As science explains the paranormal

As science explains the paranormal

We live in a rational world. In a world where there are no ghosts, angels and demons, and the creaking of the floorboards at night are due to the poor state of the parquet, and not another visit recently deceased grandmother. But when the ghosts and everything else is not real, then why do so many people believe that one way or another were witnessing something otherworldly? The answer to this question lies in the peculiarities of our brain. Science can find the answer to the sometimes very strange questions, but when it comes to the paranormal, scientific study these events are sometimes even more fantastic than the myths themselves.

ideomotor effect: how the Ouija board

As science explains the paranormal

Gathering with friends and decided to hold a seance with Ouija boards, you may notice that a tiny plastic (or wooden) signpost at some point starts to move by itself. Moreover, people who touched and actually moving it, be sure that they do not. Although, of course, will be. They just are not aware of this. This is called the "ideomotor effect", and for his demonstration there is a very interesting experiment that you can hold your own at home.

Take a string, hang it some weight on. Grab a thread hanging sinker and firm hold. Now ask yourself about any issue and tell myself that if the answer to this question will sound like "yes", then the sinker begins to spin in a clockwise direction, and if the answer is "no", then counterclockwise. If you believe in magic, then bob should really change the direction of rotation, depending on your answer. Moreover, you will be sure that he does it himself, rather than your hand.

The reason is that our body produces a subtle unconscious movement. When you ask yourself the question, your subconscious mind responds to it, and almost imperceptibly makes muscles move without your conscious participation. As a result, your fingers will move themselves, spinning bob and trying to answer the question. You also would seem that the sinker is spinning by itself. Absolutely the same effect occurs with Ouija board. Your subconscious unnoticed by you begins to move the plastic pointer, and you think that it moves itself.

The experiment with "Philip": even more stunning result

In 1972, a group of psychologists gathered eight people and told them the story about a man named Philip Aylesford and then offered to the assembled people to call his spirit through a seance. The room is dim the lights, sing songs and began to ask questions to Philip. To the surprise of the people, began to occur unusual things.

First began to move the table. At some point one of its sides bent, and he was left standing only two feet. Then people began to feel that the lighting in the room has become a kind of flickering. After this gathering began to hear some sounds and taps felt that way Philip answered their questions. And he answered correctly on each of the questions. In any other situation, this would be a direct proof of the existence of the spirit world and hereafter call the ghost of a deceased person, if not for one thing: no Philip Aylesforda never existed.

Philip's personality was completely invented by psychologists. Every detail of his biography was elaborated fiction scientists. Nevertheless, a group of people gathered somehow managed to convince themselves that they really called it a ghost.

Organizers of the experiment used a few other psychological effects (sounds of taps and a glimmer of light), but in general everything that happened can be called all the same ideomotor effect. People will have moved desk at an unconscious level.

Psychologists have published the results of their research. Later, the experiment was repeated several times with the other participants and the organizers. The effect was observed the same. Who participated in the experiment, volunteers were fully confident in what they called the spirit of man never existed.

The experiment with placebo Henry IV: How does an exorcism

As science explains the paranormal

The obsession with demons is one of the most popular explanations for many things. For decades, people have explained schizophrenia, epilepsy and a bunch of other mental disorders that the human moved in the demons. But if not, then how do we explain the exorcism? If all this was in schizophrenia, why people are cured of obscure spells in Latin?

The answer lies in our minds. At the end of the 16th century, King Henry IV, gathered a council, which was to carry out an experiment on a woman who claimed that she was possessed by demons. The woman said that the congregation - the priests, exorcists, and it worked.

At first, the woman gave the holy water from the church. It is poured into a conventional cup and said it was just water. This holy water had no impact. Then the woman was given plain water, but said it was holy water, and the woman shook with pain.

Then the woman put a piece of iron and was told that this is part of the true cross. The woman began to roll on the floor in agony. In addition, we are trying to read a book in Latin, saying that it is the Bible. The woman began to shake again, but read the "Aeneid" by Virgil.

And it was not a sham. This was a consequence of her imagination. And almost every person can be persuaded that it is the effect. More recently, a group of psychologists undertook to persuade a few skeptics in the reality of demons. By the end of the experiment, 18 percent of the test, not only to believe in demons, but also proved to be confident in their own possession.

Forer Effect: why people believe in their horoscope,

Once a certain Michael Gaukelin posted ads, offering everyone to do a free analysis of their individual identity, based solely on their astrological sign. All that is needed - is to send his date of birth. Based on it, the man was ready to give an exhaustive answer to the question about what kind of person you really are. Incredibly, 94 percent of those who went at it, said that Gaukelin perfectly described them. And it's weird because Gaukelin sent all the same analysis. In fact, his personal character traits guessing it was not based on horoscopes. He just took a very vague wording, and each found to have what he wanted.

This is called "Forer effect". Describe it, you can attempt to link the brain unrelated event to the desired result. The phenomenon is named after Bertram R. Forer and his experiment.

He gave a group of students of the same description of their personalities, which said: "You have a great need to other people you loved and admired you." 85 percent of his subjects were convinced that it is their description.

false fame paradigm: why people believe in past lives

As science explains the paranormal

The reason why some people are convinced that they are able to remember how was Joan of Arc, or ancient Egyptian workers can be very easy to explain: they have a very bad memory.

A group of researchers from the University of Maastricht has tested as "false fame paradigm." It was attended by several groups of people who are confident that they can remember their past lives. Participants were given a list of names. Then, the next day, he read out a list of names, in which unfamiliar names were mixed up with yesterday. People who believe that they remember past lives, insisted yesterday that invented names were names of famous personalities.

In other words, the memory of these participants was not very stable. When they could not remember where they heard some familiar name, their brain invents a story to explain who these fake people. It is believed that the same happens when people make up stories about past lives.

An experiment on a sense of presence: why do people feel the ominous presence of

Here is another unusual experiment with more unusual results. A group of scientists tying people's eyes and put them between two robots. Fingers men were attached to the robot in front of them. The machines were set up so that whenever people moved his hands behind robots imitate these movements on their backs. First, it gave a little. People tapped his fingers and felt like a robot finger taps in the same way on their back. But in fact it does not bother them.

Strangeness began to occur when the researchers added a delay in the system. When the robot finger began to react with a delay of half a second, people began to feel that behind them someone was standing. Some even feel that they are surrounded by several invisible people, while others are so excited that asked to stop the experiment.

Researchers believe that this happened because people have lost a sense of control. When added to the delay, people no longer feel an immediate response to their movements. Inability to control the result of the proper motions of the brain perceives as a sign of another presence.

The researchers think that something similar is happening with schizophrenics, and exhausted people and those who have experienced a lot of stress. They lose the ability to trace the connection between your thoughts and movements, and it makes them feel that the room is with someone else with them.

Why do people feel that hover over their own bodies

As science explains the paranormal

A lot of people feel a sense of what they supposedly hovered over her own body, looking at himself. It is seen most often in a dying condition, when people were on the verge of life and death. But is it really all happens or is it just our imagination?

To find out, a team of researchers wrote a message on a card and put it on top of the unit in a hospital ward. Then, when the patient leaves the room, they asked if there was a person feel that he hovered over her own body, and if so, what was written on the card. Three people have reported that they have had such moments, but none of them could not remember the card.

The most strange is that these people are not pretending. Another group of women surveyed who claimed that he could at will make "astral travel," leaving her body. A woman hooked up to the machine, fixing activity of the brain, and asked to "get out of the body" to look at the brain's response in this case. Part of the brain responsible for vision, almost completely deactivated, and those parts that are associated with mental imagery, broke out, and it meant that a woman is not really lying. She was beginning to really see your body from the outside. But based on the data of her brain, we can conclude that in fact the woman did not leave the body, and spontaneously evoked hallucinations.

Grieving widow's why people see ghosts

As science explains the paranormal

Not all those who claim to have seen ghosts lie. Some people actually believe what they saw next to a dead people or how God came down from heaven to talk. And it's not necessarily schizophrenia.

It is quite difficult to explain, however, who have studied this phenomenon, psychologists have noticed a pattern. In most groups of people to find someone who has seen a ghost, it is difficult. But with older widows picture is quite different. According to surveys, about 50 percent of elderly American widows saw their dead spouses.

Most often they turn out to widows who lead an isolated life, and these phenomena are associated with any period of extreme stress. By the way, it's almost always the case, some people also see ghosts in similar circumstances. Almost all of them are alone and find themselves in unusual circumstances or under severe stress.

Psychologists believe that this is the real reason why these people see ghosts. It's not that come deceased husbands. Just extreme stress and loneliness can trigger the occurrence of hallucinations.

Lucid dreaming: why people believe they were abducted by aliens

As science explains the paranormal

The reason that many people think that on the night of their abducted by aliens, can be much easier than you imagine. The conclusions of the experiment say that these people are just dreaming about it.

The researchers gathered a group of 20 people who have mastered the technique of lucid dreaming (the ability to control your dreams). Before they set the task when they take their own dreams under control, they had to be separated from their bodies and find a UFO. Among the participants in the experiment 35 percent seen in a dream, like aliens come to them and try to steal them. All they had to do for it - to think about aliens before bedtime, then the brain itself was the story of an alien abduction.

It is believed that the same is likely to occur with people who believe in what they stole. This occurs most often when the so-called "sleep paralysis" when the muscle paralysis occurs before falling asleep or awakening occurs before its fall. This gives rise to hallucinations that are matched to your bed attackers.

Several hundred years ago, people with sleep paralysis reported that they were attacked by night the demons. Today, the demons are not in fashion. Therefore, instead of the demons are now "come" aliens.

Infrasound: why does it seem that there are ghosts in the house

As science explains the paranormal

While working at the plant, where it is rumored that ghosts were carried out, scientist named Vic Tandy experienced strange sensations. Suddenly he embraced chills and apathy. Then the corner of his eye he noticed that watching some dark figure behind it. All this was so frightening that a person took the time to pull myself together. When he failed to do so, the ghost disappeared.

Most people would just run away to save their lives. However, Tandy was a scientist, so he decided to test a theory. He was sure that all these strange phenomena were the result of exposure to infrasound - sound waves whose frequency is lower than the human ear can perceive. He turned off the ventilation, which, in his opinion, could be the cause of infrasound. And, of course, as soon as the ventilation was turned off at the factory ceased to appear ghosts.

A few years later, the researchers decided to test the theory Tandy. When people wander the winding corridors, some of them worked infrasound. Those people who have been exposed to, feel the change in temperature and in some cases have seen strange phenomena. All the others have not seen anything. But this is only part of the reason, although the most basic. Additional impact was that the employees of the same plant have already said Tandy ghost. That is, most people see ghosts, precisely because they expect to see them.