Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Post 5: Subliminal Messaging and the Mozart Effect

Subliminal messaging is a concept that I have always been skeptical about. According to the lecture, subliminal messaging has a very small effect on some of its targets, surprisingly. What I expect is more powerful is the placebo effect. Companies put out ads that appeal to one's aspirations such as losing weight, improving social skills, relieving anxiety, and so on. These ads contain "proof" that subliminal messaging has had life changing effects on its users, so people buy. Since these new users expect that it will work, they will feel like it is. For example, one might say that he or she no longer has the urge to eat junk food and will lose weight, when the only reason he or she feels that is be cause of the expectation.

Unlike subliminal messaging, however, I have actually felt inclined to listen to classical music while writing papers or doing other school assignments. Of course, this was simply based on the fact that I heard that listening to Mozart or Beethoven increases your creative ability, and wasn't rooted in any scientific truth. I hadn't felt that my paper was any better or worse for it, but I may have created the illusion for myself that I was more focused in my task. So here again, I think placebo is far more powerful than the Mozart effect.

1 comment:

  1. I have heard that listening to Mozart can affect your creativity as well. I understand there isn't enough evidence to support the claim, however what quantifiable value can be placed on ones creativity? Maybe we should take some Rorschach tests, have 10 ink blots with no music, then have 10 with Mozart playing? Individuals who meticulously looked at portions of their inkblots might come up with more creative responses. What if there was a larger diversity in what is seen? What if there is a quicker response of ideas in relation to the inkblots? That'd be fun to test!