Do subliminal messages really work?
Do subliminal messages really work? (Thinkstock)
Do subliminal messages really work?
Lexile: 1090L

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You asked us, "Do subliminal messages really work?"
We're pretty sure the answer is no, but just in case, we may throw in a subliminal surprise or two to see if you're paying attention.
Just kidding?
Subliminal messaging is the idea that someone can flash an image or sound just for an instant - that sneaks past your conscious mind into your subconscious and ultimately affects your behavior.
The thought is a scary one.  I mean, no one wants to be someone else's pawn, right?
But the question is, does it work?
Well, I'm not exaggerating when I say that a lot of people have spent a lot of time looking into the effectiveness of subliminal messaging and the long and short of it is there isn't a heck of a lot of convincing evidence to show that it can influence our behavior.
So, go watch TV, listen to music and make decisions of your own free will and then come back and watch more stories like this every day at

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How can a message that sneaks past your consciousness affect your behavior?
Write your answers in the comments section below

  • Steve0620-yyca
    10/07/2015 - 11:21 p.m.

    I think that this is an interesting topic. People an remember to a sound or picture they have seen for an instant. I think that many people will discover many new things and come up with good answers for some of the many questions that people have about their brain or mind.

  • aidano-1-bar
    10/12/2015 - 11:34 p.m.

    A message that sneaks past your consciousness can affect your behavior because it basically goes into your brain, without you knowing, and your brain controls your actions.I found this article interesting because I find it odd how an action can be unknown to you.

  • janed1-hor
    11/06/2015 - 09:45 a.m.

    The Smithsonian's purpose in writing this article and making the video is to make people aware that advertisers have a way to "mess with our heads" that we might not even be aware is happening. I learned that when something is flashed for just an instant, our conscious minds don't remember seeing it, but it can make us do things anyway. This is pretty scary to me. I believe that there should be very strict laws and heavy penalties to pay for trying "mind control" that is sneaky like this. Perhaps, I might even contact my Congressmen about this. How dare they?

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