Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Expectation and confidence = ghost? NOT!

ShadowSo, I tried to see the 'door ghost' with confidence alone, fully expecting to see it (see here for background). But it didn't work! I will try again, obviously, but it's not looking too good so far.

But then a new twist occurred. I just remembered about the ghost when I was in the correct position and then it was there! I'm sure it had not been there before I thought about it. I appear to have been given a 'warning' that the ghost was about to appear!


Putting together all these factors, a rather odd picture is emerging of how I see the misperceived ghost. It seems that if I've forgotten all about the ghost then I pretty much always see it. If I remember about it and look for it, I don't see it. If I'm confident about seeing it or 'will' myself to, I still don't see it! But sometimes I get a feeling ('confidence') I will see it and then do. I feel a Venn diagram approaching ...

So what does this all mean? The obvious interpretation is that misperception is controlled unconsciously. And sometimes the unconscious gives a short warning, making its way into consciousness just prior to the event! The first statement is not surprising (though I'm still determined to prove it wrong). The second statement is unexpected. Oddly, I have sometimes felt confident that I was about to see a ghost at a haunted location but then nothing happened. It would be interesting to know if any witnesses feel they might be about to see something weird just before a ghost appears. Or if they feel a sense of (invisible) presence before seeing an apparition. It is an interesting aspect of misperception that needs exploring!

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