backmasking education psychology

Subliminal Messages Psychology Materials

I occasionally get requests for materials for psychology classrooms based on the backmasking section of my website. I usually don’t send out materials, but I have been known to make exceptions, especially for professors of post secondary institutions.

I should point out that if you are teaching psychology, you may be interested in material intended for classroom demonstrations by writing John Vokey or Don Read at

Department of Psychology, University of Lethbridge, Lethbridge, Alberta T1K 3M4 Canada

and requesting University of Lethbridge, Department of Psychology, Technical Report No. 85. A blank cassette tape should be enclosed if classroom demonstrations are desired.

I imagine a blank CD would also work or maybe an empty USB thumb drive, but I would ask them first just to be safe.


My Marks

You know what kind of letters make you the happiest? The kind that tell you—hey you’re kind of smart.

The Université Laval sent me my marks today. I got an A in CORRECTION PHONETIQUE (Phonetics) and a B- in LANGUE ORALE ET ECRITE (Oral and Written Language). La langue française est très facile.

education life

Convocation Day


Today I received a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in New Media from the University of Lethbridge.

My time spent at the University passed by like the blink of an eye (with the exception of my last semester when I was only taking one class—that took an eternity.)

But alas I’m really done and now that I’ve got my piece of paper I’m free to go out and do whatever I want. The world is my oyster. (Here’s hoping I don’t choke on a pearl).

education inspirational

What Will You Do with the Mad in You?

Mr. Rogers before Senator Hearing

In 1969 the US senate held a hearing about funding for the newly developed Corporation for Public Broadcasting. A $20 million endowment was proposed, however President Nixon wanted it cut in half because of the huge amount of spending going on in the Vietnam War. Fred Rogers pleads the case on behalf of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting—thanks to the Internet we can see what happened (required watching):

From the description:

“This is an video clip of the exchange between Mr. Rogers and Senator Pastore, head of the hearing. Senator Pastore starts out very abrasive and by the time Mr. Rogers is done talking, Senator Pastore’s inner child has heard Mr. Rogers and agreed with him. Enjoy.”

Mr. Rogers before a 1969 senator hearing:


The Socratic Method

Rick Garlikov has written a compelling piece titled, The Socratic Method: Teaching by Asking Instead of by Telling. In it he demonstrates the power of the Socratic method (teaching by asking) for both teaching and also for getting students involved and excited about the material being taught.

It’s a very absorbing read—my only complaint is that he hasn’t formatted the story into nice readable columns, but if you resize your browser window and give this one a chance, I think you may find it very interesting. It works on many levels: as a method for teaching, a lesson on binary numbers, and how important it is to ask the right questions.

education games life

Tuesday Night Video Game Class

Tuesday was the evening of my Video Games class. The semester is winding down and I really need to get working on my final project — not to mention finish up some other somewhat overdue items.

I’ve been asked by some friends what the class is actually about. In it we talk about everything from gameplay and graphics to the cultural and philosophical implications of popular (and sometimes less popular) video games. The professor shows video clips from rare or unusual games and we learn about different genres and how things like setting and ambiance change the mood of a game.

We also talk quite a bit about gender stereotypes, violence, and the way the media portrays video game culture. It’s pretty clear that although there may be statistics out there claiming a lot of girls play video games, there are only two girls in the class and 30 very nerdy boys. (They’re not all nerds, some of us are in there doing research for blog postings). But seriously there are a couple of fairly nerdy guys in that class that drive me insane. Before this semester I wouldn’t have believed it possible to become THAT immersed in video games.

I think the most ironic thing for me is, now that I’m in the class I’ve probably played less video games than I did all summer, and yes playing video games is a requirement. I can’t explain it, but I guess it just goes to show — I’ll do anything to avoid doing homework.


Sensible Emails

Here are some great tips on writing great, productive, emails. When I worked at City Hall I discovered the myriad of emails that some people have to go through. I’m sure that if more people would practice the tips from this list their emails would have been read more often and timely, and had a greater chance of actually being acted upon. It would have made things easier for everyone. Many of these tips are also applicable to voice-mail.

  • First: Understand why you’re writing
  • Get what you need: Providing information, requesting information, or requesting action
  • Write a great subject line
  • Brevity is the soul of…getting a response
  • What’s the action here?
  • More good ideas – including make it easy to quote
backmasking education psychology

Stairway to Heaven Subliminal Messages

Some time ago I received an email from a professor at York University. He asked if he could use part of my Stairway to Heaven backwards site / idea for a class. Here is the conclusion of his experiment.


I have now given my lecture on perception, and the Stairway to Heaven was a real hit. Before I played it backwards, (and after they had listened forwards a few times), I distributed sheets of paper with the “words”. Half the class got the Satan stuff, and the other half got my own words, which have nothing to do with Satan or religion. I realized at the outset that my words did not fit quite as well as the Satan ones, but some lines fit very well. The demo went perfectly – those who had the Satan words could “hear” the backwards lines very well, and those who got my words, could hear at least some of my lines well. Interestingly, those who “heard” my words had a very difficult time hearing the Satanic words later on when I played it again.

Thanks again so much for your [help]. It has really helped me make a very important point about the nature of perception and how we actually construct our percepts.