Tachistoscope

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Tachistoscope

 

a device for the brief presentation of visual stimuli, such as letters, words, numbers, or geometric figures. Tachistoscopes are used in psychology to determine the speed and accuracy of perception and to study attention.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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Indeed, it has been argued that, from the perspective of experimental psychology, a stimulus counts as subliminal regardless of whether we fail to attend to it because our mind is on something else, or we cannot attend to it because it was produced by a tachistoscope or other such device (Erdelyi & Zizak, 2004; see also Heath, 2012).
As a whole, the advertising industry was already heavily invested in motivation research by the time Vance Packard appeared on the scene; it had no such investment in subliminal advertising, and therefore much less to lose by allowing Vicary's tachistoscope to bear the brunt of the politicians' reactions to Packard's accusations.
In sharp contrast, the types of experimental results that Vicary said he had achieved with his tachistoscope are much more vulnerable to disconfirmation, as became evident in a number of follow-up tests of his claims.