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 Dowsing, Ouija boards and other junk.

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Rob
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PostSubject: Dowsing, Ouija boards and other junk.   Thu Sep 11, 2008 11:47 am

"ideomotor effect

The ideomotor effect refers to the influence of suggestion or expectaton on involuntary and unconscious motor behavior. The term "ideomotor action" was coined by William B. Carpenter in 1852 in his explanation for the movements of rods and pendulums by dowsers, and some table turning or lifting by spirit mediums (the ones that weren't accomplished by cheating). Carpenter argued that muscular movement can be initiated by the mind independently of volition or emotions. We may not be aware of it, but suggestions can be made to the mind by others or by observations. Those suggestions can influence the mind and affect motor behavior.

Scientific tests by American psychologist William James, French chemist Michel Chevreul, English scientist Michael Faraday (Zusne and Jones 1989: 111), and American psychologist Ray Hyman have demonstrated that many phenomena attributed to spiritual or paranormal forces, or to mysterious "energies," are actually due to ideomotor action. Furthermore, these tests demonstrate that "honest, intelligent people can unconsciously engage in muscular activity that is consistent with their expectations" (Hyman 1999). They also show that suggestions that can guide behavior can be given by subtle clues (Hyman 1977).

The movement of pointers on Ouija boards, of a facilitator's hands in facilitated communication, of hands and arms in applied kinesiology, and of some behaviors attributed to hypnotic suggestion, are due to ideomotor action. Ray Hyman (1999) has demonstrated the seductive influence of ideomotor action on medical quackery, where it has produced such appliances as the "Toftness Radiation Detector" (used by chiropractors) and "black boxes" used in medical radiesthesia and radionics (popular with naturopaths to harness "energy" used in diagnosis and healing.) Hyman also argues that such things as Qi Gong and "pulse diagnosis," popular in both Traditional Chinese Medicine and Ayurvedic medicine as practiced by Deepak Chopra, are best explained in terms of ideomotor action and require no supposition of mysterious energies such as chi."


Enjoy,

R.

Taken from the "skeptics Dictionary".

http://skepdic.com/ideomotor.html
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Rob
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PostSubject: Re: Dowsing, Ouija boards and other junk.   Thu Sep 11, 2008 12:03 pm

More on our friend ideomotor.


Here's a long but very good article from Quackwatch:

http://www.quackwatch.org/01QuackeryRelatedTopics/ideomotor.html
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PostSubject: Re: Dowsing, Ouija boards and other junk.   Fri Sep 12, 2008 2:53 am

On subject of Dowsing and ouija boards, in double blind tests dowsers are no better than chance and ouija boards fail miserably!

Watch Dawkins 'enemy of reason' for further evidence on Dowsing and I think the ouija board was an episode of bullshit.

Regards,

Den.

PS Derren Brown has a chapter on Ideomotor in his Autobio Smile

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Rob
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PostSubject: Re: Dowsing, Ouija boards and other junk.   Fri Sep 12, 2008 3:15 am

Will do Den. Smile

After watching BS I looked for some stuff on the ideomotor effect. T'was a great episode.

PS - Sorry I've not been posting as much as usual. Got some mad work deadlines at the mo'.

R.
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PostSubject: Re: Dowsing, Ouija boards and other junk.   Fri Sep 12, 2008 5:38 pm

Wondered why you posted on the subject. Smile


Rob please do not worry about the quantity, concentrate on the quality,

just mt tuppence worth Smile

Regards,

Den.

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PostSubject: Re: Dowsing, Ouija boards and other junk.   Fri Sep 12, 2008 5:44 pm

Will do... Got a bit of free time over the weekend. So I'll see what I can do. Smile
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