Washington, July 5 (ANI): Why is it that you were not planning to go for shopping but still end up going, and return home with a lot of new things? Well, this happens because you apparently wanted to go, but were not consciously aware of it, say researchers.
Dutch researcher Martijn Veltkamp has revealed that subliminal messages motivate people to do things that they already wanted to do, reports Science Daily.
However, this is only successful if a subliminal message matches a biological need, and if the behaviour is associated with a positive effect.
The researchers said that to make people behave in a certain way, the idea for such behaviour must first be planted in their minds.
Once the idea has been planted in their minds (so-called ‘priming’), either a lack of something (deprivation) or a positive association with a certain action can ensure that they are actually motivated to carry out that action.
Veltkamp studied this interaction in a series of experiments.
During the study he flashed the words ‘drinking’ and ‘thirsty’ onto a computer screen very quickly, so that they could not be consciously perceived.
This priming is what researchers call ‘making the representation of the behaviour accessible’.
In one group of participants, this was combined with deprivation – they were thirsty. In another group the word ‘drinking’ was combined with positive words, which led to a positive association.
Veltkamp combined the three factors in different ways, and then registered how willing the participants were to have a drink.
The study observed that motivation for carrying out certain actions (such as drinking) occurred when the action matched an existing deprivation, or had a positive association.
To understand positive association, the researchers let the participants eat cucumber to alleviate fluid deprivation.
As expected, the participants that had only been deprived of fluid were less motivated to drink later on, but the motivation stayed high in those people whose motivation to drink was partly due to positive association. (ANI)