Subliminal messages - do they really work?
The materials required for this science fair project:
- 20 boys and 20 girls age 12 who have their own stereo sound systems with CD players, or iPods (or equivalent MP3 players)
- An MP3 recorder/player with sufficient memory storage. Alternatively, you can use your home PC, with a microphone and soundcard, to achieve the same results
- 40 blank recordable CDs, unless your participants have portable MP3 players (such as iPods)
- 200 orange M&Ms
- 200 yellow M&Ms
- 200 blue M&Ms
- 200 green M&Ms
1. For this experiment, the independent variable is the embedded message in the tape. The dependent variable is the time for the response of the participants after 5 days. This is determined by checking their choice of M & M color after the 5 days. The constants (control variables) are the length of period of listening to the recording, the age group of the participants and the number of participants.
2. Using the MP3 recorded/player some songs are recorded into the 1st blank tape. The same songs are again recorded itogether with an embedded message that “Orange colored M&Ms taste better than the other colors” being repeated in the background. To record the embedded message you will need software (such as Audacity which can be downloaded free of charge). Instructions on how to do this may be found on the internet.
3. The 20 boys and 20 girls are divided into 2 groups of 10 boys and 10 girls each. The 1st group of 10 boys and 10 girls are made to listen to the 1st recording without the embedded message for 5 times a day for the next 5 days. You will need to disseminate the recordings either by CD or by transmitting the MP3 files via email or direct copying.
4. Similarly the 2nd group of 10 boys and 10 girls were made to listen to the 2nd recording 5 times a day for the next 5 days.
5. On the 6th day, the 20 boys and 20 girls are each given 20 pieces of M&M each. The 20 M&M s will consist of 5 orange, 5 yellow, 5 green and 5 blue pieces. The participants are asked to choose 5 out of the 20 pieces given to them. Their choice is recorded in the table given below.