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Author Topic: What is the basis of the sensation of being watched?  (Read 4690 times)

Offline Vercingetorix

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Is there any study out there about the weird sensation we have when we feel "observed" or "not alone"?
What is the mechanism triggering this particular state of mind?

Peace

[MOD EDIT - PLEASE BE KIND ENOUGH TO PHRASE YOUR THREAD TITLES AS QUESTIONS, IN LINE WITH OUR FORUM POLICY. THANKS. CHRIS]
« Last Edit: 24/11/2009 20:38:18 by chris »


 

Offline litespeed

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What is the basis of the sensation of being watched?
« Reply #1 on: 08/01/2010 18:19:28 »
The link below discusses the issue.  "With their results combined, the studies reveal a small but statistically significant overall effect (Schmidt et al., 2004), hinting that there might be something to the “feeling of being stared at.”

http://publicparapsychology.blogspot.com/2009/02/brain-response-to-remote-stare.html

Legitimate ESP Studies have been going on for decades. Duke University has been doing them since, I believe, the 1930's.  In general, the studies show statistically significant results. The problem is the results, though significant, are very small. Curiously, some tests have shown people who strongly believe ESP does not exist show statistically significant NEGATIVE results.

Recently, some studies seems to show the 'receiving' subject might actually know what the sender is sending before he even knows what it will be [turning over a standard ESP card with one of five shapes on it].

I don't find any of this surprising. Certainly quantum mechanics entangled particles are weirder. Especially since The Bell Theorem showed the results are not 'local'. Don't get me started....
 

Offline Geezer

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What is the basis of the sensation of being watched?
« Reply #2 on: 08/01/2010 22:23:58 »
I'm having a feeling of déjà vu all over again.


http://www.thenakedscientists.com/forum/index.php?topic=26690.0
 

Offline stereologist

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What is the basis of the sensation of being watched?
« Reply #3 on: 11/01/2010 03:34:56 »
The Duke studies in the 1930s turned out to be problematic. His results were not duplicated. It is believed that he was hoodwinked by his subjects. It is also alleged that Rhine did not publish his failures, but chose only to report successes.
 

Offline Pwee

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What is the basis of the sensation of being watched?
« Reply #4 on: 11/01/2010 12:53:39 »
I believe modern ESP studies always calculate "file-drawer effect" probability in them too.
Most of the results are so highly significant that it's simply undeniable.

On the other hand I think that the feeling of being stared at is not a case of ESP.
There can be many clues: We could imagine all kinds of sounds (change in breathing, change in the the movement of the one who stares) and other stuff (unconsciously perceived reflections, the looks of other people who noticed that someone is staring at us) that could indicate that we are being watched. Even our smelling can help us through the watchers body odor, and of course peripheral vision.
These little information can come together in a realization that we are being watched.
In real life we are never perfectly isolated from the one who stares at us (like we would in an ESP experiment).

On the other hand our memory can play tricks on us too. There can be a couple of cases where we thought that we were being watched but we didn't noticed anything so we quickly forget about it, on the other hand if we really notice someone like this staring at us, we will remember, partly because of the emotional/stressful component of the memory and the thing that "we were right".
« Last Edit: 11/01/2010 13:09:59 by Pwee »
 

Offline Geezer

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What is the basis of the sensation of being watched?
« Reply #5 on: 11/01/2010 18:47:54 »

Most of the results are so highly significant that it's simply undeniable.

Really? Can you provide some references?
 

Offline Make it Lady

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What is the basis of the sensation of being watched?
« Reply #6 on: 11/01/2010 19:01:40 »
This sensation can often be explained by low frequency fibrations. This can also make people believe a ghost may be present in a certain room when it is really just an old radiator vibrating. It can also cause people to see things in their peripheral vision. In a laboratory where some equipment was vibrating at a low frequency staff regularly reported a feeling of being watched or seeing a shadowy figure that disappeared when they turned to face it.

ESP, I doubt it.
 

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What is the basis of the sensation of being watched?
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