Is subliminal persuasion a myth? No: What every skeptic should know about subliminal persuasion
ISSUE 12. Is Subliminal Persuasion a Myth?
YES: Anthony R. Pratkanis, from “The Cargo-Cult Science of Subliminal Persuasion,” Skeptical Inquirer (vol. 16, 1992)
NO: Nicholas Epley, Kenneth Savitsky, and Robert A. Kachelski, from “What Every Skeptic Should Know About Subliminal Persuasion,” Skeptical Inquirer (September/October 1999)
Social psychologist Anthony Pratkanis argues that research claiming to demonstrate the efficacy of subliminal persuasion is either fraudulent or flawed. Carefully controlled experiments do not demonstrate that subliminal persuasion can have any effect on behavior. Nicholas Epley, Kenneth Savitsky, and Robert Kachelski agree that much of the research examining subliminal persuasion is flawed. However, more recent research using better methodologies has demonstrated that subliminal stimuli can influence behavior.
Pratkanis, A. R., Epley, N., Savitsky, K., & Kachelski, R. A. (2007). Issue 12: Is subliminal persuasion a myth? In J. A. Nier (Ed.), Taking sides: Clashing views in social psychology (2nd ed.). Dubuque, IA: McGraw-Hill Education.