Early Subliminal Messaging Studies

Psychological studies relating to subliminal messages have been conducted as far back as the late 1800s to early 1900s time frame.  Tests were generally a bit cruder back then than now; such as whispers while music was playing (probably the latest Beethoven album on a 78 Victrola), then trying to determine if the subject was influenced by the whispers.  Also, visual items, like words or pictures on a small sign, were presented in a non-obvious way, like at a distance where they would not be that noticeable, then it would later be determined if the test subject noticed the items, or was influenced by them.

The results were often disappointing, and at best, only vague possibilities that test subjects had been influenced subliminally could be ascertained.  In some tests, subjects would be observed to see if they had been influenced.  In others, they would ask the subjects outright: what did you see, what did you hear...the results were often vague, or the subjects would say they saw dots, where numbers were presented.   However, when subjects were only guessing, overall, a greater percentage guessed correctly what they had seen or heard, suggesting the subconscious mind may take in more than the conscious mind.  It must have seemed inconclusive, yet still, provoked the imagination. 

The study of subliminal messaging and its potential effectiveness is still not an exact science today, though testing methods have evolved.  In terms of using subliminal messages for personal development - weight loss, success in business and finance, personal relationships - perhaps the best measure is each person's actual results.