It sounds like a conspiracy theory, doesn’t it? A couple of scientific studies suggest it could easily be real
In his book, Consciousness and the Brain: Deciphering How the Brain Codes Our Thoughts, Stanislas Dehaene details experiments that show we can take in information subconsciously that we aren’t conscious of. He describes further experiments that show that information we only registered subconsciously can affect our conscious perceptions of the things we see soon after. Can it have a lasting impact? I don’t know of any studies that answer this question.
To what degree are we absorbing information from advertisers, the news media and political organizations at a subconscious level and it having an affect on us?
There was a study done in 1977 by Hasher et al, which resulted in the concept of the “illusion of truth effect,” which is a subset of the “mere-exposure effect.” The idea is that if you hear something enough times, you will believe it to be true. It was replicated in 1992 by Begg et al.
How many times have you heard that vitamin C prevents the common cold or that we only use 10% of our brain? Both of these chestnuts are false.
I was unable to find a document that ties advertisers, the news media and political organizations to deliberate use the illusion of truth effect. However, I don’t think you have to be a cynic to believe that they do.
©2016 Stephen L. Martin