Subliminal messages can be powerful, even though we aren’t consciously aware of them. Research has shown that more men named “Ken” move to Kentucky and more women named “Florence” move to live in Florida than would be likely if these were random choices. Also, more men named “Dennis” become dentists and more women named “Laura” become lawyers. Is there really such a thing as coincidence?

In, Melinda Wenner writes that scientists who study the brain say that we really don’t know who we are, and most of what drives our thoughts and action is unconscious. Researcher Joseph LeDoux says, “The intuitive everyday idea about the sense of self and its control over behavior is as incorrect as the idea that the earth is flat.”

In another LiveScience article, Charles Q. Choi explains that we don’t consciously understand OTHER people either. He says, “Split-second facial expressions made by others?and the feelings they betray?might go unnoticed by your conscious mind, but apparently they do register subliminally.” This is why we get “unconscious warnings” or “first impressions” of people, such as whether or not we can trust them.

On the other hand, the OPPOSITE may be true: it may be the things we DO notice unconsciously that influence how we feel about people, even though these feelings don’t make sense to our rational minds. He quotes researcher Ken Paller as saying, “Most of the reason you like or don’t like someone could be because of things you are aware of, not things you aren’t.”

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