The eyes have it: Globeandmail.com

  • #1
Ivan Seeking
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Main Question or Discussion Point

"ALEXANDRA GILL suspends her disbelief and tests a British scientist's theory that we really can tell when someone's watching us"

http://www.globeandmail.com/servlet/ArticleNews/TPStory/LAC/20030809/FCSHEL/TPScience/ [Broken]

Please bare in mind that as with all news links, I am only posting FYI. I am promoting no particular theory.
 
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Answers and Replies

  • #2
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Hmm... I do have some doubt about the method he used. Especially about his manipulation of the statistics. I don't think he is really justified to divide up the categories as he did, as that defeats the idea of a placebo in the first place.

If we take away his slant at it, we can see what the actual data was.

With 20 runs...

times correct: 12
times incorrect: 8

Is that significant? No.

IMHO, the way he deal with the data opens up a large number of problems.

For example, if Mrs Gill simply picked "being watched" all the time, the data would be:

times correct: 10
times incorrect: 10

As his is only looking for correct cases WHEN he is actually looking, he can then say that the result supports his case fully, as she is clearly(!) incapable of sensing when he isn't watching and very effective at sensing when he is.

All this really tells to me is that people are generally paranoic, and may be influenced by the way he, and those who repeated it, conducted the experiment. Notice for example that it is impossible to conduct the experiment without first informing the participant he may be being watched, triggering a paranoic response.
 
  • #3
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Did you guys see the movie "Sliver" with Sharon Stone. It dates some years ago. Some guy installed lots of cameras in an apartment building. He rented the room to all sorts of different people and he played God with them. Aproaching some of these people "by chance" on the street for "a survey" I think would give better results.
 

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