Supraliminal stimulus

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Definition

noun, plural: supraliminal stimuli

A stimulus above the threshold of sensation or of awareness


Supplement

In psychology, stimuli refer to the energy patterns perceived by the senses and the basis for a behavior or a response. In psychological studies, stimuli are introduced to know how they impinge an individual's thinking process, and how they affect a person's behavior or response following perception either at the conscious level or not. Since psychologists would not be able to measure perceptional experience in their subjects, they created a sub-field in psychology called psychophysics. It deals with the relationship of physical stimuli with sensations and perceptions. It helped them investigate the effect of stimuli (e.g. light and sound patterns) to the subject's behavior such as by threshold measurements. A threshold is a point in which a stimulus is detected by the subject. Stimuli that are perceived above the threshold and thus are detected at the level of consciousness are called supraliminal. In contrast, stimuli that are not perceived at the conscious level and thus are not detected are called subliminal. Supraliminal stimuli are usually stronger in intensity and longer in duration than subliminal stimuli.


Word origin: Latin suprā (above) + Latin līmin-, from līmen (threshold) + -al

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