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The Subliminal Self57:30
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A fresh take on the uncanny, unnerving power of the unconscious mind.

photo illustration (Alex Kingsbury/WBUR)
photo illustration (Alex Kingsbury/WBUR)

We think we’re thinking our way through life. Well, yes and no. We’re thinking, but our unconscious minds are enormously powerful drivers. We think, but they can decide – often before we’ve even asked the question. For decades, we’ve understood we’re open to “subliminal seduction.” Our unconscious mind can be wooed.

Freud called it a beast. New science is showing just how powerful the mind beneath can be, and – often – how helpful. It’s us. And it’s way ahead of us.

This hour, On Point: Leonard Mlodinow on the power of the unconscious mind.
-Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Leonard Mlodinow, a theoretical physicist, scriptwriter, and author, he teaches at the California Institute of Technology. His new book is Subliminal:  How Your Unconscious Mind Rules Your Behavior.

From Tom's Reading List

Scientific American "One advantage of belonging to a cohesive society in which people help each other is that the group is often better equipped than a set of individuals to deal with threats from the outside."

New York Post "This year marks the 50th anniversary of an article in Advertising Age magazine in which a marketing consultant named James Vicary admitted to perpetrating one of the great hoaxes in psychological science: the idea of subliminal advertising. Vicary had made his claims a few years earlier — just after the end of the Korean War, an era in which ideas like mind control and brainwashing had found a place in the public consciousness."

BBC "These images capture a patient's brain activity the moment they slip into unconsciousness"

Video: Spiderman Product Placement

Excerpt: Subliminal: How Your Unconscious Mind Rules Your Behavior

Playlist

Unconscious Power by Iron Butterfly
Subliminal by They Might Be Giants

This program aired on April 25, 2012.

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