Mens Temporum . UK

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Psychological versus Psychical

This next incident didn’t even involve me in writing anything but simply ticking boxes and yet I still got the message that something peculiar had happened, this time under test conditions rather than spontaneously in my everyday life.

As my suspicions about the phenomenon suggested by my experiences grew I realised that apart from considering the potential psychical nature of it I should also address the conventional psychological aspects. Knowing very little about psychology in February 2016 I took an opportunity to attend a half day introduction to cognitive psychology at the local education centre. We did various simple experiments. One involved looking at six pairs of photographs of people’s faces and choosing from each pair which person had been successful in an election. I mentioned to the presenter that I gained no information from the faces because of my aphantasia, so he told me to act as a control, making my choices at random.

I tried to decide how I could best make a random selection and then noticed that with the layout of the photographs on the page six of the boxes happened to lie roughly at the corners of a regular hexagon. With my mathematical background and in particular my past skill with geometry I decided to tick these boxes. I thought that it was most unlikely that the people who set the test would have chosen such an obvious regular pattern for the results, so my choices would be as random as any other. However, when the presenter announced the correct results and we checked how many selections we had got right I discovered that all six of my choices were wrong, a one in sixty-four chance. Everyone else had average results of three or four correct selections in comparison, which was what might be expected if there were any connection between the facial features of the candidates and their election results to offset our selections in the test slightly over the most likely score of three. In addition to my score being the most unlikely I had also singled myself out as an exception before we took the test, which made the event even more unlikely than any one of us getting that score. Later I asked the presenter whether he had noticed that the photographs had been laid out in a regular pattern, but he said that he had laid them out completely randomly. In fact on his computer the layout looked different and the regular pattern didn’t show there and had apparently only been evident on the printed sheets given to us. The outcome had been that the presenter’s suggestion that I act as an average control case had been turned on its head with everyone else apart from myself getting the average scores.

I have already mentioned PMIR and in retrospect this incident appears to have been an example of it. Apart from being an unconscious process it is suspected of being able to have an influence across both space and even time, so my discovery of the results at the end of the test could potentially have influenced my choices made during it. I had after all preferred not to be involved in the test and my zero score was the equivalent of the null score that I would have acquired had I not. However, the alleged capabilities of PMIR suggest something else even more intriguing, that the very close clustering of the other attendees’ results might itself have been caused by my unconscious intention in order to isolate my score from theirs more convincingly. Certainly it would have taken little influence to make me aware of that regular pattern in the layout of the tick boxes on the page given my existing propensity for geometric symmetry. Whatever it was that caused this incident it seemed to me that I had turned a psychological experiment into a psychical one without realising it in order to learn more not about psychology but psychical phenomena.

I haven’t attempted to explore the realm of psychology since then as I am doubtful that I can learn much about the phenomenon behind my experiences within that discipline.

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