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Author Topic: Do we know, but we just can't stop ourselves?  (Read 1915 times)

Offline Geezer

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Do we know, but we just can't stop ourselves?
« on: 21/05/2011 20:38:26 »
Shortly before I accidentally cut myself with a kitchen knife, I sometimes have the impression that I know I'm about to do it, but I don't seem to be able to stop myself before the bad news happens.

I suspect other people also have a similar notion. The question is, are we really able to anticipate the event, or are we rationalizing what happened in retrospect, as in,

"@#$%*! I knew that was going to happen!"   


 

Offline RD

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Do we know, but we just can't stop ourselves?
« Reply #1 on: 21/05/2011 21:29:36 »
You can see it coming but can't react in time to avoid it e.g. http://uk.news.yahoo.com/diet-coke-and-mentos-stunt-goes-wrong.html
 

Offline grizelda

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Do we know, but we just can't stop ourselves?
« Reply #2 on: 21/05/2011 23:08:16 »
Yeah, evolution probably selected for entities who thought "this could hurt!" over individuals who thought "what could go wrong?". I always pinch my hand when I use pliers. Always. Nothing I can do about it.
 

Offline imatfaal

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Do we know, but we just can't stop ourselves?
« Reply #3 on: 21/05/2011 23:20:37 »
Here is another nice mentoes video
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=8131793320509631835#

I think RD has it right - your brain has got the message but you body aint reacting quickly enough.
 

Offline CliffordK

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Do we know, but we just can't stop ourselves?
« Reply #4 on: 21/05/2011 23:23:55 »
Sometimes it is just common sense...  or lack thereof.

A couple of years ago a neighbor kid was playing around with my anvil...  I warned him "Don't drop the anvil on your foot".  What do you think happened less than a minute later?

One may also feel uncomfortable with a situation.  And then perhaps the nervousness or lack of comfort breaks one's concentration and makes the situation worse.

Finally, you might have some kind of a reporting error.  
If you predict something like cutting your finger, and don't do it, then it is quickly forgotten.
However, if you predict cutting your finger and it actually happens, then you strengthen the connection between the prediction and the event.

Or...  consider if you ask a million people to predict the next San Francisco Earthquake.
Some people may pick a day that had an earthquake with an intensity of 5 or 6, and they would be touted as near misses.  
If you are lucky, at least one person will predict the next big 7+ earthquake.  And everyone will remember the correct guess, although truthfully one might be better off just using a random number generator as it would give a better distribution of the guesses.
 

Offline Geezer

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Do we know, but we just can't stop ourselves?
« Reply #5 on: 21/05/2011 23:34:20 »

If you predict something like cutting your finger, and don't do it, then it is quickly forgotten.
However, if you predict cutting your finger and it actually happens, then you strengthen the connection between the prediction and the event.


That's what I'm wondering about. Could it be a sort of déjà vu?
 

Offline CZARCAR

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Do we know, but we just can't stop ourselves?
« Reply #6 on: 22/05/2011 16:18:40 »
the best lesson from a mistake is the most impactive= try a deeper cut?
 

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Do we know, but we just can't stop ourselves?
« Reply #6 on: 22/05/2011 16:18:40 »

 

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