Debunking the ideomotor effect

  • Thread starter bfpri
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  • #26
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Aether said:
You seemed to claim at first that you had actually witnessed this, then said that no it wasn't you it was your brother. That required effort on my part to disentangle your mess and it has diverted this discussion..
I'm afraid the mess was yours. I made it very clear at the start that I have not witnessed a glass moving when not in contact with anybody. Yet again I'll say it. I have not witnessed this, and have no idea whether or not it can happen. I don't know how to put this more clearly. We seem to having an argument that is entirely unnecessary.

.I don't know who that is, but you might try limiting your assault on "scientists" to Thomas Kuhn, and quoting some statements of his that you have a problem with.
No, no. Why are you so determined to have a battle? Thomas Kuhn wrote an extremely famous book proposing that science progresses by a process of paradigm shifts, often associated with the death of the generation of scientists who shared the previous paradigm. I wasn't criticising him I was agreeing with him.

When you offered a second set of claims that is more limited and defensible than your first set of claims, then you explicitly established yourself what concerns you and what does not.
This was not an alternative list. It was a simplified list. I stand by every claim I've made to date, not that I've made many. Nothing concerns me except persuading you that you there is no evidence yet showing that the i-effect explains the phenomenon in question. I would expect most scientists to agree unless there is some evidence of which I'm unaware.

With your consent, everything that you have claimed in this thread before post #22 is dismissed, and we're starting over with the new list of claims that you have made.
As I say, it's not a new list of claims but a summary. But do what you like, I'm utterly confused about what you're trying to achieve.

Claim #3 seems to state otherwise. Please explain this.
Pardon? Claim 3. was: "My experiences lead me to the view that the ideomotor effect does not explain this phenonenon." What's wrong with this? It's only what I've been saying all along. What is your problem here?

I admit that I don't know why people sometimes move Quija board indicators and divining rods, and that is what we might hope to discover.
You'll not make it far as a researcher if you don't start by admitting you don't know for all cases that people move the indicators and divining rods. In fact on your assumption doing any research would be pointless.

I don't expect to, no. What is your point? Are you implying that I would ignore evidence to the contrary if I came across it?
Well, you've made it extremely clear that you're prepared to make up your mind once and for all on the basis of insufficient evidence, so yes, this is what I would predict.

You seemed to be claiming otherwise in your original post, so please take responsibility for that.
It may have seemed that way to you, but you are ever so quick to make assumptions. If you read my posts you'll see that I never claimed at any point to have witnessed the glass move when not in contact with a human being. I'll stand by every claim I've made, but not for claims I did not make.

If there has been confusion and complication here, it is only a consequence of your careless statements.
Hysterical laughter. Exit stage left.
 
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  • #27
Aether
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Canute said:
I'm afraid the mess was yours. I made it very clear at the start that I have not witnessed a glass moving when not in contact with anybody. Yet again I'll say it. I have not witnessed this, and have no idea whether or not it can happen. I don't know how to put this more clearly.
You reported that on more than one occasion a glass did move in a way that could not be recreated by human hands and implied that you personally witnessed this:
Canute said:
In this case every now and again the glass would take off round the table at breakneck speed and knock all the letters onto the floor. It was a right pain in the neck continually sorting them out again. We tried many times to recreate this movement intentionally but could not do it. The glass would just tip over when pushed from the top with such vigour.
Then you said ""maybe it's group telekenesis[sic]". Anyway, let the record testify for itself and we can move on.
We seem to having an argument that is entirely unnecessary.
You made quite an extraordinary claim there, and I felt it necessary to achieve a definite resolution of that claim before moving on to focus exclusively on your less extraordinary claims. Now that this claim is dismissed, I no longer feel responsible for dealing with it.
No, no. Why are you so determined to have a battle?
You said:
However, imho it is about time scientists explained it since it is very easy to replicate experimentally. But all they do is chant 'ideomoter effect', as if that's the end of the matter. But I want to know the answer to this conundrum and will not accept an implausible and unproven guess.
So, here we are examining your claims.
This was not an alternative list. It was a simplified list. I stand by every claim I've made to date, not that I've made many.
It is an alternative list, and the original list has been dismissed with your consent. This is just a way to keep track of which questions we intend to consider further here, and which ones we do not intend to consider further here. That doesn't mean that they can't be considered further at another time and place, only that we don't have to worry about them anymore here and now.
Nothing concerns me except persuading you that you there is no evidence yet showing that the i-effect explains the phenomenon in question. I would expect most scientists to agree unless there is some evidence of which I'm unaware.
Ok, we'll examine that. I am interested in that subject too, but we need to focus on that and jettison the rest of this unrelated baggage.
As I say, it's not a new list of claims but a summary. But do what you like, I'm utterly confused about what you're trying to achieve.
I am trying to achieve a definite resolution to each and every statement/claim and/or question that you have made on the record here. Dismissal of everything that you have claimed in this thread before post #22 does achieve a definite resolution to those claims so that now we may focus on what remains.
Pardon? Claim 3. was: "My experiences lead me to the view that the ideomotor effect does not explain this phenonenon." What's wrong with this? It's only what I've been saying all along. What is your problem here?
Nothing is wrong with this, but instead of answering my direct question about this you seemed to contradict yourself by saying this:
At no point have I stated that the i-effect does not explain my experiences.
You'll not make it far as a researcher if you don't start by admitting you don't know for all cases that people move the indicators and divining rods.
I'll take my chances on that. :wink:
In fact on this assumption doing any research would be pointless.
No it wouldn't, but maybe this is a clue as to why we haven't been able to converge on a common theme so far. I'm open to the possibility that some unknown signal may be steering people to unconsciously move the indicators and divining rods, or that some subconscious personality may exist that does this, etc.. I have seen references within another thread of this forum to experiments where subjects were videotaped using divining rods and tell-tale muscle contractions were seen to precede motions of the divining rods. This is perfectly believable, and this is what I would expect to see with subjects manipulating a Ouija board as well. Therefore I have plenty of evidence to convince me that inanimate objects do not move on there own, a little bit of evidence to suggest that muscle contractions always precede ideomotor-induced motions, and no evidence whatsoever of any other mechanism for inducing these objects to move.
Well, you've made it extremely clear that you're prepared to make up your mind once and for all on the basis of insufficient evidence, so yes, this is what I would predict.
Insufficient evidence? The entire Universe continually pours out evidence that inanimate objects do not move (or change their motion) on their own, and I said "I would like to see evidence of such an event before entertaining any claim to the contrary".
Canute said:
Aether said:
Canute said:
In this case every now and again the glass would take off round the table at breakneck speed and knock all the letters onto the floor. It was a right pain in the neck continually sorting them out again. We tried many times to recreate this movement intentionally but could not do it. The glass would just tip over when pushed from the top with such vigour.
What I do know is that inanimate objects do not move on their own, and that I would like to see evidence of such an event before entertaining any claim to the contrary.
If you read my posts you'll see that I never claimed at any point to have witnessed the glass move when not in contact with a human being. I'll stand by every claim I've made, but not for claims I did not make.
Hysterical laughter. Exit stage left.
Let's focus on your new claims 1-6 from post #22, and particularly on claim #3, ok? I'll give you the last word in this discussion of all of the other tangential/unrelated issues. Therefore, in your next post, #28, you may say anything you like with respect to these other issues that we have discussed here and I will not respond to it unless it is in the form of a direct question to me. I will feel free to respond to anything on the subject of our discussion of any of the new claims numbered 1-6 from post #22, and to anything following after post #28.
 
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  • #28
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Aether said:
You reported that on more than one occasion a glass did move in a way that could not be recreated by human hands and implied that you personally witnessed this:
Yet again, I said that in my opinion, based on my experiences, the glass moves in a way that cannot be explained by the i-effect. I did not say that it moved when untouched by human hands. This is an important distinction you seem unable to make.

Then you said ""maybe it's group telekenesis[sic]".
Maybe it's solar winds, maybe it's the ideomotor effect, maybe it's a group delusion, maybe it's dead people sending messages. How should I know? If I could explain it I'd publish.

Anyway, let the record testify for itself and we can move on.You made quite an extraordinary claim there, and I felt it necessary to achieve a definite resolution of that claim before moving on to focus exclusively on your less extraordinary claims.
What claim was extraordinary? You've yet to show that I've made a claim that is even contentious.

Now that this claim is dismissed, I no longer feel responsible for dealing with it.
What claim? Do you call a statement begining with 'maybe' a claim? If so then no wonder this discussion is so confusing.

So, here we are examining your claims.It is an alternative list, and the original list has been dismissed with your consent.
I will immediately withdraw my consent and undismiss it then, and stand by it. I thought it would help to summarise, but clearly not. I'm doing my best you know, but I can't seem to say anything you don't misread.

This is just a way to keep track of which questions we intend to consider further here, and which ones we do not intend to consider further here. That doesn't mean that they can't be considered further at another time and place, only that we don't have to worry about them anymore here and now.
Don't understand this bit. I'll discuss anything you like in whatever order you like.

Dismissal of everything that you have claimed in this thread before post #22 does achieve a definite resolution to those claims so that now we may focus on what remains.
I haven't dismissed anything, I just tried to tidy up. Please pick me up on any false claims wherever you find one. So far you haven't found one.

Nothing is wrong with this, but instead of answering my direct question about this you seemed to contradict yourself by saying this:

"At no point have I stated that the i-effect does not explain my experiences."
I have never claimed otherwise, as you'll see if you go and look at my posts. What I said was that in my opinion the i-effect does not explain my experiences. I would never state that it did not, unless perhaps I was very drunk and not being careful with my words.

I'll take my chances on that. :wink:
There's no chance involved. It is patently unprofessional behaviour and would be spotted in a flash by anyone assessing your research grant application.

No it wouldn't, but maybe this is a clue as to why we haven't been able to converge on a common theme so far. I'm open to the possibility that some unknown signal may be steering people to unconsciously move the indicators and divining rods, or that some subconscious personality may exist that does this, etc..
I suppose that's a start, but it's far from being enough to qualify as a disinterested approach.

I have seen references within another thread of this forum to experiments where subjects were videotaped using divining rods and tell-tale muscle contractions were seen to precede motions of the divining rods. This is perfectly believable, and this is what I would expect to see with subjects manipulating a Ouija board as well.
Fair enough. You could design an experiment to test your predictions and see if people are actually manipulating it. The prediction may or may not be vindicated. However, you cannot decide this in advance, otherwise the experiment has no purpose and will probably be poorly designed anyway.

Therefore I have plenty of evidence to convince me that inanimate objects do not move on there own,
Me too.

a little bit of evidence to suggest that muscle contractions always precede ideomotor-induced motions,
I should have thought that muscle contractions invariably precede ideomotor-induced motions. In fact it would seem extraordanarily strange to me if this were not the case.

and no evidence whatsoever of any other mechanism for inducing these objects to move.
On this our experiences clearly differ.

Insufficient evidence? The entire Universe continually pours out evidence that inanimate objects do not move (or change their motion) on their own, and I said "I would like to see evidence of such an event before entertaining any claim to the contrary".
How many times must I repeat that I am not claiming that inanimate objects are capable of self-induced motion, never have claimed this, and doubt I ever will. I don't know how to say this in a new way. All I can do is say it again and again and again.

Let's focus on your new claims 1-6 from post #22, and particularly on claim #3, ok?
Fine.

I will feel free to respond to anything on the subject of our discussion of any of the new claims numbered 1-6 from post #22, and to anything following after post #28.
Respond away. Or start from my first post, I don't mind.
 
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  • #29
Aether
Gold Member
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Canute said:
Aether said:
Anyway, let the record testify for itself and we can move on.You made quite an extraordinary claim there, and I felt it necessary to achieve a definite resolution of that claim before moving on to focus exclusively on your less extraordinary claims.
What claim was extraordinary? You've yet to show that I've made a claim that is even contentious.
This extraordinary claim[emphasis mine]:
Aether said:
You reported that on more than one occasion a glass did move in a way that could not be recreated by human hands and implied that you personally witnessed this:
Canute said:
In this case every now and again the glass would take off round the table at breakneck speed and knock all the letters onto the floor. It was a right pain in the neck continually sorting them out again. We tried many times to recreate this movement intentionally but could not do it. The glass would just tip over when pushed from the top with such vigour.
Then you said ""maybe it's group telekenesis[sic]""
Aether said:
What I want to see on a video is evidence of inanimate objects moving around on their own with no possible way that any of the participants could have induced the motion either by ideomotor effect or voluntarily. [no video]
Then you said it happened to your brother, and that you make no such claims:
Canute said:
Ah, this does not happen more often than not. It happened to my brother, who now refuses to go anywhere near wine glasses and letters. Frightened him half to death. But I only have his word for that. It's never happened to me...I make no claims about the possibility of the glass moving by itself since I've never seen it happen.
But you did make this claim, and then you said that "I make no [such] claims...", and I have been trying to get you to agree to dismiss this claim ever since:
Aether said:
Let's agree to dismiss this claim and not consider it any further, ok?
What I'm looking for from you is a definite resolution to this claim and all of the above proceedings related to it by dismissing it with your consent. Perhaps in your mind you have dismissed this claim already when you said that "I make no claims about the possibility of the glass moving by itself since I've never seen it happen"? In any event, I will not continue carrying this deadwood claim indefinitely. I recommend that you either substantiate it with some evidence, or agree with me to dismiss it.

Canute said:
Aether said:
Now that this claim is dismissed, I no longer feel responsible for dealing with it.
What claim? Do you call a statement begining with 'maybe' a claim? If so then no wonder this discussion is so confusing.
No, I didn't call any "statement beginning with 'maybe' a claim". I called that one an "implausible suggestion":
Aether said:
If the issues seem rather complicated, then perhaps it is because you have commingled them with untenable claims (e.g., inanimate objects are moving on their own), implausible suggestions (e.g., "maybe it's group telekenesis[sic]"), and unsubstantiated accusations against "scientists" (e.g., "I'm not arguing that science is nonsense, rather that scientists are sometimes unprofessionally quick to ignore anomalies which cast doubt on their paradigm").
 
  • #30
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Oh for goodness sake. Life's too short to play this game. It happened to my brother, he says. Is that better? I told you I wasn't there and couldn't confirm that it happened. I mentioned it because I thought you were interested in the topic. Clearly you have no interest at all in anything but starting ridiculous arguments.

Me - In this case every now and again the glass would take off round the table at breakneck speed and knock all the letters onto the floor. It was a right pain in the neck continually sorting them out again. We tried many times to recreate this movement intentionally but could not do it. The glass would just tip over when pushed from the top with such vigour.
What's extraordinary about this claim? This sort of thing happens, so say, to many people. I'm simply stating what happened. You may think I'm lying but that's not my problem.

Me - ""maybe it's group telekenesis""
Maybe it is. Maybe it isn't. Maybe it's invisible little people running around the table. Maybe I dreamed it all. Maybe I won't bother dropping in here again.

Goodbye.
 
  • #31
Aether
Gold Member
710
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Canute said:
Oh for goodness sake. Life's too short to play this game. It happened to my brother, he says. Is that better? I told you I wasn't there and couldn't confirm that it happened. I mentioned it because I thought you were interested in the topic. Clearly you have no interest at all in anything but starting ridiculous arguments.


What's extraordinary about this claim? This sort of thing happens, so say, to many people. I'm simply stating what happened. You may think I'm lying but that's not my problem.


Maybe it is. Maybe it isn't. Maybe it's invisible little people running around the table. Maybe I dreamed it all. Maybe I won't bother dropping in here again.

Goodbye.
Case dismissed. Bye.
 
  • #32
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Ideomotor is a proven Scientific Phenomenon, not an excuse or guesswork.

Quite. If the selection of letters is due to the ideomoter effect then it should be very easy to demonstrate this. Strangely, however, it has not been demonstrated. I've participated in many sessions - with a wine glass and letters in a circle - and have no idea why sentences come out rather than gibberish. However, it is clear to me that chanting 'ideomoter effect' whenever someone raises this issue is not science but quackery. Only someone who has little experience of doing it could believe this. It is quite easy to rule out this explanation, since it would require that the participants are able to manipulate the glass. This requires the application of pressure on the glass. If you do it with just two people it is very obvious if either of you is applying such pressure. Even if you do it yourself inadvertently the other person will spot it.

On one occasion, just myself and my mother present, the Bishop of Bath and Wells, this was the name the glass spelled out, came on with the message that 'the only way to eternal life is through holy communion'. Some ideomoter effect for two non-Christians. Try spelling out this message on purpose without it being perfectly obvious what you're doing. At the time I thought this message was complete nonsense. However, at the time I thought it refered to the wafer and wine ceremony, and hadn't heard of the communion of the mystics.

On another occasion, for four days in a row, the glass claimed to be James Joyce. A few friends had been 'talking to him' for a while. When I asked to join he told me to **** off, which I felt lent some authenticity to the events. After it/he changed his mind I joined in. Usually the movement is very weak. In this case every now and again the glass would take off round the table at breakneck speed and knock all the letters onto the floor. It was a right pain in the neck continually sorting them out again. We tried many times to recreate this movement intentionally but could not do it. The glass would just tip over when pushed from the top with such vigour.

I make no claims about what is actually happening and do not believe in supernatural occurences. I assume it is a natural phenomenon. However, imho it is about time scientists explained it since it is very easy to replicate experimentally. But all they do is chant 'ideomoter effect', as if that's the end of the matter. But I want to know the answer to this conundrum and will not accept an implausible and unproven guess.

Idemotor Response has been proven to be the cause for the glass to move, the pendulum to swing, or for the dowsing rods to cross. It's a built in mechanism within the subconscious mind. I would challenge anyone to test the theory for themselves.

Take a pendulum or ring suspended on a piece of thread in one hand and hold it steady hovering just above the palm of your other, opened hand and repeatedly ask the pendulum to move, firstly in a clockwise movement, then anti-clockwise and finally back and forth, with a pause in between each. You will be amazed at the results.

As for the idea that it's not people pushing the glass, try adding some cooking oil liberally to the top of the glass to ensure, there can be no grip on the glass. Try it again, you may just find the glass doesn't move.

I'd be interested to hear your (honest) results.
 
  • #33
Ivan Seeking
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Science Advisor
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Take a pendulum or ring suspended on a piece of thread in one hand and hold it steady hovering just above the palm of your other, opened hand and repeatedly ask the pendulum to move, firstly in a clockwise movement, then anti-clockwise and finally back and forth, with a pause in between each. You will be amazed at the results.
Funny! In the 70's this was offered as proof that you were controlling the pendulum with your mind. Of course, if someone else held the pendulum there seemed to be mystical forces blocking the mind control. :biggrin:
 
  • #34
SGT
I have done the experiment with friends , when I was young. The first letters are random, but when a pattern is initiated, all participants unconsciously push the glass to complete an understandable sentence.
When there are only two letters, there is a great number of words that can be formed, so the glass moves somewhat erractically. When the number of possible words narrows, the movement becomes more fast and certain.
 

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