Why do so many people believe in extrasensory abilities?

Reading thoughts and the ability to see the future isskills with which people are not usually born. However, studies show that many people sincerely believe in the existence of mental forces. And despite the fact that numerous cases of proven fraud on the part of people claiming to be paranormal, should have weakened their belief in mental abilities, this is not so. There have been cases when Lajos Pap, a Hungarian spiritualist and medium, faked the appearance of animals during seances.

And most recently a self-proclaimed psychic.James Gidrik was fooled: he confessed that his paranormal demonstrations were tricks learned in prison. Announcements of the fact that someone removes damage and makes love spells can be found, probably, on every street in Russia.

Paranormal abilities: myth or truth?

Another notable example is the telepreacher.Peter Popoff His wife used a wireless transmitter to transmit information about the visitors to the sermon Popoff through the earpiece. He himself claimed that he received this information in a paranormal way and became famous when he got on national television, during which he worked wonders for enthusiastic viewers. At the same time, in Russia, the “god Kuzi” sect was “covered”, which also presented itself as “god in the flesh” and collected tribute from the credulous “subjects”.

You think after that people stopped believing inpower extrasensory perception? As if not so. According to research, more than a quarter of people believe that people may have extrasensory abilities, such as telepathy and clairvoyance.


Recently published work may helpshed some light on why people continue to believe in extrasensory abilities. As part of the study, believers and skeptics with the same level of education and academic experience were interviewed, and it turned out that people who believe in psychic abilities are less likely to think analytically. That is, they tend to interpret the world from a subjective point of view and do not perceive information critically.

Believers in paranormal abilities oftenconsider mental abilities as supporting evidence — regardless of their evidence base. The case of Chris Robinson, who calls himself a "dream detective," demonstrates this.

Robinson claims to have foreseenterrorist attacks, catastrophes and celebrity deaths. His statements are based on limited and dubious evidence. Tests conducted by Gary Schwartz at the University of Arizona, confirmed Robinson's abilities, but other researchers using similar methods could not confirm Schwartz's conclusion.

Vague and general

Mental statements are often general andvague nature - such as predicting a plane crash or the death of celebrities - and in part therefore many people believe in the possibility of psychic abilities.

This phenomenon is known as the Barnum effect -A common psychological phenomenon is when people tend to perceive vague, general personality characteristics as uniquely applicable to themselves. Recall, for example, horoscopes.

Studies, for example, have shown that individualsThey give a high appraisal of accuracy to the descriptions of their personalities that are supposedly made specifically for them, whereas in fact they are sufficiently vague and general to relate to a wide range of people. The phenomenon is named after Phineas Taylor Barnum, who had a reputation as a brilliant psychological manipulator.

Unable to check

Many claims of supernaturalabilities also proved impossible to confirm or verify. A classic illustration is the statement by Uri Geller that he "wished" a football to move during a penalty kick at Euro 96. The movement of the ball occurred spontaneously in uncontrolled conditions, and Geller made his statement in retrospect.

When professed abilities are exposedscientific research, researchers usually discredit them. This was true of Derek Ogilvy - the study showed that he truly believed in his abilities, but in fact could not read the thoughts of babies.

And when scientists supported statements aboutmental manifestations, usually followed criticism. This happened in the 1970s when physicists Russell Targ and Harold Puthoff published an article in the prestigious journal Nature, which supported the view that Uri Geller possessed genuine extrasensory abilities. Psychologists like Ray Hyman have denied this, stressing the main methodological flaws.

Mixed evidence

Another factor contributing to the belief inextrasensory abilities, is the availability of scientific studies that give positive results. This reinforces the belief of believers that the allegations are true and the phenomenon is real, while ignoring the fact that published studies are often criticized, and for general acceptance it is necessary to repeat the results.

One striking example of this is the articleprepared by social psychologist Daryl Boehm in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. It was said that this study expresses support for the existence of foresight (conscious cognitive awareness) and foresight (affective perception) of the future event. However, other scientists could not reproduce these results.

Way of thinking

It seems that, despite the cases of fakes,deceptions and fraud, people will still continue to believe in mental phenomena. Every third man claims to have experienced extrasensory manifestations, and almost every second woman claims the same thing.

Uri geller

And what do the experts say?

Victoria Sandalyuk, CEO TopMedKlinik, argues that many people believe in the supernatural, because they just want to believe in a miracle. And this leads to not very good consequences:

“Both adults and children want to believe in a miracle.

It's easier and more convenient - to do nothing, a person “moves his arms around” and magic will happen.

In this paper, we encounter a lot of realstories related to the fact that people are treated by psychics. Unfortunately, judging by practice, the help of a doctor is inevitable. Often, doctors are addressed in the most critical state after time is lost on psychics. Severe diseases are still treated by doctors and modern science, but there are many naive people, they always exist. As long as there is demand, there will be psychics. ”

Alexander Char, president of the Russian magical fraternity (inpresent - Center for Cognitive Magic ROMB), candidate of technical sciences, leading the first TV programs in Russia about the psychics Eldorado, Your Opportunities, Man, spoke about the weaknesses of people who use extrasensory abilities:

“Belief in the paranormal is based on the basic psychological properties of a person:

Magifrenia, belief in supernatural powers.

Personality illusionism - the natural quality of a person to embellish reality.

Based on these points, television andfilm industry exploit this topic, having a commercial interest. The battles of psychics and other TV shows on this topic were reliably filmed, with the involvement of non-professional actors, which increases the reliability of the footage. Thus, the impact increases. The following is added to the above.

Personal experiencewhen over the course of a person's life accumulatesa large number of inexplicable, from a scientific point of view, events. They are all individual and unique, like life itself. From the point of view of mathematics, this is called an ergodic nonstationary random process. Therefore, the scientific confirmation of such isolated cases is out of the question (they are non-repeatable). But there may be by chance. The chain of accidents for a person in life is represented as a secret pattern. ”

Mikhail Vladimirsky, clinical psychologist, child psychologist (to-psihologu.rf), presented his informative opinion on this issue:

"First about paranormal phenomena, that ismiracles. Indeed, belief in miracles, magical thinking is inherent in contemporaries a little less than our unenlightened ancestors. Belief in the wonderful device of the world, in the possibility of a miracle is massive. Thousands of believers line up in long queues to touch the relics, with the hope of some special miracle, or just in case.

But take people not religious, and evensticking to the scientific picture of the world. A huge number of people will accompany the pre-launch training of astronauts, and strictly followed by foreign participants of flights. So, the bus carrying astronauts to the launch pad ritually stops at the place where Yuri Gagarin once stopped him, and the participants of the flight, having set foot first on the ground with their left foot, celebrate little need in this place.

So, the world in many ways remains magical for us, andour thinking is magical. This brings to mind the structure of thinking of a traditional society, where every corner, structural elements of the hut, the furnace had ritual significance, sowing and harvest were perceived as acts of natural magic, a threshold and a mirror as windows to another world.

New time, the era of industrial production(modern) is considered to be the spell of the world, but magical thinking continues to reproduce itself in the human psyche. With the eradication of Christian rites, in the Soviet society, new ones have arisen, and they still live today, perfectly getting along with restored Christian ones.

Here is a family of engineers (educators, or scientists)closes the mirror in the presence of the deceased, and then leaves a glass with vodka in front of his photograph, and started a bottle on his grave, supposedly in sacrifice to the spirit of the deceased. The traditional, archaic man is alive in us. We often use a counterintuitive scientific picture of the world, and at the same time live in an archaic psychic reality.

There are cases when a twin or a mother"Hears" or feels over thousands of kilometers of feeling at the moment of mortal danger. Cases of reading thoughts, perceiving mental images of another person are commonplace. All these cases are united by one. They are unpredictable, and therefore for science do not exist. This is what in science is called anecdotal (one-time) confirmation, and those are not recognized as science. The famous physicist Roger Penrose (from a difficult family, among his close relatives are 3 Nobel Prize winners) argues that the amazing qualities of the human psyche cannot be explained otherwise than by its quantum nature.

English biologist Rupert Sheldrake held opena massive experiment where the extrasensory abilities of dogs and cats were studied. Webcams recorded whether the pet precedes the arrival of the owners home, going to the door. The results seemed to be positive. In the future, the author conducted seemingly successful experiments on the human ability to telepathy (43% positive results while waiting for 25%). In another experiment in 2015, the author received 55% positive results while waiting for 50%, which is statistically significant with a large sample (p = 2018). On the other hand, we have a lot of research with a negative result.

So, from all kinds of extrasensory abilitiesonly the existence of telepathy has some scientific evidence. There are also numerous anecdotal evidence in favor of telepathy. Telepathy is consistent with Roger Penrose's quantum hypothesis, its mechanism may be the effect of quantum entanglement. As for telekinesis, telesynthesis, and teleportation, this has to be attributed to the tricks created by the shamans and their colleagues in order to make an impression, create a hyip and make money. Many people believe them. No wonder, professional wizards of the master evoke illusions and inspire faith, and people tend to want a miracle. ”

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