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The This Man phenomenon

  1. Oct 19, 2009 #1

    Math Is Hard

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    The "This Man" phenomenon

    http://thisman.org/history.htm

    Ever dream about this man?

    thisman_small.jpg

    The 2nd recognition description is unsettling, but with the other reports (and without knowing more detail), it seems that the psychiatrists could have been unintentionally planting a suggestion to the patients that they had seen the face, especially if they were pointedly asking "have you seen this face in your dreams?" rather than just leaving the picture out for discovery. This questioning could have built up into a false memory ("maybe I did dream that face"), or maybe even triggered a dream of the face to occur (sort of a self-fulfilling prophecy).

    Just had to share this one because it was so strange. Could be the whole thing is baloney, though.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 19, 2009 #2

    Evo

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    Re: The "This Man" phenomenon

    Seems to be a hoax.

    A viral internet marketing company seems to own the site.
     
  4. Oct 19, 2009 #3

    Math Is Hard

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    Re: The "This Man" phenomenon

    I wonder if it's a pure viral marketing experiment. Or maybe there is some promotion that will be revealed later once this has saturated the internet.
     
  5. Oct 19, 2009 #4

    lisab

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    Re: The "This Man" phenomenon

    But wait a minute...does the guy give good advice? Because dang, if he does, I have **lots** of complicated personal issues I'd like his views on.

    Unfortunately, I've never seen him, in dreams or otherwise.

    Maybe tonight, though...cross my fingers!
     
  6. Oct 19, 2009 #5

    DaveC426913

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    Re: The "This Man" phenomenon

    Just tell me your issues. I'll ask him tonight for you.
     
  7. Oct 19, 2009 #6

    ideasrule

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    Re: The "This Man" phenomenon

    Instead of revealing the portrait, what the psychiatrists should have done is ask their clients to independently draw portraits of the face they saw in their dreams. Then, they should have sent the portraits to a third party to judge whether the two are of the same person. One problem to this method is that memories of dreams are usually extremely fuzzy, so even if two people did dream of the same person, they might draw very different portraits. Then again, because memories of dreams are fuzzy, the 2000 people might of dreamt of people who looked similar but not identical.
     
  8. Oct 19, 2009 #7

    Math Is Hard

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    Re: The "This Man" phenomenon

    It's a good idea, but IIRC from the site it is not known that the patients were seeing a face, only that they were having recurring dreams. To ask them to draw the picture of a face they were seeing would be leading them. (And of course, it could all be a hoax, as Evo pointed out).

    Another good idea - although inter-rater reliability measures could be very inconsistent. Some people might draw detailed portraits, others might draw stick figures. It could get very difficult for the judges. Some people might get disqualified because they just can't draw very well.
    Yes, indeed. Even memories of events that really happened in the past tend to be quite malleable. With dreams, it gets even worse I would imagine.

    I think it is interesting to look at it from a reverse and more manipulative perspective - how easily can you convince people that they remember something (purely invented by the experimenter) from a dream? I can't help but wonder if this whole "this man" thing is part of a cognitive psychology experiment on memory manipulation. :)
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2009
  9. Oct 19, 2009 #8

    DavidSnider

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    Re: The "This Man" phenomenon

    I find it interesting that people actually see faces in their dreams.

    My dreams are all pretty much just a "sense" of something, there isn't a visual component to it. I can get a sense that "I'm running down a hallway" but I could never tell you what color the walls were.
     
  10. Oct 19, 2009 #9

    ideasrule

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    Re: The "This Man" phenomenon

    That's REALLY interesting. You can't see images at all in a dream? Can you hear sound, feel pain, or smell?

    I once tried lucid dreaming to see how much I can experience in a dream. I heard that some people can't see color in dreams; I specifically looked for color in my dreams and found it. Children's shows would lead us to believe people can't feel pain in a dream; I pinched myself and definitely felt it.
     
  11. Oct 19, 2009 #10

    DaveC426913

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    Re: The "This Man" phenomenon

    Did you feel it? Or did you simply dream that "the pinch was felt"?

    I know sometimes I dream that things seem to have happened in my dream, but then later in the dream, it didn't actually turn out to have happened.
     
  12. Oct 19, 2009 #11

    DavidSnider

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    Re: The "This Man" phenomenon

    No, none of those things. It's like the dream is a plot outline, no details. Emotions are all 100% there though.

    I have had a lucid dream one time in my life and it was pretty horrifying. I took a nap on the couch next to the sliding glass door in my house and I had the most incredibly vivid dream of a guy dressed in black throwing a brick through the glass door (no sound though, still) that lasted for a split second. I ran into the kitchen to grab something to defend myself and it took a few seconds for me to realize what had just happened. I can't induce them though.
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2009
  13. Oct 19, 2009 #12

    ideasrule

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    Re: The "This Man" phenomenon

    I definitely did feel it. This was a lucid dream and I planned to pinch myself well before going to bed, so I was specifically thinking while inside the dream: "I will now pinch myself and see if I feel it." Then I was thinking: "I feel the pinch, and it's indistinguishable from what I would have felt in real life." This contradicts children's TV shows in which people tell whether they're dreaming or not by pinching themselves.
     
  14. Oct 19, 2009 #13

    ideasrule

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    Re: The "This Man" phenomenon

    That's not really what a lucid dream is. In a lucid dream, you consciously know that you're dreaming and usually try to take advantage of the situation.
     
  15. Oct 20, 2009 #14

    DavidSnider

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    Re: The "This Man" phenomenon

    Oh, ok. In that case, no. I can't even recall ever having to make a decision in a dream, it's like watching a movie (or rather, like having a book read to you).

    In this particular case though it was as if I hadn't even closed my eyes and the "dream world" and reality merged. Not sure what you call that. "Crazy" is my guess. =)
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2009
  16. Oct 20, 2009 #15

    DavidSnider

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    Re: The "This Man" phenomenon

    Maybe you pinched yourself in real life? No way to know =)
     
  17. Oct 20, 2009 #16

    DaveC426913

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    Re: The "This Man" phenomenon

    That's called daydreaming.

    I think we colloquially use it to mean just lost in thought, but I think the correct meaning is more literal. I do occasionally have dreams while awake. It happens when I'm very tired or bored. In company meetings for example, I've almost burst out with a reponse to some dreamed statement someone made - and this happens when I am still awake.
     
  18. Oct 20, 2009 #17

    DavidSnider

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    Re: The "This Man" phenomenon

    Oh is that what daydreaming is? I always thought of it in the colloquial way. God, I'm glad that doesn't happen often lol.
     
  19. Oct 20, 2009 #18
    Re: The "This Man" phenomenon

    interesting case, would be a shame if it's a hoax

    on a side note this man looks identical to how I imagined O'Brien from 1984, and i mean identical!

    also he looks rather like Mr Beauregarde from the original Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, here's a picture of him

    http://s12.bdbphotos.com/images/80x104/d/x/dxrr0gns3jaa0g.jpg [Broken]
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  20. Oct 20, 2009 #19

    DaveC426913

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    Re: The "This Man" phenomenon

    O'Brien who?
     
  21. Oct 29, 2009 #20
    Re: The "This Man" phenomenon

    Saw an article on this in the local metro paper. Conclusion: I need to start paying for newspapers.
     
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