Superstitious? A conspiracy theorist? That's because you are insecure!

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posted on Oct, 3 2008 @ 07:33 AM
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I found this very interesting article in Scientific American today. Researchers claim that "lack of control can lead rational people to see patterns even where no true pattern exists":


Lack of control seen fueling superstitions

The need for structure or understanding leads people to trick themselves into seeing and making connections that do not exist, said Jennifer Whitson of the University of Texas at Austin.

"When we lack control we are going to see and seek out patterns, sometimes even false patterns, to regain our sense of control," said Whitson, whose research appears in the journal Science.

Baseball players are a prime example.
"Everybody knows the classic superstitious baseball player with their lucky T-shirt and the particular thing they have to do before they step up to the plate," Whitson said in an audio interview on the Science website.

She and colleague Adam Galinsky of Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, suspected lack of control was at the heart of many rituals, superstitions and conspiracy theories.

To prove it, they conducted a series of experiments in which they manipulated control in different ways -- for instance by asking people to answer a series of questions, then randomly telling half of them they were making mistakes.

Then the volunteers had to find patterns. In one task, they were asked to find faint images in grainy patterns of dots. Half of the pictures had images and the others were random dots. While people in both groups correctly spotted the images, the group that felt they lacked control from a previous part of the experiment also "saw" images in 43 percent of pictures that were not there.

"We manipulated lack of control and showed the need for structure increased," Whitson said.


www.sciam.com...

You can also read the article here and listen to the audio interview, but you have to subscribe to the site:
www.sciencemag.org...

I would very much like to hear other ATS-members thoughts about this. Do you think the researchers conclusions are true? Do we see conspiracies where there really is none, just because we feel a lack of control in our lives? Do we flatter ourselves and think we are smarter than people who haven't yet discovered that all is not right in this world..?

It would also be interesting to see if there are many truly superstitious members here at ATS. I admit that I personally never walks under a ladder. Just in case... But I have no problems with one of these crossing the road ahead of me:



And I am not so sure that one of these will help me win the lottery:



How about you?




posted on Oct, 3 2008 @ 07:36 AM
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Kinda something like organized religion, n'est pas?????



posted on Oct, 3 2008 @ 07:56 AM
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reply to post by GoalPoster
 


If you mean that religion also is a kind of superstition, I agree somewhat with you. I think many people need to believe in a higher power, and find great comfort in the thought of a compassionate God. Especially in troubled times. I see nothing wrong with that.
But when religion is used as an excuse to hurt, discriminate or even kill other human beings, I see plenty wrong with it.



posted on Oct, 3 2008 @ 08:35 AM
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Great thread - totally enjoyable! I wish there were more of these on the board.

I can think of a few people surfing these pages that will tell you that the study is part of a larger conspiracy... probably concerning the N.W.O stereotyping them to the pubic as "Paranoid" and "Out Of Control" so no one will take them seriously...

Yeah it goes something like that


IRM



posted on Oct, 3 2008 @ 08:35 AM
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Arghhh! Double Post!!! My Bad!!!


[edit on 3/10/08 by InfaRedMan]



posted on Oct, 3 2008 @ 08:50 AM
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From the OP's link,
www.sciam.com...


While people in both groups correctly spotted the images, the group that felt they lacked control from a previous part of the experiment also "saw" images in 43 percent of pictures that were not there.


How do they know that the 'images' that some of the participants 'saw' were not there?

Maybe those images were/are there, just beyond the perceptions of the others.

How's that InfaRedMan?



(edit-pardon my insecurity, but couldn't one consider a lack of a pattern, a pattern in itself?...)

[edit on 3-10-2008 by FewWorldOrder]

[edit on 3-10-2008 by FewWorldOrder]



posted on Oct, 3 2008 @ 09:05 AM
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{Do we see conspiracies where there really is none, just because we feel a lack of control in our lives?}

This is a no for me at least ....I actually do not believe that anything is a conspiricy(and I sure hope and pray that most are not true at all) until I get overwhelmed with so much convincing evidence that then its hard not to admit that it may really be a conspiricy ..
And I believe I have more control of my life than most people I know ..so the answer to that that is a NO >

{Do we flatter ourselves and think we are smarter than people who haven't yet discovered that all is not right in this world..?}
NO because I know I am not the smartest cookie in the jar ...I do believe though that some people no matter how much evidence you show them just close their eyes and ears to it and refuse to even consider that all may not be right with the world ..They are definately in denial and like it that way >
(And maybe they have a point ...it makes life just wee bit more difficult knowing some things that you really didnt want to know at all ) >.
Sometimes I feel like just forgetting about anything I found out to be true and carry on with life in a daze like some people do ...because thats alot easier sometimes ....(Like the 911 situation ..the Conspiricy in Gov..etc) those conspiricies are extremely disturbing .....
{It would also be interesting to see if there are many truly superstitious members here at ATS}

I am not superstitious at all ..

[edit on 3-10-2008 by Simplynoone]



posted on Oct, 3 2008 @ 09:13 AM
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Everyone's definition of what a conspiracy theorist is differs. Some think that if you are suspicious of the government, you are a conspiracy theorist. Others draw the line at believing in reptilians running the govt.

Personally, I think that it is a fine line. I think that it is just as foolish to believe that you can take everything at face value as it is to believe that a race of reptiles are secretly running the planet.

I believe that if you are rational, you would see how everyone has their own agenda and that conspiracies really are everywhere. Everyday conversation will show you that most people hide the truth and hide what they are really wanting or getting at. People don't trust each other.

History shows that governments and people in power have conspired against the masses forever. Isn't it kind of foolish to think that they have all just turned over a new leaf and we are all suddenly living in a utopia of honesty and good intention?

Then again, it is obvious that I am just irrational because I am so insecure.

[edit on 3-10-2008 by Karlhungis]



posted on Oct, 3 2008 @ 09:35 AM
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Originally posted by FewWorldOrder
From the OP's link,
www.sciam.com...


How do they know that the 'images' that some of the participants 'saw' were not there?



(edit-pardon my insecurity, but couldn't one consider a lack of a pattern, a pattern in itself?...)



Spoken like a true conspiracy theorist. Me like it!



posted on Oct, 3 2008 @ 04:26 PM
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posted on Oct, 3 2008 @ 05:27 PM
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If you see a duck, do you call it a duck?

If you see something matching with something else, then it is just matching. No need for some other observing what you say to get bent out of shape to fix on their B.S. and damning opinion in your name.

Some evil doer who feels they must apply things to you in your name says: Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy "in" thy name?

The Person says: I never knew you, depart from me, evil doers!


^^Only you knew you and no other, so dont put whatever accusation (which is a personal attack) you say in another's name.

My name holds the indignation. And if you have any thing in it, when I cast it into the furnace, so shall every one who those things are connected with be cast into the furnace which shall be heated greatly. If you put your B.S. in my name, then it is my indignation for my disposal. I can choose how it is disposed. Then it shall be that you, marked for being held accountable, are snared because you are my evildoer, working so that I can know just who I shall cast into HELL and then know not. I know all that I never knew. And I can stop knowing all who are my indignation with the name drop I toss off into HELL.

My evil doers chall then realize who they should not have been indignation toward in this world.



posted on Oct, 3 2008 @ 05:40 PM
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Originally posted by ziggystar60
I found this very interesting article in Scientific American today. Researchers claim that "lack of control can lead rational people to see patterns even where no true pattern exists":


Undoubtably true, in part. However, you have to be careful with this type of thinking, because there ARE subtle patterns that occur, can be detected and exploited. For example, tree bark is aspirin. If you eat certain tree bark, your headache goes away. What genius discovered that strange pattern?

Also, I don't know if "lack of control" should be necessarily identified as a problem. An obvious example is someone who controls their fear perfectly -- they take unnecessary risks and eventually die in an easily avoided accident.

I think what the researchers were talking about here was "control" in the "control theory" or "law of control" sense, which states that delays or inaccuracies in feedback are a main cause of system instability. According to control theory, stability of a control system depends mainly on quality of feedback, and not much more.

Interesting topic. Don't mean to be disagreeable



posted on Oct, 3 2008 @ 05:50 PM
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reply to post by ziggystar60
 


I am not superstitious, I am not a great believer in all conspiracies but I do believe that conspiracies exist. I believe that we, the common folk, are underestimated by the powers that be and that they use plausible deniability when none actually exists.

I am truly sickened when irrefutable facts are discarded like yesterday's newspaper and swept under the carpet when they do not fit in with the norm. Irrefutable facts that cannot be easily discarded immediately, are forgotten nonetheless, within days, weeks, months. I am dismayed that irrefutable facts actually get boring when they are not acknowledged by the common folk. That they actually become lies over the years.

I know this has always been the case. History goes to the victor. It has been so from time immemorial, and it will always be that way.

It is enough to make one less secure about absolutes.

Insecure, even.

[edit on 3/10/08 by Lebowski achiever]



posted on Oct, 3 2008 @ 07:49 PM
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Superstitious? Hardly. A conspiracy theorist? Yup.
When someone points out one of the many superstitions, I do whatever they say not to do.



posted on Oct, 3 2008 @ 08:22 PM
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superstisious, nah not really. but i can see how it works, using the baseball player as an example. if he steps up to the plate (see that im even gettin the american lingo down pat lol) if he hasnt gone through his routine his mind is gonna be thinking , dam i forgot to do that or i never did this which means he aint concentrating on what hes supposed to be doin, so is this really superstition or is it just a way of focusing the mind. superstitions come about from everyday life, for exmple, its considered bad luck as pointed out above to walk under a ladder, if you do walk under it does it mean that your gonna have bad luck the rest of the day? course not, you dont walk under in case the guy on top drops his tin of paint or hammer etc. its common sense not superstion.



posted on Oct, 4 2008 @ 07:17 AM
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Originally posted by Buck Division


Also, I don't know if "lack of control" should be necessarily identified as a problem. An obvious example is someone who controls their fear perfectly -- they take unnecessary risks and eventually die in an easily avoided accident.



You make a good point here. For instance, every year one or more base jumpers are killed in the norwegian mountains. These thrill seakers and adrenalin junkies are often described as brave people, people who have learned to control their fear. Like it is something to be admired.

But personally I think their behaviour is kind of... well, stupid. Not only stupid, but also extremely selfish. These people who get killed or trapped on a mountain ledge somewhere, have to be brought down. And so the rescue crew and the helicopter pilot are forced to put their own life at risk to get to the body or injured person.

So sometimes it really is a problem when people have learned to be in total and perfect control of their fear. Some of these people die. And in very stupid ways.

(And you are not being disagreeable at all. Thanks for you very good comment, I appreciate it.)



posted on Oct, 4 2008 @ 07:24 AM
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This is disinformation, I am not sure who the people are in the medical world anymore.

I have had odd experiences that science can not put down and religion has been my only answer and to me this is all disinformation. I am starting to see the between the truth and lie of so called expert opinion.

The serpent has his mark in the Medical world.




posted on Oct, 4 2008 @ 07:27 AM
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Insecure? Desperately seeking a way to put yourself above others? Need arbitrary lines to draw so that the weak and simple can be placed across it? Become a scientist and publish a paper on why other people are insecure.



posted on Oct, 4 2008 @ 07:30 AM
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Stating that no conspiracies exists makes you look very gullible or stupid in my opinion. How can anyone think what happens in the world is all random when its so apparent its not?



posted on Oct, 4 2008 @ 07:32 AM
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reply to post by The time lord
 


I am not sure I understand what you mean. (It may be because of language barrier, I am norwegian.) Can you elaborate a little?





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