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Description: How does this sound? Think carefully about what you want to get, concentrate on it, and click a button in an app that will work for a few moments and then send you a set of nearby map coordinates where you are to go to find what you mind has suggested you want to find. What do you think you would find at the coordinates provided? How would you rate your expectation that you would find some ting there that suggested that the quantum forces of your brain influenced the processes of the app’s algorithm in ways that lead it to pick a place where you would find something that seemed to make sense to you or to be something you wanted to find? As fantastic as such a proposal sounds, read the article linked below BUT as you do so, think hard and critically about the claims being made or suggested AND think about whether the claims made are testable and how would you go about testing them and what alternative hypotheses would you consider (besides quantum mind influences over the processes of handheld apps).

Source:  What is Randonautica Really About? Lena Wilson, New York Times

Date: July 31, 2020

Photo Credit:  Image by Gordon Johnson from Pixabay

Article Link:

Even if you believe that there are quantum forces within your brain that can manipulate the outcomes of the app algorithms, what could you do to test that belief? Have you heard of Ouija boards? They are an example of ways in which people can cause things to happen (i.e., the planchette – look it up – to move) without being consciously aware that they are doing so. What might ideomotor actions (things done without conscious awareness) suggest about “quantum” brain forces? What about the use of facilitators to “open up” comatose patients or autistic individuals by helping them to tell their stories of coma or autism? What about confirmation bias? There IS a LOT of fascinating stuff going on here BUT may not be what the app developers (the new Ouija Board makers) say it is that is going on. Think it though and test and check it out!

Questions for Discussion:

  1. How might quantum brain forces effect the outcomes of an app algorithm?
  2. Why might people seriously entertain the hypothesis (belief) that quantum brain forces effect the outcomes of an app algorithm?
  3. Aside from the possible answers to the previous 2 questions what else might be going on here?

References (Read Further):

Brugger, P., & Mohr, C. (2008). The paranormal mind: How the study of anomalous experiences and beliefs may inform cognitive neuroscience. Cortex, 44(10), 1291. Link

Halligan, P. W., & Oakley, D. A. (2013). Hypnosis and cognitive neuroscience: Bridging the gap. Cortex, 49(2), 359-364. Link

Olson, J. A., Jeyanesan, E., & Raz, A. (2017). Ask the pendulum: personality predictors of ideomotor performance. Neuroscience of consciousness, 2017(1), nix014. Link

Shermer, M. (2010). Coma Man media hoax:” communication” by Coma Man is just” ideomotor” Ouija Board effect. Skeptic (Altadena, CA), 15(3), 13-14.

Andersen, M., Nielbo, K. L., Schjoedt, U., Pfeiffer, T., Roepstorff, A., & Sørensen, J. (2019). Predictive minds in Ouija board sessions. Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences, 18(3), 577-588. Link

Hemsley, B., Bryant, L., Schlosser, R. W., Shane, H. C., Lang, R., Paul, D., … & Ireland, M. (2018). Systematic review of facilitated communication 2014–2018 finds no new evidence that messages delivered using facilitated communication are authored by the person with disability. Autism & Developmental Language Impairments, 3, 2396941518821570. Link

Busemeyer, J. R., Pothos, E. M., Franco, R., & Trueblood, J. S. (2011). A quantum theoretical explanation for probability judgment errors. Psychological review, 118(2), 193. Link