25th Frame Effect Danger – Real or Myth?

25th Frame Effect Danger - Real or Myth?
25th Frame Effect Danger - Real or Myth?

In today’s world, we live free lives where we have real freedom to choose practically everything

From our religion to our choices in television series, we have the liberty to choose. It is a blessed feeling to be able to make our own choices.

Some countries prohibit their citizens from making their own choices about certain things. But, people living in most countries have the freedom to live life in their own way. Now, the question is whether our entitled freedom is real or fiction?

Many believe we are being manipulated into making certain decisions in our lives. Like politicians who use their campaigns to convince us to vote for them. Or companies trying to coax us into buying their products through their advertisements.

In fact, you bought the shampoo you regularly use as a result of manipulation. Are you one of these people who believe in this kind of manipulation?


25th Frame Effect Danger - Real or Myth?
25th Frame Effect Danger – Real or Myth?


24 frames – the history

Most people have not heard of the 25th frame effect. But it is something that has been a topic of debate for more than several decades.

The history of the 25th frame effect goes way back to when theaters used movie projectors. During the time of analog film projection, each second of the film consisted of 24 images or frames. To put it differently, each frame displayed for about 1/24th a second.

It was earlier believed that the human eye could only see 24 frames per second, but this turned out to be false. We are actually capable of seeing anywhere between 20 to 26 frames per second. This ability of ours makes it very easy to watch and enjoy videos when everything plays frame by frame.

This 24-frame technique is still followed by producers all over the world. In fact, it is illegal to increase the number of frames per second in any kind of video.

All types of videos must have no more than 24 images per second. This includes movies, TV series, and even tutorials. What does the law have to do with this number, you ask? Let’s find out.


The 25th frame effect

During the 1950s, a man by the name of James Vicary conducted some experimental research. He was working as a market researcher who specialized in producing advertisements.

He, at that time, claimed that his research would change the future of advertising. The research involved the use of a new technique he called “subliminal advertising.”

The goal was to insert a 25th image. This way every second of the film would play 25 images, or frames, per second instead of 24. The goal was that the viewers would see the 25th image without realizing it.

Vicary believed that this extra image would bypass the viewers’ conscious mind. This would then allow a message to travel directly into their subconscious. He thought this could manipulate them into doing what the video was asking from them. This became known as the 25th frame effect.

Despite these claims, Vicary could not produce any results. He later admitted that he never conducted any legitimate research. It was apparently an attempt to boost his business.


25th Frame Effect Danger - Real or Myth?
25th Frame Effect Danger – Real or Myth?

Besides his false claims, it is also impossible to add a 25th frame

A movie projector’s speed of transporting film is fixed to display only 24 frames per second. Inserting a 25th frame would make it become the beginning of the next second and the film would continue.

This technique has another downside. The human eye can consciously perceive every single frame. So, even when cutting the film and rejoining it in the middle of another frame, the viewer can notice the change.

You would have experienced this during movies where they removed certain scenes. You will notice the difference when one scene skips to another.


So, is the 25th frame effect real?

Most conspiracy theorists will say it is real. But there is no definitive proof of the theory’s authenticity.

Following Vicary’s little stunt, video producers became banned from including a 25th frame in their shots. Most countries prohibit their media from using this technique in their television commercials.


25th Frame Effect Danger - Real or Myth?
25th Frame Effect Danger – Real or Myth?


More logical minds have agreed that the 25th frame effect indeed is a myth. But there are people who say that it is real and appears frequently in today’s media.

Humans are capable of clearly seeing 25 or even 26 frames per second. There are factors that help us distinguish one frame from another. These include the clarity of the images, their edges, and the display speed.

If the speed is too fast, then the images may appear blurry, making it difficult for viewers to enjoy the video.



Strong believers of the 25th frame effect theory say that the additional frame surpasses the conscious mind

It apparently affects the viewer’s subconscious. The viewer may not remember seeing the image, but they have registered the information.

Svetlana Nemtsova is a doctor of Engineering Science. She is also deputy director of the Institute of Television and Radio. Nemtsova claims hidden frames can have adverse effects on a person’s subconscious.

She mentioned an example of an image that has the text “kill your neighbor”. According to Nemtsova, the viewer may develop inexplicable aggression toward their neighbor.  She believes this “subliminal message” could actually work. She likened this to hypnosis that can affect a person’s ideology and actions.

However, Dr. Nemtsova couldn’t explain why this extra frame or image should impact the viewer in such a way. No neuroscientist in the world has been able to confirm the 25th frame effect.

Everything so far has been a simple theory. It is perhaps safe to assume that the 25th frame effect indeed is a myth. But since you live in the free world, you have the liberty to choose what you believe in.