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Illusion
The Mundane Mistaken As Phenomenal


Apophenia: Apophenia is a term in psychology with the general meaning of detecting connections, meaning or patters where they do not exist. Pareidolia is the more specific term applied by skeptics for when a person believes that noise has voices and random light patterns have faces. The skeptical community routinely link concept indicating a mental aberration with phenomena they wish to discredit.

Agnosia is probably the root concept for the idea that a person may find meaning where there is none. Agnosia originally refers to the loss of ability to recognize familiar shapes due to brain damage, but it has been extended to mean the inability to correctly understand speech (pareidolia) or to correctly recognize shapes. To counter this argument most commonly presented by the skeptical community, we have turned to the concept of inattentional blindness, which is the failure to see something because the person is concentrating on seeing something else. This is a well documented characteristic of human attention. We think there may be a similar “blindness” associated with disbelief which one might refer to as incredulity blindness.

To test this theory, we selected seven of the better examples from the Socrates Circle Video-loop experiments for an online viewing experiment. The examples had never been published. Even more common than having a witness tell us that they only hear noise in EVP is to have a witness tell us they only  see splotches of color in visual ITC examples. Yet, 81% of the respondents correctly reported some of the examples. The least was 28%, making it clear that the seven offered examples were objectively present as faces.

 

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