one freud egg

An experiment

Question:-Can knowledge perceived
subliminally i.e. below the threshold of consciousness, the observer does not report that he sees, (or hears etc) anything.
1 be revealed via the
autokinetic in a pitch black room a tiny single pinpoint of light will eventually appear to move around
1effect? The intermediary processes might be thought of as constituting some part of what the psychoanalysts call the
'unconscious mind'mental processes of which we are unaware, (does that make sense?)

The Experiment

In 1959 I performed the experiment as my undergraduate thesis. Although the results were very interesting, I did not actually submit this work but instead submitted an essay on "statistics in psychology", for reasons which I forget, and to my regret.
Phase 1 Subliminal exposure of visual stimuli
One word, from a series of 10 simple words, was very dimly illuminated by red light in a dark room. The illumination was so low that the subjects reported that they could not perceive the word.
Phase 2 The 'autokinetic effect'
(This refers to the subjective experience of the movement of a pinpoint of light in an otherwise pitch-black room. As the only visual stimulus, and with no framework of other visual stimuli with which to relate the pin-point in terms of relative spatial position, its precise position is hard to fix, and after a while the point appears to move around. The experience is subject to the influence of suggestions from others, social/group pressure, as determined in the famous social psychology experiments of M. Sherif.)
In the same dark room as in the first phase a tiny pinpoint of light was exposed with, after a short time, the emergence of the 'autokinetic effect'. At the beginning of the exposure of the light the subject was told that the experimenter was going to move the light slightly and trace out the word the subject had seen in the previous subliminal phase.
The subject was presented with a list of the possiblities, (to make it easy to compute the probability of achieving results by chance), and asked to pick the one he thought was being traced out.
These two phases were alternated until 10 words had been treated in this way .
The subject scored considerably better than would be expected on the basis of pure chance. The odds against obtaining the score actually achieved by the subjects were thousands to one.
This extension was proposed by my son Ian, an extension into parapsychology
Here the subject who subliminally perceived the stimulus, and the one who was exposed to the autokinetic effect were different. For success here, if one successfully eliminated all normal avenues of communication between the two subjects, (and with anyone else who knew what the stimulus was that was being exposed), there would have to be some form of telepathic contact between the person in the autokinetic situation, and someone else in the experiment.
If it occurred, and if it was a contact between the two subjects, one might speculate that this had been facilitated by the fact that the relevant processess in the subjects were 'unconscious' i.e. thoughts, etc. that we are not usually aware of.

This would agree with certain theories of, among others,

Carl Gustav Jung, a famous Swiss psychiatrist who wrote about symbolism, whose theories differed from Freud's, in emphasising the importance of factors other than just sex.

Note 1. Does any of this make sense? If a thing is perceived below the threshold it isnt perceived, is it? It's a contradiction in terms isn't it? Just what did we do? Is there anything real here, but something which we are representing in an inappropriate fashion?

© John and Ian Locking