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UBC Theses and Dissertations

The effect of auditory subliminal stimulation on spelling Graham, Hedley Cameron


The experiment investigated whether it was possible to increase the number of words spelled correctly by exposing students to those words embedded subliminally in music. One hundred and fifty spelling words were randomly divided into fifteen lists of ten words, and each list was then rated for difficulty to obtain a difficulty factor. The students were tested on the first five lists (A-E) to establish their baseline performance. For the intervention phase, seven lists of ten words (F-L) were subliminally embedded in music which was played to the class twice during the school day. The taped music was of fifteen minutes duration and during the first day of the intervention period contained all seven lists of spelling words. After listening to the tape twice the students were tested on the words in List F. The tape for the second intervention day had the same fifteen minutes of recorded music with the remaining six lists of ten words subliminally embedded. After two exposures to this tape the class was then tested on List G. Similarly, each succeeding tape had the previous day's list of words upon which the children had been tested removed until the seventh day's list completed the intervention period with only one list, (List L) played. Finally, a second baseline measurement was made using Lists M to 0. The results indicate that the number of words spelled correctly was increased. The results also showed there was a statistically significant difference in the average number of words spelled correctly by students in regular class when compared with students in special class. The greatest gain in learning new words to spell by subliminal means were made by regular class students. There was no statistically significant difference between boys' and girls' results. The first statistically significant increase in spelling scores occured after 82 subliminal stimulations.

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