Subliminal motivation: A story revisited

Joel Cooper, Grant Cooper

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Can people have their motivational states affected subliminally? Two experiments are presented that address this controversial question. In the first, participants watched an episode of The Simpsons television program. Embedded in the program were verbal and pictorial stimuli related to thirst that were presented below conscious awareness. The results show that, compared to their pre-exposure ratings and compared to a control group, participants became thirstier following exposure. A second experiment replicated this finding and showed that the effect was not a result of straightforward linguistic priming. The implications of the results for subliminal advertising and for theoretical issues of preconscious processing are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2213-2227
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Applied Social Psychology
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2002

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology


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