The Doctor Is In Series - Ep 177 - Hold This Coffee – Subliminal Persuasion

Welcome to the Social-Engineer Podcast: The Doctor Is In Series – where we will discuss understandings and developments in the field of psychology.

This is Episode 177 and hosted by Chris Hadnagy, CEO of Social-Engineer LLC, and The Innocent Lives Foundation, as well as Social-Engineer.Org and The Institute for Social Engineering.

Joining Chris is co-host Dr. Abbie Maroño. Abbie is Director of education at Social-Engineer, LLC, and a perception management coach. She has a PhD in Behaviour analysis and specializes in nonverbal communication, trust, and cooperation.

Today’s conversation will be on the topic of Subliminal Persuasion. [Sep 05, 2022]

00:00 – Intro

00:27 – Dr. Abbie Maroño Intro

01:07 – Intro Links -

Managed Voice Phishing -

Managed Email Phishing -

Adversarial Simulations -

Social-Engineer channel on SLACK -


03:26 – Why this podcast?

04:28 – The topic of the day: Subliminal Persuasion

05:46 – What is Subliminal Persuasion?

07:03 – The Coca-Cola & popcorn myth

09:08 – Judas Priest Lawsuit

10:32 – Sex on ice, does it work?

15:00 – Getting warmer...

16:08 – ...and colder

18:49 – The importance of being attentive

21:28 – Does it pass the smell test?

22:59 – Can Prime lead to Persuasion?

24:34 – The necessity of Motivation

27:05 – Does Belief play a role?

28:17 – The Smell of Fear

32:52 – Applying the Subliminal

38:58 – The limitations of application

41:26 – Subtle Psychology

44:33 – Book Recommendations

Subliminal: How Your Unconscious Mind Rules Your Behavior – Leonard Mlodinow -

45:42 – Find Dr. Abbie Maroño on the web




46:26 – Find Chris on the web



46:41 – Wrap Up

47:59 – Outro

Select research:

Chen, Z., Tan, Y., Zhang, Z., & Li, M. (2021). Research on subliminal visual messages based on EEG signal and convolutional neural network. In MATEC Web of Conferences (Vol. 336, p. 05014). EDP Sciences.

Damaskinidis, G., & Kostopoulou, L. (2021). Intersemiotic Translation of Subliminal Messages in Brand Logos: A Qualitative Experimental Research. International Journal of Semiotics and Visual Rhetoric (IJSVR), 5(1), 1-14.

Dijksterhuis, A., Aarts, H., & Smith, P. K. (2005). The power of the subliminal: On subliminal persuasion and other potential applications. The new unconscious, 1, 77-106.

Epley, N., Savitsky, K., & Kachelski, R. A. (1999). What every skeptic should know about subliminal persuasion. Skeptical Inquirer, 23(5), 40-45.

Hsu, L., & Chen, Y. J. (2020). Neuromarketing, subliminal advertising, and hotel selection: An EEG study. Australasian Marketing Journal (AMJ), 28(4), 200-208.

Li, N., Juan, L., Xin, W., & Xiang-hong, S. (2011, March). Effect of sustained subliminal auditory stimulus on human emotion. In International Conference on Information Science and Technology (pp. 381-384). IEEE.

Loersch, C., Durso, G. R., & Petty, R. E. (2013). Vicissitudes of desire: A matching mechanism for subliminal persuasion. Social Psychological and Personality Science, 4(5), 624-631.

Riener, A. (2012). Subliminal persuasion and its potential for driver behavior adaptation. IEEE Transactions on Intelligent Transportation Systems, 13(1), 71-80.

Smarandescu, L., & Shimp, T. A. (2015). Drink coca-cola, eat popcorn, and choose powerade: testing the limits of subliminal persuasion. Marketing Letters, 26(4), 715-726.

Strahan, E. J., Spencer, S. J., & Zanna, M. P. (2002). Subliminal priming and persuasion: Striking while the iron is hot. Journal of experimental social psychology, 38(6), 556-568.

Zacharia, A. B., Hamelin, N., Harcar, T., & Rodgers, P. (2020). A Neuro Analysis of Static Subliminal Advertising in Packaging. EDITORIAL 77, 29, 81-104.

TAGS: Chris Hadnagy, Abbie Maroño, Subliminal Persuasion, Psychology, nonverbal communication
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