TAM 8 pt 2 – Thursday B


After the ideomotor demonstration, Jeff wagg turned the workshop over to Karen Stollznow who talked more about Pareiadolia. She gave examples of not only visual pareidolia but auditory. For instance, what do you hear when you play a record backwards? It was interesting how most people couldn’t hear words in the sound played backwards until she told us what it said. Then people could make it out.

This implies that people respond, as with the pendulum demonstration, to suggestion. We WANT to be told and will respond positively in situations like that to what is being told to us.

Unless, of course, you’re a skeptic.

I knew the very basics of pareiadolia before but this  has inspired me to learn more about the phenomenon. There are neurological, evolutionary and even cultural reasons for the phenomenon. As i mentioned in the previous post, I will be talking about this more. I even plan to propose a pareidolia talk at next year’s DragonCon. Unfortunately it is too late to get it in this year. But I still have LOTS of research to do before I can present the facts in a knowledgeable manner.

And just for pure entertainment, Here’s an example of religious pareidolia:

Okay, what do you see?

Many would say Jesus.

We are pattern-seeking mammals and so we try to make sense of the world by looking for meaning even where there IS none.  Here’s what the photo above REALLY is:

Yes, it is a canine behind. And we will explore this phenonmeon in more depth in the future.

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1 Comment

  1. sgerbic said,

    July 25, 2010 at 10:01 pm

    Looking at this workshop from the eyes of someone new to TAM and skepticism this should be a regular workshop on Thursdays. Sometimes we have very new people who go to TAM with a family member or friend who might be skeptically minded but lack all of these “toolbox” words and ideas. Thanks for making me think of this.


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