The feeling of being watched...

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The feeling of being watched...

#1  Postby quas » Feb 10, 2012 12:15 pm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Psychic_Staring_Effect

You know that feeling you get when you are being watched? Some say it's bollocks, it's just your imagination or whatever, what if there's a scientific basis for this? For the sake of argument, pretend there is a scientific basis for this. How would you attempt to investigate this phenomena?
Last edited by quas on Feb 10, 2012 1:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The feeling of being watched...

#2  Postby Jehannum » Feb 10, 2012 12:17 pm

I have never had this feeling.

Rupert Sheldrake has investigated it.

I think it's bollocks.
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Re: The feeling of being watched...

#3  Postby Fallible » Feb 10, 2012 12:26 pm

I vaguely remember something about it being electreomagnetic field fluctuations or something, but that's probably bollocks.
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Re: The feeling of being watched...

#4  Postby Animavore » Feb 10, 2012 1:22 pm

I remember a couple of girls in my English class in 6th year, before the teacher arrived, were talking about, "D'yi know when yi ge' da' feelin' somewan's starin' a'cha an' y' toorn aroun' an' somewan's lookin' a'cha an' dey look away? Dat's freaky."

Being the empirical sort I decided to test it out. I stared at her (I was behind her about two desks back) for a while to see if she'd get edgy and turn around. She didn't. I tried again but the second time with intent. Still nothing.

I didn't dismiss it immediately. I still harboured the notion that my thoughts could affect others, even more so with training (Henry Sugar and all that), so I simply put it down to the fact I was doing it deliberately rather than if I were doing it naturally without really thinking about it. It wasn't 'til Derren Brown much later I understood the effect in probabilistic terms, that it would be more surprising if you never got the feeling of being watched and turned around to see someone quickly look away when you consider how often we 1) look around in general without prior thought of being watched (or any type of thought) and 2) how often of those times that we do look around that we then see someone quickly look away. It's going to happen occasionally that 1 and 2 happen after the feeling of being watched. Though to be honest I think that that thought arises along with 1, maybe even just after, not before, then is pushed back to before in the casual chain. It's a form of confirmation bias mixed with mistaking correlation for causality and coupled with the believe that our thoughts can have actions and consequences.
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Re: The feeling of being watched...

#5  Postby babel » Feb 10, 2012 1:39 pm

I sure hope it's bollocks. Might give me away at times. :whistle:
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Re: The feeling of being watched...

#6  Postby Arcanyn » Feb 10, 2012 1:49 pm

It'd be pretty useful if it were true - you could covertly send messages to people in Morse code by staring at them and blinking.
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Re: The feeling of being watched...

#7  Postby Ironclad » Feb 10, 2012 1:52 pm

No, it's not bolloxs, it's perfectly true. I should know, being psychotic and all.

Psychic, I meant to say. Yeh.. :shifty:
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Re: The feeling of being watched...

#8  Postby campermon » Feb 10, 2012 2:51 pm

quas wrote:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Psychic_Staring_Effect

You know that feeling you get when you are being watched? Some say it's bollocks, it's just your imagination or whatever, what if there's a scientific basis for this? For the sake of argument, pretend there is a scientific basis for this. How would you attempt to investigate this phenomena?


Sounds like a job for Jerome, Twistor and me.....

:lol:
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Re: The feeling of being watched...

#9  Postby twistor59 » Feb 10, 2012 4:28 pm

campermon wrote:
quas wrote:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Psychic_Staring_Effect

You know that feeling you get when you are being watched? Some say it's bollocks, it's just your imagination or whatever, what if there's a scientific basis for this? For the sake of argument, pretend there is a scientific basis for this. How would you attempt to investigate this phenomena?


Sounds like a job for Jerome, Twistor and me.....

:lol:


yeah, and I know where you live. (well, I know what you'd type into netweather.tv if you were obsessed with the snow forecast anyway)
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Re: The feeling of being watched...

#10  Postby blindfaith » Feb 10, 2012 4:32 pm

:shock: i hope its not real otherwise i will have to stop perving at womens jubblies
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Re: The feeling of being watched...

#11  Postby Spearthrower » Feb 10, 2012 4:34 pm

Selection bias. What about all those times you get the feeling but you're not actually being watched? They're forgotten.
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Re: The feeling of being watched...

#12  Postby GrahamH » Feb 10, 2012 4:35 pm

quas wrote:How would you attempt to investigate this phenomena?


Not by the Sheldrake Method, I suspect.

People look at each other a lot, its what we, as a social species, do.
Why do you think that?
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Re: The feeling of being watched...

#13  Postby campermon » Feb 10, 2012 4:40 pm

twistor59 wrote:
campermon wrote:
quas wrote:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Psychic_Staring_Effect

You know that feeling you get when you are being watched? Some say it's bollocks, it's just your imagination or whatever, what if there's a scientific basis for this? For the sake of argument, pretend there is a scientific basis for this. How would you attempt to investigate this phenomena?


Sounds like a job for Jerome, Twistor and me.....

:lol:


yeah, and I know where you live. (well, I know what you'd type into netweather.tv if you were obsessed with the snow forecast anyway)


:lol:

Bloody snow!
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Re: The feeling of being watched...

#14  Postby CdesignProponentsist » Feb 10, 2012 4:55 pm

quas wrote:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Psychic_Staring_Effect

You know that feeling you get when you are being watched? Some say it's bollocks, it's just your imagination or whatever, what if there's a scientific basis for this? For the sake of argument, pretend there is a scientific basis for this. How would you attempt to investigate this phenomena?


If it's detectable by the brain, then it is certainly detectable by instruments.

The problem is, it takes electrodes pressed right up to your scalp in order to pick anything up with instruments and your brain is a hell of a lot closer to you than anyone else's brain. So it is like trying to listen to someone whisper ten feet away with a boombox at full volume pressed against your head.
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Re: The feeling of being watched...

#15  Postby LIFE » Feb 10, 2012 4:56 pm

quas wrote:For the sake of argument, pretend there is a scientific basis for this. How would you attempt to investigate this phenomena?


Double-blind trials.
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Re: The feeling of being watched...

#16  Postby Spearthrower » Feb 10, 2012 5:49 pm

LIFE wrote:
quas wrote:For the sake of argument, pretend there is a scientific basis for this. How would you attempt to investigate this phenomena?


Double-blind trials.



If they're both blind, how can they watch, or check whether they're being watched?



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Re: The feeling of being watched...

#17  Postby LIFE » Feb 10, 2012 7:11 pm

Spearthrower wrote:
LIFE wrote:
quas wrote:For the sake of argument, pretend there is a scientific basis for this. How would you attempt to investigate this phenomena?


Double-blind trials.



If they're both blind, how can they watch, or check whether they're being watched?



I'll get my coat.


:lol: Doh, I edited my post and didn't double-check :doh:
But yeah...people will hopefully get what I meant :shifty:
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Re: The feeling of being watched...

#18  Postby Regina » Feb 10, 2012 7:23 pm

LIFE wrote:
quas wrote:For the sake of argument, pretend there is a scientific basis for this. How would you attempt to investigate this phenomena?


Double-blind trials.

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Bet you didn't notice! :mrgreen:
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Re: The feeling of being watched...

#19  Postby jerome » Feb 10, 2012 8:33 pm

quas wrote:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Psychic_Staring_Effect

You know that feeling you get when you are being watched? Some say it's bollocks, it's just your imagination or whatever, what if there's a scientific basis for this? For the sake of argument, pretend there is a scientific basis for this. How would you attempt to investigate this phenomena?


I'd start by looking up the existing studies on LEXSCIEN and pulling t papers - quite a few in the JSPR over the years for instance, then checking out the overview of the topic in Etzel Cardena (ed) Varieties of the Anomalous Experience, and the section on it in Radin's books, where he does a metanalysis of published studies of two types - where the person observed was aware and consciously stating whether they were observed or not, and the second to my mind more interesting where GSR/Heart rate/blood pressure /other arousal signs were monitored for an effect.

I seem to recall Radin claims odd of millions to one again chance based on his metaanalysis, but I have no idea if that is correct or not - while a retraction was published when a Nature I think reviewer got the maths wrong and published an unfair critique in a review or something (google it) the sceptics Andrew Endersby metanalysis of Ganzfeld studies (where Radin again claims vast numbers to one against chance) was significantly more conservative; though still came out highly significant, and actually a good argument for psi. I guess I'm saying be careful with Radin's figures, but he is certainly worth reading.

Now if you are going to run such a test, I'd recommend looking up Chris French and Rupert Sheldrake, both of whom have been heavily involved in this in the past. The SPR also will put you in touch with other researchers - and check out the webpages of the Koestler Parapsychology Unit at Edinburgh Uni.

I will have to try informal running trials with Campermon and Twistor when we meet up, on an informal basis, but I'm happy to advise and point you at the literature, but I think it's many dozens of papers long by now. :)

Hope helpful
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Re: The feeling of being watched...

#20  Postby jerome » Feb 10, 2012 8:36 pm

Spearthrower wrote:Selection bias. What about all those times you get the feeling but you're not actually being watched? They're forgotten.



That works just fine for why people think they have the ability "in the field", and I think you are right; but there is a large (and some completely automated) experimental literature that seems to support it as I recall. I think it may be a case where a handful of failures to replicate get far more attention than they deserve - as there seems to be some interesting work in the area. Not involving spooks, I avoid it! :tongue:

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