Some Comments and Data on the Partial Cue Controversy and other Matters Relevant to Investigations of Subliminal Phenomena

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In response to a recent article by Guthrie and Wiener (1966) data and logical considerations are presented which support the following conclusions. (1) For a number of recent studies of subliminal phenomena, the most parsimonious explanation for positive results is one implicating the subliminal registration of content and, contrary to the claim of Guthrie and Wiener, not one relating to structural cues in awareness. (2) Also contrary to their claim, Guthrie and Wiener's data provide little support for the view that even in the early investigation of Eagle (1959), Ss were responding to partial cues. (3) Guthrie and Wiener's failure to obtain a content effect in their own experiment was most likely the result of the level at which their stimuli were exposed and/or their not taking into account subject variables that are relevant to the question of whether a subliminal effect can be demonstrated.

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