If you are attempting to learn a new skill or language, or studying for high school or college exams there does appear to be a way to turn the processes of learning into a subliminal message game.
By using a trigger to stir your mind into absorbing the information being presented to it we can hopefully trick our mind into learning at the subconscious level. This would certainly make the task of learning a little easier.
Traditionally we learn through a process of repeating a message until it moves from our short term memory into a storage vault in our brain known as long term memory. The information is locked away but still available to us when we require it.
A subliminal message is information that is designed to bypass our conscious thought and enter directly into the subconscious part of the brain. Early attempts at subliminal messages were used to try to influence consumers to purchase products or to support a specific point of view. I'll let you know how that worked out a little further into this article.
Learning Through Subliminal Visual Stimuli
Many years ago my job was to greet people new to our community. I would visit them in their home to welcome them with information, maps, and gift certificates. As our town had both a college and a university I found myself visiting a lot of students and what I found in their homes peaked my curiosity into subliminal learning techniques.
Many of the students had devised rather unique learning initiatives to make studying for exams easier.
What I saw were walls and doors covered in sticky notes. Keywords and important facts were written on them so as the students walked past these lessons they would absorb the knowledge.
As they were the ones who had previously written out the notes it was hoped that each time they passed a card it would trigger a response in the brain to remember that lesson. With each passing the information would have a greater likelihood of going into long term storage. It's a simple trick that you can use to help your mind remember the things you want it to learn.
Our traditional process of learning can be viewed as moving conscious thought into a subconscious level of our mind. Once it is there we can retrieve our stored knowledge when we require it. We in fact often then make use of this hidden information without even realizing that we are doing so.
Use More Than One Method of Learning
In homes where family members or second language students were trying to grasp the complex English language I discovered that many were using the same sticky note technique as the college and university students had to learn their lessons.
In this case though it seemed the visualization was more for re-enforcement in the learning process. The more times they were exposed to the information then the more likely they were to have the terms stick in their long term memory.
The second language homes had sticky notes on virtually every item in the home. Furniture, doors, walls. windows, appliances, books, and even pictures were labeled with the words in dual language.
As the wife in one home reached a note she read the english word aloud. If she had it wrong the husband corrected her and she would then repeat the word correctly.
The wife in this case used 3 methods of learning. 1) She wrote out the information 2) She visualized the information as she read it and 3) She verbally expressed the information allowing her to also analyze it through auditory perception.
The brain is a complex machine and people store, retrieve, and analyze information through different cues. Using additional methods of learning will help you to retain that data.
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Does Subliminal Messaging Work to Modify Behavior?
Generally we think of a subliminal message as an encoded direction hidden within a song, commercial, or other such media presentation. This technique was first introduced to us in the 1950's as a method of persuasion. Market research James Vicary's subliminal message flashed for 1/3000th of a second to encourage participants at a movie theater to consume coke and popcorn.
The results of Vicary's study concluded it to be a huge success with substantially higher concession stand sales as proof. This news set off a blitz in subliminal marketing advertising within television, movies, and radio. Public outcry to this practice brought about a 1974 Federal Communications Commission (FCC) ban on subliminal message advertising.
The twist to this story is that it was later learned that Vicary's results were not entirely accurate, in fact he had inflated the sales figure in his study. Subsequent subliminal marketing studies also show that this technique simply does not have significant results to be a viable means of behavior modification.
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Create a Cue as You Store Information in Your Brain
As stated previously our mind is a complex entity. The good news is that even your brain sometimes doesn't realize what it is doing. This means that you can trick your mind into helping you retain information.
Studies are discovering that there are cues such as emotion, smell, and taste that the brain analyzes based on it's interpretation of that stimuli. Interestingly the brain will relate a distinct scent or taste with the circumstances or mood that surround it.
This means that while you study you can use a distinct stimulant that will cue in at a later date to help your brain bring back the previous circumstances ie: studying and retrieval of that information during an exam.
By chewing a favorite flavor of gum or savoring a distinct flavor of mint while studying and then using this same cue during the exam you may be able to help your brain connect these two events and bring the stored information out when it is needed.
This same scenario may also apply to mood and scents surrounding you. When studying keep this knowledge in mind as it may help increase your likelihood of retaining and remembering the items you study.
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How to Get Subliminal Messaging to Work for You
If you really want to remember a topic increase your exposure to it. Effective memorization goes back to the original process of repetition for retention. Simply repeating your exposure to a specific subject a number of times will help to insure that you have a better chance of remembering that message.
So yes, write out the things you need to know and tack those sticky notes throughout your home. As you pass by each note think of it as a flash card and challenge yourself to recall the information written on it. As you pass by the note again check to see if you were correct.
As you are repeatedly exposed to the message this tried and true system of memory absorption works to push the information into your long term memory vault.
Surround yourself with items or cues that will cause you to think about the topics you want to remember. Be curious. Quiz yourself often. There are ways to trick your brain into learning but a 1/3000th second flash of propaganda is not necessarily going to do it.
We Know a Lot About the Brain but Have so Much More to Learn
There are quite a few ways that your brain can be tricked into perceiving something different from the actual situation at hand. Your brain is really not all that smart at times and you can use this to your advantage.
If you expose your mind to something often enough it will absorb that information into its analysis processes. It's a process of conditioning that can include behavior modification, emotional reaction to a subject, and learning.
If you really want to embed a subliminal message into your subconscious thought process think repetition. You can acquire good study habits, a resilient attitude, and a positive outlook on life simply by reinforcing those ideals.
An interesting fact on your brain is that it is unable to recognize a fake smile or laugh from a genuine one. This means that if you laugh your brain will think that you are happy and send out that message to your body to increase that feeling of well being. In other words pretending to be happy can actually make you happy. Smile - it's good for you.
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