Extreme ideas get discouraged through subliminal flag-waving

December 6th, 2007 - 4:11 pm ICT by admin  

London, Dec 6 (ANI): Rigging and emotional campaigning may soon become things of the past as politicians can now win over the electorate by manipulating the voters into changing their attitudes by showing them subliminal images of their national flag, says an Israeli study.

The study was led by psychologist Ran Hassin at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem .

The team divided volunteers into two groups: those who strongly identified with Israeli nationalism and those who identified with it only weakly.

The volunteers were quizzed about their attitude to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict after being shown a brief image of an Israeli flag or a control image.

The image appeared for sometime, long enough to be registered by the brain but not long enough for conscious awareness.

Volunteers who had viewed the flag shifted their position towards the middle ground: both right-wingers and left-wingers became less extreme.

It was also found that it influenced the way participants voted in national elections.

Hassin said that the Israeli flag represents a sense of national unity, and when people are reminded of that, they are drawn towards that ideology.

However, the psychology involved is uncertain, more importantly since it remains unclear whether subliminal advertising has an effect on consumers. (ANI)

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