Philosophy & Science Behind InnerTalk


The Philosophy and Science behind InnerTalk®
(Also called the “Taylor Method”)

InnerTalk® is both the name of our Whole Brain® audio (subliminal) technology and a descriptor of how the technology works. InnerTalk® is used in place of the word subliminal because of the technical differences in our technology and the confusion about so-called subliminal audio properties. This was written to introduce you to our technology and set the record straight regarding science and self help audio subliminal tapes.

There are many claims…in both the direction of audio subliminal hoax and efficacy.

There are many claims, sometimes elevated in the genre of fact, in both the direction of audio subliminal hoax and efficacy. Some state that they have proven their tapes by client reported (clinical) results. The scientist views this as nothing more than anecdotal. Indeed, not too long ago I had a conversation with the owner of one company who stated, “Why do you insist on recording the affirmations in the first person?” (“I like myself” instead of “You like yourself.”) I explained the research. He went on with something like, “…but I have many testimonies …I get letters all the time” (anecdotal reports). I asked him if one in five of his customers reported success? I then explained that he could expect at least 20% of his customers to experience the placebo factor. That is, one in five will report positive results to a blank tape. Their report may or may not have valid observations regarding efficacy, in fact, most would not. Nevertheless, the expectation factor would dispose the customer to report gains even if they were not factual.

A study designed by E. R. Spangenberg and initially presented with the co-authors, A. G. Greenwald, A. R. Pratkanis and J. Eskenazi, tested the effect of labels on the expectation factor. The experimenters obtained audio subliminal tapes from five commercial companies. They switched labels from self esteem tapes to memory tapes and vice versa. The mis-labeled tapes were then given to subjects in their experimental group. The study was conducted as a double-blind test. The subjects were asked to report on the effect of the tapes at the conclusion of the study. Their reports generally indicated a positive appraisal of the tape in the direction of the label. In other words, if the tape was labeled “Memory Improvement,” the subjects tended to report improvement in memory. However, independent evaluations of actual memory improvement indicated no change.

Research has consistently demonstrated effects known as placebo. Further, good research designs anticipate expectation/placebo and experimental bias effects, and control for them. The double-blind design of experimentation is of particular value for controlling the influence of these factors. For those who may not be familiar with this research design, a double-blind test or study operates with two or more researchers and at least three subject groups. There is an experimental group and people in this group receive the experimental property. There is a control group. People in this group receive nothing. There is a placebo group. People in this group receive a property, say tape, but the property is what popularly is known as a “sugar pill.” Where a tape is concerned, this is often a tape containing no subliminal content. However, it is the opinion of this researcher that the placebo tape should contain some innocuous message. I have used, for example, the message, “People are walking.” The reason for this is to prevent persons in one group discovering that persons in another group can hear what sounds like voices from time to time, when they cannot. Since the technology of Progressive Awareness Research is designed in such a manner that voices will probably be heard by most, although the word content will not typically be understood, it is important not to bias the outcome of the study by comparing no message tapes with message tapes. The reason for all this safe guarding will become more clear as we proceed in our discussion.

Another common valid form of research often used with human subjects is that of a true clinical design. There are several different types of clinical designs, but the most reliable clinical research is derived from instrument testing. Here, a treatment modality is tested by administering a pre and post test using some standard recognized scale that is both reliable and valid in the domain of measurement. Please note that this type of clinical work is not an anecdotal procedure. In other words, the researcher is independently evaluating results via some measurement scale (instrument) and not relying on self reports. Take for example the work of Spangenberg, mentioned earlier. Subjects reported gains in memory or esteem, however, evaluation of these claimed gains via instrument indicated no such gain.

The point can be said in a very straight forward way. Reports that are not controlled research designs are only reports. They prove nothing. Indeed, controlled double-blind research studies are usually looked upon by science as only suggestive. Studies must be replicated to accept the findings as what most would call proof.

When someone states that they have the truth about a subject, and then refers to science, it is fair to expect that they follow the rules of science. Testimonial anecdotes, single patient clinical self-reports, and so forth, just do not represent evidence of efficacy. I am very aware that with my own technology, where many double-blind and clinical pre and post evaluation studies have been conducted, that there are many areas yet to be researched.

“Something happens with our technology that produces measurable positive results!”

The one statement that I can say with reasonable certainty is this: SOMETHING HAPPENS WITH OUR TECHNOLOGY THAT PRODUCES MEASURABLE POSITIVE RESULTS! I have my theories and what follows may be helpful in understanding both the hows and whats of Whole Brain® InnerTalk® technology.

Thank you for taking the time.

History

The popular history of information processing without awareness, sometimes called shadowed or masked information and sometimes referred to as peripheral information, but commonly known by the public under one general label as subliminal communication, is really a history of modern manipulation.

Vance Packard’s, Hidden Persuaders, which appeared in 1957, quotes from the Sunday Times an account of a New Jersey theater in which ice cream ads were flashed onto the screen during a movie showing. That resulted in an otherwise unaccountable increase in ice cream sales. The Times referred to this technology as “subthreshold effects.”

Packard’s work warned of psychologists-turned-merchandisers and of the resulting psycho-seduction of the American consumer. From belief systems to product identification, Packard presented a case for persuasion through the art and science of motivational analysis, feedback, and psychological manipulation. Hidden Persuaders was the first open attempt to inform the general public of a potentially Orwellian means to enslave the mind and to do so surreptitiously.

Wilson Brian Key, in his books Subliminal Seduction, 1974 and Clam Plate Orgy, 1981 argues that not only are we being subliminally merchandised today but the public has been subliminally seduced for hundreds of years. Key, a Canadian university professor, sums it all up in the title to a third book on the subject, Media Sexploitation, 1977.

In my own work, Subliminal Communication, 1990 I discussed the earliest modern reference I have found on the subject of subliminal communication. According to Benjamin Wolman, subliminal research is at least as old as Suslowa’s work in 1863 wherein he reported “an increase in the two-point discrimination threshold as a function of subliminal electrical stimulation,” (1973). In 1894 W. R. Dunham, M.D. wrote an interesting commentary on the subliminal mind and subliminal communication. Nearly one hundred years later, Dunham’s essay reads much like current research on the subject. In The Science of Vital Force, Dunham demonstrated the existence of both subliminal mind and subliminal communication.

One of Freud’s most important contributions…
is the stark revelation that mankind is a mere particle of his potential.

One of Freud’s most important contributions to approaching the enigma known as the human condition is the stark revelation that mankind is a mere particle of his potential. Unconscious processes predetermine conscious choices and therefore behavior. Aggregates of attitude and behavior constitute personality. Personality is rather rigid, and consequently the human condition is an abysmal shadow of itself. What is more, according to Freud, it is inherently in conflict with itself.

A contemporary of Sigmund Freud, Dr. O. Poetzle, studied subliminal perception under exact laboratory conditions and discovered behavior effects days and weeks after the original stimuli.

Professor Benjamin B. Wolman’s modified categorization of subliminal stimuli, divides descriptive values into five criteria of awareness and unawareness. The stimulus is:

1. Below the level of registration.

2. Above the level of registration but below the level of detection.

3. Above the level of detection and discrimination but below the level of identification.*

4. Below the level of identification only because of a defensive action. (1973).

* Using Wolman’s categories, InnerTalk® falls in category three.

Wolman makes several general statements regarding subliminal stimulation, having come to certain conclusions based upon his erudite research. Although maintaining a cautious stance, he asserts:

1. Subliminal stimulus does leave an influence upon the content of subsequent cognition.

2. Subliminal stimuli have affected and can affect secondary process thinking.

3. There are neurophysiological findings which appear to concur with registration without awareness.

4. Despite some failures of replication there are numerous instances where subliminal stimuli “can measurably influence a variety of subject’s subsequent behaviors.”

5. Conscious thinking can be influenced by stimuli outside of awareness.

In 1981 Dr. Norman Dixon summarized over 748 references on subliminal stimulation in his scholarly book, Preconscious Processing. Dixon provides a model for understanding the flow of information and its entry to consciousness. According to his model, five factors govern whether a stimulus surfaces at a conscious level: direction of attention; signal strength; external noise level; internal noise level and signal importance (meaning).

It is a First Amendment violation to use subliminal information without consent.

The wrongful death action, brought against Judas Priest and CBS in Reno, has led to a judicial interpretation regarding subliminal communication and First Amendment rights. Judge Whitehead ruled that it was a First Amendment violation to use subliminal information without consent.

First Amendment rights have often been an issue when the jurisprudence process becomes involved with subliminal stimuli. The Honorable Jerry Carr Whitehead, District Judge in the State of Nevada, eloquently argues that subliminal communication violates First Amendment liberties when covertly or surreptitiously employed.

Whatever ultimate interpretations or direction of the controversy, one thing is quite certain, subliminals (used here as a noun referring to the general nature of their type of communication) are here to stay.

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