Effects of Subliminal Stimulation on Message Evaluation


Informed Consent

Research Purpose

People can be affected by stimulation that they are unaware of; these are called subliminal stimuli. This study is designed to look at how specific subliminal stimuli may affect the evaluation of essays written by college students. By clicking the button at the bottom of this page to begin the study, you will be presumed to have read this entire informed consent page, and will therefore be considered a voluntary participant of this research. 

Description of the Research

Your first task will be to fill out some standard demographic questions. Next, after receiving some instructions, your computer will be running a program that will be used to flash a series of words for a very short period of time. After these stimulations, you will be asked to read an essay by a college student and evaluate it. You will then be asked to fill out three brief questionnaires and, lastly, will be debriefed with relevant information related to the study’s aim and purpose. The entire experiment takes about 20 minutes.

This research is being conducted by a doctoral student at Adelphi University. Participants in this research must be at least 18 years of age, and must speak English as their native (primary) language. If you do not meet these requirements, please do not proceed.

Potential Risks

The procedures used in this study have been used before and they have no known harmful effects; however, mood may be slightly altered for a very short period of time. Should participation in this research cause you any emotional discomfort or distress, please contact Franz Buker, M.A., the Principal Investigator of this study, at franzbuker@gmail.com; or Joel Weinberger, Ph.D., the Supervising Researcher, at weinberg@adelphi.edu.

Potential Benefits

Although there are no known personal beneficial effects to the procedures used in this study, participation can benefit science through increasing our current knowledge of how subliminal stimuli can affect human behavior.


This study is completely confidential; we are not collecting your name or any other personally identifiable information over the course of the study. Should you choose to contact the principal investigator and reveal your name for any reason, it will not be disclosed or kept on file, and it will be impossible to connect your name to any individual data from the study.

The information obtained during this study will be kept confidential to the extent permitted by law. However, this research may be reviewed by government agencies (such as the Department of Health and Human Services), individuals who are authorized to monitor or audit the research, or the Institutional Review Board (the committee that oversees all research in human subjects at Adelphi University) if required by applicable laws or regulations. The material will be maintained for up to 7 years.

To ensure that participants cannot re-take the study, an encrypted version of your IP address will be logged upon completion and stored in a local file on our server. This file contains only IP addresses and no survey data, and cannot be used to identify you in any way. If the server is compromised for some reason, the only obtainable data would be an encrypted file containing un-resolvable IP addresses. Due to the nature of the technology being used for this study, no guarantees can be made regarding the interception of data sent via the Internet by third parties. For added security, we recommend you close your web browser upon completion of the study.

Voluntary Participation

You must be 18 years of age or older in order to participate in this study. Participation in this study is voluntary. You are free to discontinue your participation at any time, and may do so by simply closing your browser. By completing this study, you are agreeing to participate in the research.

Institutional Review Board Approval

This research has been reviewed and approved by the Adelphi University Institutional Review Board. If you have any questions, concerns, or comments, please contact Dr. Julie Altman at, (516)-877-4344 or altman@adelphi.edu.

Let's Begin!

Your participation in this study will begin as soon as you click the 'NEXT' button below. Again, please do not go on past this point if you are under 18 years of age and/or do not speak English as your primary language.

Thank you!

There are 42 questions in this survey.
A note on privacy

This survey is anonymous.

The record kept of your survey responses does not contain any identifying information about you unless a specific question in the survey has asked for this. If you have responded to a survey that used an identifying token to allow you to access the survey, you can rest assured that the identifying token is not kept with your responses. It is managed in a separate database, and will only be updated to indicate that you have (or haven't) completed this survey. There is no way of matching identification tokens with survey responses in this survey.

This survey is not currently active. You will not be able to save your responses.