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Thread: Inexplicable Detection

  1. #1 Inexplicable Detection 
    Forum Freshman TheReal's Avatar
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    Hi, I'd like to discuss with you a phenomenon which happened to me so many times that I'm sure it doesn't have a conventional explanation. The phenomenon is Stare Detection, and it happens to all people, but it as it happens rarely and almost unconsciously, it can go unnoticed.
    Some surveys showed that many people experience this phenomenon:
    Unquestionably the most vocal supporter of this claim is the British biologist Rupert Sheldrake who, in chapter four of his book Seven Experiments That Could Change the World: A Do-It-Yourself Guide To Revolutionary Science (Riverhead Books, New York, 1995), argues that not only do our minds "extend beyond the body" but also suggests, "If our minds reach out and 'touch' what we are looking at then we may affect what we look at just by looking at it. If we look at another person, for example, we may affect him or her by doing so" (107). Sheldrake, moreover, insists that the sense of being stared at is not only very "well known" but in informal surveys in both Europe and America, "I have found that about 80 percent of the people I have asked claimed to have experienced it themselves." Sheldrake also notes it is accepted as a premise in countless works of fiction and it plays an important part in the relationship of people with animals and their pets.

    It is, therefore, of considerable importance and significance to determine if such "mental influence," independent of other possible material means of human-to-human communication, does exist.
    Here is how it happens to me:
    I sense something and then suddenly I look in a certain direction, and there is someone staring at me. As people don't like being caught staring, my sudden and unexpected turn in the direction of the starer catches him/her off guard and suddenly he/she turns his/her face away to avoid being caught staring, and that actually proves the intention. What could be the explanation?.

    Do you recall something like that, or any time you opened your eyes when you were sleeping to find someone staring at you?.

    Also I've discovered that animals too can detect staring...


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  3. #2  
    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
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    I voted yes. However, I am not at all puzzled by it. I stare at people all the time. People like to look at other people. It is not at all surprising that when we turn around suddenly someone is indeed staring at us.

    Moreover, there is research that clearly shows people remember the 'hits' and forget the 'misses'.


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  4. #3  
    Moderator Moderator Dishmaster's Avatar
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    I'd like to ask a different question: How often do you look around and none is staring at you? Do you count these incidents as well? And how do you know, this person was staring? How do you know that this person's look didn't just meet you only a second ago?

    As a matter of fact, I would not call this "staring detection". Whenever people mingle, they look at each other. Some do, others don't. So, it is not a big surprise that sometimes two pair of eyes meet.

    I am not sure, but I remember having heard of experiments trying to investigate this apparent phenomenon, but they have been statistically inconclusive. They had the same result like when you predict the toss of a coin. If you toss often enough, your success rate is 50%.
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  5. #4  
    Moderator Moderator TheBiologista's Avatar
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    Have experienced it. I reckon it's just confirmation bias.
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  6. #5  
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt
    I voted yes. However, I am not at all puzzled by it.
    I can assure you it's puzzling!.
    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt
    I stare at people all the time. People like to look at other people. It is not at all surprising that when we turn around suddenly someone is indeed staring at us.
    Yes staring happens mostly in public places because of course no one will stare at you when you're alone in your room. Also, in normal situations, it's unlikely for someone who knows you very well to stare at you.
    But your explanation could be true if I don't sense the direction of the starers, but I do. I don't just look around and accidentally catch someone staring at me, and I did it even when I thought I'm alone. I even tried once not to look when I sensed staring but I got very anxious and uncomfortable and finally had to look in the direction of the starer. After that I was mentally relieved because that ended the staring. You can't do anything when someone is staring at you....

    Also it's not a normal turn, it's a sudden, unexpected and mostly atomic turn of my face in a certain direction. Everything happens almost unconsciously, it's like when you respond to someone who is calling your name from behind. If you're expecting that call, you can prevent yourself from responding but it's going to be uncomfortable for you. And I think in the short time of a fast turn, people can detect the location of starers by more precision than the senses of hearing, sight combined claim. My brain somehow knows somehow where I'm going to look before even turning my head. And I can detect the starers even among the crowd.

    There was no good reason for me to suddenly look in the directions of the starers. Many times it was nearly impossible for me to know that there is someone at that location because the starers were at a long distance from me. But my sudden and unexpected turn of my head in their direction caught them off guard. they thought that I could see them and suddenly they tried to hide and that visually revealed their position. their lame attempt to hide the intention actually proved the opposite.

    Although I'm more conscious in regard to this phenomenon, I also did the same lame attempt when I was staring at someone that detected me. It's a surprise when you are comfortably staring at someone from behind and suddenly, out of the blue, that person is gazing at you as if he/she knew that you were staring. If I just kept looking for a second or two, it wouldn't have proved anything because the the normal behavior for someone whom you suddenly gaze at, is to gaze back at you, not to suddenly turn his/her face away. Also I saw the same phenomenon happen to other people when I wasn't involved.

    Here is the same unusual phenomenon happening to animals (found accidentally):
    Notice the prairie dog's behavior at 00:09-00:15.
    Notice the cat at 00:31-00:45.
    Notice the chipmunk's hands at 0:04.
    Notice the gecko's tail at 0:25.
    Here is some interesting comments about the animals behavior:
    "wth whats wrong with it "
    "I keep watching this video. 9,000 times. And i can't figure it out."
    "Was that real?".
    "this video is fake"
    "Its strange but i cant stop laughing at it. even after like 50 times"
    "what the hell did they do to that poor animal??? "
    "HAHAHAHHAAH lol what made him turn and do that??!? "
    "Oscar for the leading role hahahahhahahahahahhahahahahhah ahahhahahahhahhahhhhahah he is so funny ".
    "Not funny at all. What the hell?"
    " freaking hate this video. Just a stupid fake animal. You've got to be an idiot to think this is funny. "
    "Hey, me again... Quick question! What did the chipmunk turn around like that for? Wth did it see? Lol. ".
    Without watching the videos, a simple statistical analysis on the thousands of comments which these videos are getting at YouTube, will reveal that they refer to the same phenomenon. One of the people who posted the videos tried to explain the animal's behavior and came up with this funny explanation:
    Dude did you actually record this? what happened to that poor squirel?
    hi hellsingiscool,
    the original footage is from a Japanese children's program i think. It's bee around for a while. I think the prairie dog was play a sound of another prairie dog and he turns to look.
    they have like a distinctive bark noise.
    Although this could be a very good explanation for the animals behavior, it's not the case in the videos.

    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt
    Moreover, there is research that clearly shows people remember the 'hits' and forget the 'misses'.
    Quote Originally Posted by Dishmaster
    I'd like to ask a different question: How often do you look around and none is staring at you? Do you count these incidents as well?
    Well, people tend to stare at me because I look somehow different and this is why I got thousands of hits, but I didn't get any misses, or precisely false positives when I suddenly looked in a certain direction after I sensed the starers. Also I do look around all the time when I don't sense anything and yet I didn't catch any staring when I did that.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dishmaster
    As a matter of fact, I would not call this "staring detection". Whenever people mingle, they look at each other. Some do, others don't. So, it is not a big surprise that sometimes two pair of eyes meet.
    I'm still not sure what is the hypothesis here but it's certainly a matter of the brain not just the eyes.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dishmaster
    I am not sure, but I remember having heard of experiments trying to investigate this apparent phenomenon, but they have been statistically inconclusive. They had the same result like when you predict the toss of a coin. If you toss often enough, your success rate is 50%.
    I think the conditions were wrong because we simply can't simulate people's unconscious interests.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheBiologista
    Have experienced it. I reckon it's just confirmation bias.
    I'm totally 100% sure there is no confirmation bias regarding this phenomenon 8).

    How could this happen?.
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  7. #6  
    Forum Professor marcusclayman's Avatar
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    How could confirmation bias happen?

    Latent neurosis

    The mind is a funny thing, we can convince ourselves of very peculiar things. When you look for something, you will indeed find it. This is the flaw with idealists, fascists and dogmatists, they ignore everything not supportive of their beliefs. Some go so far as to judge that which they ignore as "evil" and justify ignoring it, some just refuse to admit the existence of that which they ignore.

    It might happen subconsciously though, there may be very little control over it.



    This is what I don't get. You say you don't look around unless you get this fealing, but if you don't look around how do you know that EVERYONE isn't looking at you and that you only 'sense" a few of them?

    By your own words, you cannot, but i will wager that the majority of people look at just about EVERYONE they can, especially those who look different, as you say you do.

    Saying that you look different, though I do not know you, may also be a sign that you are neurotic. Noticing that you notice things that other people don't notice, is also a sign of neurosis.

    Not that neurosis is a bad thing, a recent article in sciencedaily says that males with a degree of neurosis are better companions for females(they tend to have better health at older age) assuming both are conscientious.
    Dick, be Frank.

    Ambiguity Kills.
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  8. #7  
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    Quote Originally Posted by marcusclayman
    How could confirmation bias happen?
    No, I meant the detection as I've described it.
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  9. #8  
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    Quote Originally Posted by marcusclayman
    This is what I don't get. You say you don't look around unless you get this fealing, but if you don't look around how do you know that EVERYONE isn't looking at you and that you only 'sense" a few of them?
    No, I didn't say that, I said:
    Also I do look around all the time when I don't sense anything and yet I didn't catch any staring when I did that.
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  10. #9  
    Moderator Moderator TheBiologista's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheReal

    Quote Originally Posted by TheBiologista
    Have experienced it. I reckon it's just confirmation bias.
    I'm totally 100% sure there is no confirmation bias regarding this phenomenon 8).

    How could this happen?.
    By making particular note of and recording instances when you were correct and giving less notice or forgetting instances when you were not. The human mind tends to fixate on the unusual, so this very thing happens every day. We also tend to given more credence to external evidence that backs up our position and to try and find fault with that which contradicts it. This is not a failing of weak or silly people, but of all people. This is why when we study things, we are very careful to record all data, to use controls and to carefully analyse the results for comparison to what we'd expect to get by pure luck.
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  11. #10  
    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheReal
    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt
    I voted yes. However, I am not at all puzzled by it.
    I can assure you it's puzzling!.
    No. You can assure me that you are puzzled by it. You have little chance of assuring me that it is puzzling, since I do not find it so. You are asking me to accept anecdotal evidence from a complete stranger who seems unaware (s)he may be capable of self deception. Now since I am a nice guy I will concede I find your own anecdotal evidence marginally more reliable than something I might witness myself, but that's not much of a commendation.

    Bottom line, until you can replicate this under laboratory conditions there is no puzzle at all.
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  12. #11  
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    My experience of it is not so much detecting when others stare at me. (There's no way to know how often they're staring at me undetected, and thus no way to compare "hits" with "misses")

    I notice, however, that I can only stare at another person from behind for a few seconds before they turn around and notice me. That is with pretty much a 100% confirmation rate, whenever I have tried it.
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  13. #12  
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    Here is randomly picked article from the internet on the statistical meaningfulness of "staring" experiments. It is a bit lengthy, but surely worth reading.

    http://www.csicop.org/si/2000-09/staring.html
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  14. #13  
    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dishmaster
    Here is randomly picked article from the internet on the statistical meaningfulness of "staring" experiments.
    Is that truly randomly picked, or pseudo-randomly picked? :wink:
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  15. #14  
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt
    Quote Originally Posted by Dishmaster
    Here is randomly picked article from the internet on the statistical meaningfulness of "staring" experiments.
    Is that truly randomly picked, or pseudo-randomly picked? :wink:
    Errrr ... well ... randomly picked in the sense that I ignored the first link in Google that apparently all the Sheldrake disciples visit regularly.
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  16. #15  
    Forum Professor marcusclayman's Avatar
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    All apologies for my previos post's errors. I don't wish to discount you, I just wanted to support critical thought on the subject. Even if it is true, it is important that we observe it for what it is and not assume we know what it is and why it is happening.
    Dick, be Frank.

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  17. #16  
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    I stare at people with the opposite gender all of the time and get caught all of the time. So when I get evil stares at me for being a gawker I suppose that's confirmation that people tell when I am ogling.
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  18. #17  
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    I ignore anyone who stares at me. They get bored before I do, so this has never happened to me.
    "The major difference between a thing that might go wrong and a thing that cannot possibly go wrong is that when a thing that cannot possibly go wrong goes wrong it usually turns out to be impossible to get at or repair." ~ Douglas Adams
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  19. #18  
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheBiologista
    By making particular note of and recording instances when you were correct and giving less notice or forgetting instances when you were not. The human mind tends to fixate on the unusual, so this very thing happens every day.
    Yes, I know, but do you think there is any confirmation bias regarding my experiments as I describe them. I mean:
    Thousands of true positives (hits).
    No false positives, which means I didn't suddenly look in a certain direction after sensing staring and found no starers.
    That happened when there were random amount of people around me and at random places, from crowded to the visually empty.
    The starers were random people at random directions (including above me).
    Those were at random distances, from the nearest to the long for any sound to reach me.
    Not only I sensed the starers but also they affirmed that by the caught off guard behavior.
    There wasn't any visual or hearable stimulus to make me interrupt what I was doing and suddenly look in the directions of the starers.
    I didn't catch staring when I didn't sense it while looking around for a reason or non.
    And all of that happened at random times.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheBiologista
    We also tend to given more credence to external evidence that backs up our position and to try and find fault with that which contradicts it. This is not a failing of weak or silly people, but of all people. This is why when we study things, we are very careful to record all data, to use controls and to carefully analyse the results for comparison to what we'd expect to get by pure luck.
    What do you mean by "try and find fault with that which contradicts it"?.

    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt
    Quote Originally Posted by TheReal
    I can assure you it's puzzling!.
    No. You can assure me that you are puzzled by it. You have little chance of assuring me that it is puzzling, since I do not find it so. You are asking me to accept anecdotal evidence from a complete stranger who seems unaware (s)he may be capable of self deception.
    No, I didn't mean that. Of course it's not a scientific evidence. Maybe I should have put a smiley beside that, to make it less serious for now.

    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt
    Now since I am a nice guy I will concede I find your own anecdotal evidence marginally more reliable than something I might witness myself, but that's not much of a commendation.
    C'mon, "marginally", the logic is very original. Who can invent that? .

    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt
    Bottom line, until you can replicate this under laboratory conditions there is no puzzle at all.
    "laboratory conditions"?. What about the public places conditions?, as it's impossible to simulate people's intentions. But also it's still tricky to test that in a public place.

    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    My experience of it is not so much detecting when others stare at me. (There's no way to know how often they're staring at me undetected, and thus no way to compare "hits" with "misses")
    It doesn't matter if there are false negatives (undetected staring). We're not perfect, even our normal senses fail us sometimes. But false positives do matter.

    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    I notice, however, that I can only stare at another person from behind for a few seconds before they turn around and notice me. That is with pretty much a 100% confirmation rate, whenever I have tried it.
    Can you awaken a sleeping person using just staring?.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dishmaster
    Here is randomly picked article from the internet on the statistical meaningfulness of "staring" experiments. It is a bit lengthy, but surely worth reading.

    http://www.csicop.org/si/2000-09/staring.html
    In these experiments and others, sometimes the subjects were not aware of the test but in all of the experiments, the starers were always aware of it. From my experiments, these are not the right conditions because the starers are the ones who shouldn't be aware of any testing.

    Quote Originally Posted by marcusclayman
    All apologies for my previos post's errors. I don't wish to discount you, I just wanted to support critical thought on the subject. Even if it is true, it is important that we observe it for what it is and not assume we know what it is and why it is happening.
    No problem, it seems that you didn't read my post carefully. Notice that I said that all people can do that, and that I was the starer sometimes and I did the same affirming behavior. moreover I'm not the one who found and connected the animals behavior to this phenomenon. Also I discovered that I look different because many people stared at me, not the opposite.

    Quote Originally Posted by hokie
    I stare at people with the opposite gender all of the time and get caught all of the time. So when I get evil stares at me for being a gawker I suppose that's confirmation that people tell when I am ogling.
    Did you do it from behind?. Or at a distance?.

    It's really a spooky action at a distance!.
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  20. #19  
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    You know, I was trying this out the other day and I came across another possible explanation. The sound of you breathing gets slightly louder/ better directed in the direction you face your head.

    Most people's minds are trained to filter out most background noise, except things that might have significance to them or which differ from the normal experience. Having someone face their head toward you for a longer than normal period of time would be one such occurrence, and it's likely that your subconscious mind would decide to present it to your conscious mind for examination.

    I noticed once when some girls were walking by me in the library, and talking as they went, that one of their voices suddenly got a lot louder than it had been before, and sure enough: she was looking at me. So, when doing further tests, I would recommend that you either take precautions to make sure you're making a sidelong glance with just your eyes facing the person, but not your face, or at least be careful to avoid doing any mouth breathing during the stare.
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  21. #20  
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    Yes, I know, but do you think there is any confirmation bias regarding my experiments as I describe them. I mean:
    Thousands of true positives (hits).
    Were you wearing a funny hat? Are you ugly/good looking? Of atypical ethnicity?
    Disclaimer: I do not declare myself to be an expert on ANY subject. If I state something as fact that is obviously wrong, please don't hesitate to correct me. I welcome such corrections in an attempt to be as truthful and accurate as possible.

    "Gullibility kills" - Carl Sagan
    "All people know the same truth. Our lives consist of how we chose to distort it." - Harry Block
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  22. #21  
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    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    You know, I was trying this out the other day and I came across another possible explanation. The sound of you breathing gets slightly louder/ better directed in the direction you face your head.

    Most people's minds are trained to filter out most background noise, except things that might have significance to them or which differ from the normal experience. Having someone face their head toward you for a longer than normal period of time would be one such occurrence, and it's likely that your subconscious mind would decide to present it to your conscious mind for examination.

    I noticed once when some girls were walking by me in the library, and talking as they went, that one of their voices suddenly got a lot louder than it had been before, and sure enough: she was looking at me. So, when doing further tests, I would recommend that you either take precautions to make sure you're making a sidelong glance with just your eyes facing the person, but not your face, or at least be careful to avoid doing any mouth breathing during the stare.
    Negative. Many times, the starers were at a long distance from me for any sound to reach me. Also they were not talking. Because staring consumes most of your attention, you either stare or talk. Also notice that looking at you for one second is not intense staring, people look at each other all the time. Because it's a matter of the brain and it happens unconsciously, you can't just try to stare at someone and then expect her/him to detect you. But here is something for you that I didn't try:
    Try wearing/doing something that could make people stare at you, and wait to see if you suddenly look in a certain direction without any reason...

    I found an article about a study that seems to conform with my observations:
    The Love Study

    On a bright spring day, Schlitz is leading Teena and J.D. Miller down a path to the laboratory at the Institute of Noetic Sciences, north of San Francisco. Schlitz is the president of the institute, which conducts research on consciousness and spirituality. The Millers have been married a decade and their affection is palpable — making them perfect for the so-called Love Study.

    Schlitz takes Teena into an isolated room, where no sound can come in or go out. Teena settles into a deep armchair as Schlitz attaches electrodes to her right hand.

    "This is measuring blood flow in your thumb, and this is your skin conductance activity," the researcher explains. "So basically both of these are measures of your unconscious nervous system."

    Schlitz locks Teena into the electromagnetically shielded chamber, then ushers J.D. into another isolated room with a closed-circuit television. She explains that the screen will go on and off. And at random intervals, Teena's image will appear on the screen for 10 seconds.

    "And so during the times when you see her," she instructs, "it's your opportunity to think about sending loving, compassionate intention."

    As the session begins, Dean Radin, a senior scientist here, watches as a computer shows changes in J.D.'s blood pressure and perspiration. When J.D. sees the image of his wife, the steady lines suddenly jump and become ragged. The question is: Will Teena's nervous system follow suit?

    "Notice how here … see, there's a change in the blood volume," says Radin, pointing to a screen charting Teena's measurements. "A sudden change like that is sometimes associated with an orienting response. If you suddenly hear somebody whispering in your ear, and there's nobody around, you have this sense of what? What was that? That's more or less what we're seeing in the physiology."

    An hour later, Radin displays Teena's graph, which shows a flat line during the times her husband was not staring at her image, but when her husband began to stare at her, she stopped relaxing and became "aroused" within about two seconds.


    After running 36 couples through this test, the researchers found that when one person focused his thoughts on his partner, the partner's blood flow and perspiration dramatically changed within two seconds. The odds of this happening by chance were 1 in 11,000. Three dozen double blind, randomized studies by such institutions as the University of Washington and the University of Edinburgh have reported similar results.

    The 'Quantum Entanglement' Of Love

    So how do you explain this? No one really knows. But Radin and a few others think that a theory known as "quantum entanglement" may offer some clues.

    Here's how it works. Once two particles have interacted, if you separate them, even by miles, they behave as if they're still connected. So far, this has only been demonstrated on the subatomic level.

    But Radin wonders: Could people in close relationships — couples, siblings, parent and child — also be "entangled"? Not just emotionally, and psychologically — but also physically?

    "If it is true that entanglement actually persists, by means of which we don't understand," he says, "if they are physically entangled, you should be able to separate them, poke one, and see the other one flinch."

    This idea — that we may be connected at some molecular level — echoes the words of mystics down the ages. And it appeals to some scientists.

    But it infuriates others — like Columbia University's Sloan. The underlying idea is wrong, he says. Entanglement just doesn't work this way.

    "Physicists are very clear that the relationship is purely correlational and not causal," Sloan says. "There is nothing causal about quantum entanglement. It's good to be open-minded, but not so open-minded that your brains fall out."

    Radin and others agree that that's what science says right now. But they say these findings eventually have to be explained somehow.
    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER
    Yes, I know, but do you think there is any confirmation bias regarding my experiments as I describe them. I mean:
    Thousands of true positives (hits).
    Were you wearing a funny hat? Are you ugly/good looking? Of atypical ethnicity?
    Why?, does it matter?. The hits spanned years of my life.
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  23. #22  
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    It seems that this phenomenon is more known than I thought and experiments to prove it started more than a century ago by some skeptics after some students reported that they could feel anyone staring at their back. Here is one of the early failed experiments that were conducted by a skeptic, and was mentioned in The New York Times (October 19, 1913, Sunday, Page 14):
    Probably a majority of persons have experienced the sensation of being stared at from behind, and, turning the head, have actually detected the gazer. Until recently psychologists have talked learnedly about a vestigial "third eye" which in the abysm of time belonged to the ancestors of man, and might account for the instinctive feeling of being stared at...
    "The Feeling of Being Stared at": Experimental J. E. Coover The American Journal of Psychology, Vol. 24, No. 4 (Oct.,1913), pp. 570-575
    Published by: University of Illinois Press
    http://www.jstor.org/stable/1413454

    Dr. Marilyn Schlitz, a parapsychologist, conducted some experiments in the early 90s regarding this staring phenomenon. Her experiments showed significant positive results in favor of the inexplicability of this phenomenon. But Prof. Richard Wiseman, a known skeptic replicated the experiments and he failed to find any significant effects. The results seemed to be because of the experimenter effect.
    So the solution was to do a joint study with Dr. Schlitz under the same settings and conditions. Tow studies was done at Richard Wiseman's laboratory at the University of Hertfordshire in the UK in 1997. And again Schlitz results were significant unlike Wiseman's despite that the experiments were done at the same time and location (skeptic's laboratory) and using the same settings and under the same conditions. One of the strange possibilities was that the experimenter effect itself is inexplicable. Wiseman who expected the experiment to fail, disturbed the effect, unlike Schlitz who is proponent. But a third joint study didn't came in favor of this interpretation because they couldn't replicate this experimenter effect. This may indicate that they were testing the wrong hypothesis and the actual hypothesis showed as a side effect which they didn't know how to reproduce.

    Journal of Parapsychology, 61(3), 197-208 (1998):
    EXPERIMENTER EFFECTS AND
    THE REMOTE DETECTION OF STARING

    Richard Wiseman
    Perrott-Warrick Research Unit
    University of Hertfordshire
    UK
    &
    Marilyn Schlitz
    Institute for Noetic Science
    USA
    The apparent detection of an unseen gaze (i.e., the feeling of being stared at, only to turn around and discover somebody looking directly at you) is a common type of ostensible paranormal experience, with between 68% and 94% of the population reporting having experienced the phenomena at least once (Coover, 1913; Braud, Shafer and Andrews, 1993a).

    Some parapsycholgists have attempted to assess whether this experience is based, at least in part, upon genuine psi ability. Such studies use two participants; a 'sender' and 'receiver'. These individuals are isolated from one another, but in such a way that the sender can see the receiver. Early experiments had the sender sitting behind the receiver (Titchener, 1898; Coover, 1913; Poortman, 1959), whilst later studies have employed one-way mirrors (Peterson, 1978) or closed-circuit television system (Williams, 1983; Braud, Shafer and Andrews, 1993a,b). The experimental session is divided into two sets of randomly ordered 'stare' and 'nonstare' trials. During 'stare' trials the sender directs his/her attention towards the receiver; during 'non-stare' trials the sender directs this attention away from the receiver. Either during or after each trial a response is taken from the receiver. In early studies the receivers made verbal guesses as to whether they believed they had been stared at whilst later studies have measured receivers' electrodermal activity (EDA) throughout each trial. Many studies have obtained statistically significant differences between responses to 'stare' and 'non-stare' trials and a recent review of this work concluded that:
    We hope that other investigators will attempt to replicate these studies. We recommend the design as one that is straightforward, has already yielded consistent positive results, and addresses a very familiar psi manifestation in a manner that is readily communicable and understandable to the experimental participants and to the public at large.(Braud, Shafer and Andrews, 1993b, p.
    408).
    Each of the authors recently attempted to replicate this 'staring' effect...
    http://www.richardwiseman.com/resources/staring1.pdf

    The third joint study (done at the Institute of Noetic Sciences), reported in 2005, has failed to replicate this experimenter effect:
    British Journal of Psychology (2006), 97, 313-322
    (c) 2006 The British Psychological Society:
    Of two minds: Sceptic-proponent collaboration
    within parapsychology

    Marilyn Schlitz1, Richard Wiseman2, Caroline Watt3
    and Dean Radin1
    1Institute of Noetic Sciences, USA
    2University of Hertfordshire, UK
    3University of Edinburgh, UK
    The first author, a proponent of evidence for psychic ability, and the second, a sceptic, have been conducting a systematic programme of collaborative sceptic-proponent research in parapsychology. This has involved carrying out joint experiments in which each investigator individually attempted to mentally influence the electrodermal activity of participants at a distant location. The first two collaborations obtained evidence of 'experimenter effects', that is, experiments conducted by the proponent obtained significant results but those conducted by the sceptic did not. This paper describes a new collaborative study that attempted to replicate our previous findings and explore potential explanations for past results. The new study failed to replicate our previous findings. The paper investigates whether the results obtained in our initial studies may have been caused by a genuine psychic effect, and this third experiment failed to replicate this finding because some aspect of the study disrupted the production of that effect, or whether the results from our first two studies represented chance findings or undetected subtle artifacts, and the results obtained in the present study accurately reflect the absence of a remote detection of staring effect. The implications of this work are discussed, along with the benefits of conducting collaborative work for resolving disagreements in other controversial areas of psychology...Surveys suggest that 70 to 90% of the population has experienced an uneasy feeling of being stared at, only to turn around and discover somebody looking at them (Coover, 1913; Braud, Shafer, & Andrews, 1993a). Research into this phenomenon has a long and distinguished history, with initial papers on the topic being published around the turn of the last century by two pioneers of modern day psychology: E.B. Titchener (1898) and J.E. Coover (1913)...
    http://www.richardwiseman.com/resources/twominds.pdf

    Another (failed) study (2006):
    REMOTE STARING DETECTED BY CONSCIOUS AND PSYCHOPHYSIOLOGICAL VARIABLES
    COMBINING AND IMPROVING TWO SUCCESSFUL PARADIGMS

    Susanne Müller1, Stefan Schmidt1 & Harald Walach2
    1Department of Evaluation Research in Complementary Medicine
    Institute of Environmental Medicine and Hospital Epidemiology
    University Hospital Freiburg, Germany
    2University Northampton, School of Social Sciences and Samueli Institute, European Office
    http://www.uniklinik-freiburg.de/iuk...us_PA_2006.pdf

    The problem with testing such phenomena is that we need a clear hypothesis and I don't think there should be any for now. These experiments are for testing a non local effect and we must account for all reasonable possibilities and also account for all the reported natural conditions. When testing such phenomenon, all we need to do is to find and trace any inexplicable correlation, and then let it lead us to the actual hypothesis.
    We shouldn't assume that we know exactly what we are testing or all the conditions. We shouldn't take what we know for granted, or we could end up testing the wrong hypothesis, or the actual hypothesis could be showing sometimes as a side effect that we don't know how to reproduce. We shouldn't assume that any inexplicable correlation will prove spirituality, conscious psychic abilities, distant healing or whatever. Being an atheist myself I don't believe in any of that. But as many people reported experiencing this phenomenon themselves, further experiments should be conducted to prove any correlation beyond doubt, in order to get funding for more extensive research.

    Regarding all of these experiments:
    We know that, in normal every day life, no one will stare at something without having a strong desire to do so. The reported starers certainly weren't testing their psychic ability or casting a magic spell on people. Yet most of these experiments that have been done regarding this staring effect were conducted as if this is the case. And I think it's a mistake not to account for such condition which by the way would have made the experiments naturally blinded and the results more reliable but still would have made the experiments more difficult to conduct . The experimenters seemed to be misled by public myths or the alleged psychics that are defrauding people...
    "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence."
    “Extraordinary evidence should not be rejected just because it supports extraordinary claims.”
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  24. #23  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard spuriousmonkey's Avatar
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    When i was a PhD student i usually took a sketch book to the lecture series (important scientists talking about their work). I did this because most of the time the talks were not interesting at all.

    I would start drawing people in front of me. This required lots of concentration and a hard stare.

    I noticed that only people sitting next to me and behind me were aware that I was drawing people in front of me. That's because they could see me drawing the people in front of them. Not the ones in front of me, or the ones that I was actually drawing. Because they were not seeing anything, or aware of the fact someone was putting their image to paper.


    So it is all fucking nonsense.
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    Quote Originally Posted by spuriousmonkey
    When i was a PhD student i usually took a sketch book to the lecture series (important scientists talking about their work). I did this because most of the time the talks were not interesting at all.

    I would start drawing people in front of me. This required lots of concentration and a hard stare.
    It's not about your concentration or focus. It's about the intensity of your subconscious desire that makes you stare. You weren't curious about how those people look. You were just bored and chose those people just because they happened to be in front of you. I think you were staring at the image that you were drawing not those people. Unfortunately the image can't respond.

    Quote Originally Posted by spuriousmonkey
    I noticed that only people sitting next to me and behind me were aware that I was drawing people in front of me. That's because they could see me drawing the people in front of them. Not the ones in front of me, or the ones that I was actually drawing.
    How did you know that the people who were behind you were aware of what you were doing?
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    I agree. It's usually only when I'm emotionally interested in the person I stare at somehow, or thinking about something intense (which may have nothing to do with them) that they seem to look back.

    However: It could just be that our biorythms are detectable at a distance. In particular: our ears and noses might be more sensitive than we give them credit, but our subconscious tends to filter out any background noise that doesn't appear relevant to what our conscious mind is worried about.

    There may be an instinct that analyzes those filtered out sounds and smells and watches for signs of emotional stress, including even the emotional stress of people not in our line of sight, and even people in our vicinity that we're not paying attention to. Since it's emotional stuff, it probably only happens in the background, never the foreground of the person's mind.
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    It seems to me you just underestimate how much time people spend looking at other people.....

    try this - go to somewhere busy like a train station, stand for a moment, wait until you DON'T feel like someones watching you and then quickly look around, if you don't find at least one person looking at you it would be odd

    whether it's someone checking out the coat you have on, checking out you, wondering if they have seen you before, an insecure person who is watching what other people are doing to be sure to not do something out of place (a lot of us do that) or just someone walking past you naturally looking where they are going and you happen to cross that line of site.....

    knowing when people are looking at you is no skill because people are always looking at you, if you could always know the brief times when NO ONE was looking at you that would be impressive
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    So it is all fucking nonsense.
    You crack me up!
    Disclaimer: I do not declare myself to be an expert on ANY subject. If I state something as fact that is obviously wrong, please don't hesitate to correct me. I welcome such corrections in an attempt to be as truthful and accurate as possible.

    "Gullibility kills" - Carl Sagan
    "All people know the same truth. Our lives consist of how we chose to distort it." - Harry Block
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    Quote Originally Posted by yunged
    It seems to me you just underestimate how much time people spend looking at other people.....

    try this - go to somewhere busy like a train station, stand for a moment, wait until you DON'T feel like someones watching you and then quickly look around, if you don't find at least one person looking at you it would be odd
    Well, I tried that and all I got is people gazing back at me after my sudden turn in their direction. No caught off guard behavior that indicates that they were already staring.
    Quote Originally Posted by yunged
    whether it's someone checking out the coat you have on, checking out you, wondering if they have seen you before, an insecure person who is watching what other people are doing to be sure to not do something out of place (a lot of us do that) or just someone walking past you naturally looking where they are going and you happen to cross that line of site.....

    knowing when people are looking at you is no skill because people are always looking at you, if you could always know the brief times when NO ONE was looking at you that would be impressive
    Those brief times are ones in which I catch starers. People don't stare at me all the time from all the angles. There are days in which I got no hits at all. Also not only I can strongly sense the staring intention but also the starers precise location which many times was unexpected. I feel it as a strong urge to look in a certain direction.
    My behavior doesn't happen normally without a stimulus like the sound of someone calling my name from behind. I wasn't thinking about whether people are staring at me, I did it even when I thought that I'm alone, and also when I was sleeping. It's impossible to get that number of hits by chance without getting significant false positives...
    I'm thinking about a controlled test that should prove this ability.
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  30. #29  
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheReal

    Quote Originally Posted by spuriousmonkey
    I noticed that only people sitting next to me and behind me were aware that I was drawing people in front of me. That's because they could see me drawing the people in front of them. Not the ones in front of me, or the ones that I was actually drawing.
    How did you know that the people who were behind you were aware of what you were doing?
    Because they were craning their neck to get a better view.
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  31. #30  
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    Quote Originally Posted by yunged
    It seems to me you just underestimate how much time people spend looking at other people.....

    try this - go to somewhere busy like a train station, stand for a moment, wait until you DON'T feel like someones watching you and then quickly look around, if you don't find at least one person looking at you it would be odd

    whether it's someone checking out the coat you have on, checking out you, wondering if they have seen you before, an insecure person who is watching what other people are doing to be sure to not do something out of place (a lot of us do that) or just someone walking past you naturally looking where they are going and you happen to cross that line of site.....

    knowing when people are looking at you is no skill because people are always looking at you, if you could always know the brief times when NO ONE was looking at you that would be impressive
    In my case, I can recall this one girl who always noticed, no matter where I was in the room relative to her. And, of course, I really liked her a lot. Now... if it should turn out that the reason she always noticed was because she was always looking at me, then I should be very flattered.

    I'm more comfortable with the idea that she was simply picking up on out of place biorythms on a subconscious level, and looking around because she could "feel" something was out of place, and wanted to see what it was.
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  32. #31  
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    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    I'm more comfortable with the idea that she was simply picking up on out of place biorythms on a subconscious level, and looking around because she could "feel" something was out of place, and wanted to see what it was.
    Well, I don't think this is the case, because if it's so, many people will react, especially those who are closer to you. The signal is somehow directed only at the person at whom you are staring. I didn't notice anyone react to the starers but me, except once when a friend that was standing near me, and in between, reacted the same way I reacted.
    Is there any explanation in physics for this phenomenon?. Can EM do that?...
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  33. #32  
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    Hmmm.... good point. Why only her?
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  34. #33  
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    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    Hmmm.... good point. Why only her?
    Well, it's certainly not your pheromones . There is a mysterious subconscious mechanism that is triggered when your brain is in a certain state. Some say it could be related to Quantum Entanglement.
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