Headline Dec 29, 2015/ "' G H O S T S ''' for * GOATS AND SHEEPS *

"' G H O S T S ''' for 


IT IS JUST AFTER MIDNIGHT in London. I pick up the phone and dial Michael Thalbourne, a psychologist at the University of Adelaide, in Australia.

I want to talk to him about his research on chance, coincidence and the paranormal.

Thalbourne sounds taken aback when he answers. ''I was in the middle of typing out an e-mail to you.'' His instinct is to suspect some paranormal explanation for our synchronicity. Mine is to suggest a more mundane alternative.

It looks as if he is what some  parapsychologists  would call a  sheep, while I am a goat. The animal terminology stems from a passage in the Bible about a shepherd sorting through his flock to separate the sheep-

Who in parapsychology represent the believers   -from the goats, or those who do not.

Thalbourne and his ilk, however, are interested in belief in the paranormal. Although decades of  scientific research  into parapsychology  have produced no convincing demonstration of the paranormal that can be reliably reproduced.

Research into the differences between  sheep  and  goats has produced intriguing findings about how the brain works.

Some psychologists think that people who believe they have paranormal powers such as telepathy or other forms of extrasensory perception {ESP} might be assessing information in their subconscious without realising it.

Imagine, for example, that you are walking along the street with your old friend Bob, when you start thinking about a mutual school friend, Joe. ''I wonder what Joe is getting up to these days,'' you say.
''That's amazing!''  says Bob. ''I was thinking of Joe too.''

You believe it is a simply a coincidence. Bob suspects some sort of telepathy. But there is a third explanation: without being consciously aware of it, both you and Bob noticed something that reminded you of Joe.

Maybe you passed someone who looked just a little bit like him, or maybe it was something in shop window that reminded you of him.

It was Thalbourne who first suggested that people who regularly have subconscious information such as this surfacing in their conscious mind often seem to require the paranormal to explain their experiences, 

He coined the term  ''transliminality''  for this tendency for information to pass between our subconscious and our conscious mind.

He has also designed a questionnaire that measures  transliminality; the better a respondent is at tuning in to the subconscious, the more likely he or she is to believe in the paranormal.

In 2002,  Professor Chris French and his team at  Goldsmiths College in London devised the intriguing practical demonstration of transliminality. They asked people to take part in an apparent test of ESP with  Zener cards, which displays one of the five symbols:
.- a circle.
.- a cross
.- a square
.- a star or three wavy lines.

The subject sat in front of a computer monitor displaying the back of a card. They pressed a key to choose which symbol they thought it was. Then they were shown the card's face.

What they did not know was that they were being given subliminal clues as to which symbol was about to appear. Before a card's back was shown, they saw a flash of its face lasting just for  14.3  milliseconds , too fast for most people to register.

Some participants, however, were able subconsciously to pick up on the clue and, as a result,  scored better than chance at predicting at which symbol would appear.

"To those participants it appeared that they had  ESP  abilities,"  says Professor French. And people who were best at picking up the subliminal image also turned out to be the most transliminal as measure by Thalbourne's questionnaire. 

The Honour and Serving of this great  ''Operational Research'' continues. Thank Ya all for reading and see you on the following one:

With respectful dedication to all the Ghosts, Students, Professors and Teachers of the World. See Ya all on !WOW!   -the World Students Society:

''' Setting The Challenge '''

Good Night and God Bless

SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voiceless


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