Wednesday, 22 July 2009

Provoked thoughts

Last night I went to see a talk by the great Richard Wiseman at Leicester Skeptics in the Pub. A most entertaining and interesting evening was had by all (if my own experience and that of my friends was representative). When we got home, we had a look at some of the things Richard has on his blog, and came across this video:

Of course we partook of the rather bizarre-looking ritual and by the end there was a great deal of space between my hands, while my partner's had barely moved. This is of only passing interest, really. The really thought-provoking part came later when I considered this in relation to the next talk taking place in Leicester.

On the 18th of AUgust, Dr Christine Mohr is giving a talk about the links between imagination / creativity and belief in the paranormal. Perhaps it's not immediately apparent where this is going, but bear with me.

The personality test from Richard Wiseman is (unless I am somewhat mistaken) an example of the ideomotor effect. It is not a stretch to suggest (indeed Richard does so himself, I think) a connection between this effect and greater imagination. Is there, then, a case to be made for a related connection between the ideomotor effect and belief in the paranormal?

I'd hardly be surprised if there were, but it just struck me as one of those neat little webs of interrelated causes and effects that make science (and fringe science, like psychology) so very interesting.

On a partly-related note, you might be interested to learn that movements are being made in the direction of establishing a Skeptics in the Pub event in Birmingham. Seeing as this is so close to my current residence, I'm trying to get involved in helping set it up. Hopefully I will have some solid news to report on this front soon, or at least a tentative update.

1 comment:

Crispian Jago said...

SiTP Birmingham, Great news. SiTP seems to be more infectious that swine flu at the moment.