revised Edition

Subliminal Literature Bibliography and Review


The Controversy in the Differences of Audio Subliminal Technology

Subliminal Messages, Subliminal Audio, Subliminal Advertising and How it Works

The Power of the Subconscious Mind and Positive Thoughts or Self Talk

The InnerTalk Subliminal Technology

Report: The Truth About Subliminal Programs
(PDF Download)

Peripheral Learning Reference Guide

The Subliminal Challenge

Grants for Research