Do Subliminal Self-Help Programs Work? (8) - Models for Understanding

Models For Understanding

An explanation of how subliminal self-help programs work

When it comes to understanding complex synergisms, models are very helpful. Looking at how one learns, and how one acts out that learning, is one such complex interaction of elements occurring simultaneously and resulting in a synergistic totality known as the individual.

In research, behavioral scientists provide data and theories that support the average aggregate of observations and apply this to the individual. No two individuals are alike and no one individual is average. Just as theories make general assumptions about the individual that are not necessarily representative of any one individual, so too do models generalize in making a statement about reality, when in fact the model is self-defining and does not necessarily say anything about reality. Professor William Guillory (former chairman of the chemistry department at the University of Utah) states that even models of “hard science” are self-defining and may say nothing valid about reality.

With this much of an introduction to models, let us see if a couple of models of the mind can be helpful in understanding why subliminal technology is so effective. Before examining the first model, I wish to insert one of my biases. Most behaviorists assert that there are three ways in which one learns:

  1. Trial and error
  2. Rote core
  3. Condition-response

Is all learning some form of condition-response? I suggest that all learning is condition-response. Trial and error employs the obvious feedback systems of both the body and the psychology. For example, with learning as basic as that involved in walking, both the pain from falling and the emotional encouragement given during the learning process form response conditioning. Where rote core memory is concerned, the stimuli intensity is directly proportional to the memory retention. The stronger the stimuli (incentive), the more favorable the learning, at least to the point of over stimulation. After that the learning is dramatically inhibited. Stimuli-response is condition-response learning.

Dr. John Kappas has created a model of learning and behavior. He suggests that one assimilates learning either through literal and direct means or through inference. And further, that most of us do so primarily in one fashion or the other not both simultaneously. For most of us, our primary caretaker (ordinarily our mother) is responsible for our suggestibility, the way we learn (e.g., literally or inferentially) and our secondary caretaker (usually father) creates our sexuality , the way we act out our learning (e.g., emotionally or physically). In a very real sense this gives rise to the acceptance, rejection and interpretation of the various message units we receive in a lifetime.

Since our brains are tasked hemispherically, the synthesis of our suggestibility and sexuality often produces hemispheric dominance. Thus, one may cognitively assert something that preconsciously is immediately rejected or repressed. Whenever the logic center comes into conflict with the emotional center, the emotionally conditioned response will prevail.

Now with this model in mind, let us examine a simplified biocomputer analogy and superimpose upon it our model. Every message unit one receives in a lifetime is imprinted upon the preconscious mind. This process occurs largely without discrimination, except for the lenses of interpretation which themselves are a direct result of our primary and secondary caretakers, and from the enculturation process in general. This provides our basis for moral valuing judgments and notions of reality, together with our general aptitude regarding change or the incorporation of new ideas.

Statistically, we have all received many more negative than positive message units during maturation. Our society has no “rites of passage” in which we leave behind all of what I refer to as the “no-don’t garbage.” Consequently, as adults our garbage becomes our anchor and our ability to navigate the seas of life are limited to our own safe and sometimes shallow waters.

For most then, safe waters provide our boundaries or our self-imposed limitations. These safe waters prohibit much new experience. As an example, unless we are born to success and prosperity we don’t expect to succeed and prosper because the waters surrounding our anchor do not include any such bounty.

Research shows that forgiveness can end the fear/anger cycle.

Behaviorally, this means we are predisposed by the preconscious, which manifests as lack of confidence, fear of failure, internalization of stress, physical ailments, rationalization, and so forth. Most, if not all, of this conditioning takes place in primitive ways so far as the function of learning and behavior are concerned. The old fight/ flight mechanisms of our ancestors give rise to deeply impressed selflimiting behavior. Let us attempt to examine this graphically.

In the following drawing, the circle represents the total mental process. Levels of consciousness are indicated and in the deepest levels exist the fight/flight (knee-jerk) mechanisms. All of one’s input is represented by the pluses and minuses of experience (condition response) learning. As you can see, the fight/flight has been replaced in our modern society by anxiety and depression. The double arrow system illustrates stimuli from the outside world, both real and synthetic stimuli according to the interpreted emotional intensity of the stimuli. 

Model of Subliminal Programming

Few of us have been presented with much real stimuli. All of the stimuli that condition responses that are self-limiting, are synthetic. I suggest that these stimuli are based upon an innate fear of isolation and therefore, that rejection by another human being or the fear of this happening, conditions nearly all of our responses.

Our initiative and response is built upon our perception of others and our need for acceptance and understanding. Thus, behavior is purely condition-response learning! In most instances choice is only an illusion. Only limited choice exists, and those choices result from the patterns of our conditioning.

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