Experiment to establish the effect of subliminal stimuli on answer selection and reaction time

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Kelly, Simon
Issue Date
BA in Psychology
Dublin Business School
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The aim of the study was to establish the whether the presentation of subliminal stimuli during a multiple choice test would have any effect on (a) the number of correct answers participants achieved and (b) the reaction times of participants. The subliminal stimuli consisted of answers for each question. A mixed design was selected, and 32 participants were asked to answer 12 general knowledge MCQ questions on a laptop computer. A subliminal message was displayed prior to each question. A control group of 29 participants were presented with the questions without any subliminal message. It was found that the experimental group obtained more correct answers than the control. It was also found that reaction times did not differ significantly between groups. It was concluded that (a) subliminal stimuli do have the potential to increase the number of correct answers achieved by a participant and (b) subliminal stimuli have no observable effect on reaction time.