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#61 Gregory

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Posted 28 August 2003 - 03:24 PM

KarenSue1973

You may think what you like of Dr. Wiseman, and you are certainly free to condemn his experiment, but he is within his rights as a psychologist to perform this experiment.  It may come as a surprise (it certainly did to me), but it turns out that psychologists are not absolutely forbidden to conduct experiments that might harm people.  According to the American Psychological Association (Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct,  2003, Section 3.04):

"Psychologists [must] take reasonable steps to avoid harming their clients/patients, students, supervisees, research participants, organizational clients, and others with whom they work, and to minimize harm where it is foreseeable and unavoidable."

So Wiseman is permitted to put his subjects in danger as long as he tries to keep that danger to a minimum.  He is also required to make sure that his subjects are made fully aware of the dangers inherent to his experiment (Section 8.02 Informed Consent to Research: "... psychologists [must] inform participants about ... reasonably foreseeable factors that may be expected to influence their willingness to participate such as potential risks...").
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#62 Wiccad1

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Posted 28 August 2003 - 04:01 PM

It's making ppl into lab mice basically...  and I side with Karen on the fact that how can he know what he's looking for if its a fixed haunted house? unless he plans on taking the same subjects and doing a lab study there as well his study will have no merit and the research he conducted will be pointless. In conducting a true scientific experiement one needs a control. So unless he plans on usind the fixed house as a control, he's just parading around useless "evidence" (and I use that term loosely) to further his convictions that theres no such thing as ghosts... Which is a completely unfair study since when trying to prove ghosts EXIST, you need to give all possible explanations. This is a one sided experiement and a waste of money in my eyes

#63 Wiccad1

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Posted 28 August 2003 - 04:02 PM

*as long as he studies a real haunted house as well, then his study will actually hold a foundation to his theories*

#64 stevenedel

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Posted 30 August 2003 - 04:58 AM

Try looking up this, guys (please read your sources before discussing them!!!:

Br J Psychol. 2003 May;94(Pt 2):195-211.  

An investigation into alleged ´hauntings´.
Wiseman R, Watt C, Stevens P, Greening E, O'Keeffe C.

University of Hertfordshire, UK.

In cases of alleged hauntings, a large number of seemingly trustworthy witnesses consistently report experiencing unusual phenomena (e.g. apparitions, sudden changes in temperature, a strong sense of presence) in certain locations. The two studies reported here explored the psychological mechanisms that underlie this apparent evidence of 'ghostly' activity. The experiments took place at two locations that have a considerable reputation for being haunted-Hampton Court Palace (Surrey, England) and the South Bridge Vaults (Edinburgh, Scotland). Both studies involved participants walking around these locations and reporting where they experienced unusual phenomena. Results revealed significantly more reports of unusual experiences in areas that had a reputation for being haunted. This effect was not related to participants' prior knowledge about the reputation of these areas. However, the location of participants' experiences correlated significantly with various environmental factors, including, for example, the variance of local magnetic fields and lighting levels. These findings strongly suggest that alleged hauntings may not necessarily represent evidence for 'ghostly' activity, but could be, at least in part, the result of people responding to 'normal' factors in their surroundings.


This is what Wiseman´s research is about, and he tried to further explore findings not by creating some special FX haunted house, but by exposing subjects to different types of computer simulations recreating different types of normal environmental factors. His hypothesis being that certain of these characteristics will produce ghostly experiences, and others won´t (and as a consequence, that though many people may experience ' a presence' or whatever in the same place, that does not prove the place is haunted, but may simply indicate that it has partcular spatial characteristics that induce this feeling in people).

It is, indeed, similar to a placebo drug experiment, and of course he is allowed to conduct it. He will tell people exactly what he is going to do and why - only, like in placebo research, he will not tell them to which condition they are being submitted (if he conducts the experiment properly, the experimenter himself will not even know that beforehand).
Extraordinary claims demand extraordinary evidence. (Carl Sagan)

#65 Wiccad1

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Posted 30 August 2003 - 06:37 AM

Try looking up this, guys (please read your sources before discussing them!!!:

This is what Wiseman´s research is about, and he tried to further explore findings not by creating some special FX haunted house, but by exposing subjects to different types of computer simulations recreating different types of normal environmental factors.

       No one claimed that his haunted house would be real, only that he'd play on temp and lights, things that weren't ghostly at all.


It is, indeed, similar to a placebo drug experiment, and of course he is allowed to conduct it. He will tell people exactly what he is going to do and why - only, like in placebo research, he will not tell them to which condition they are being submitted (if he conducts the experiment properly, the experimenter himself will not even know that beforehand).


              as far ar your lil blurb on his experiements no where in that did it say he was having 2 places... and you still haven't convinced me that he has any idea on what he's doing... Your info was good 2 read for backround, I am not trying to put you down in the least! Im just up for some friendly discussion. :)

#66 Wiccad1

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Posted 30 August 2003 - 06:38 AM

ok, somehow my commentary went into the qoute... this is mine and NOT qouted:

No one claimed that his haunted house would be real, only that he'd play on temp and lights, things that weren't ghostly at all.  

#67 Mykiedave

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Posted 31 August 2003 - 06:27 PM

All in all it's just sad that anyone would spend so much time trying to prove that something DOESN'T exist. Oh well.  :)  :-/  :'(
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#68 KarenSue1973

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Posted 31 August 2003 - 06:43 PM

So are you saying that its ok to put a person through something like that?  I don't think so.  I think that the idea of this experiment is totally wrong.  Ok lets put people with who knows what kind of health problems in a house that isn't haunted and let them think that it is.  Do you see any problems with this?  I do!  First of all a lot of people don't realize that they have some medical conditions.  Second of all this just morally wrong.  It would be like scaring someone that you don't know just for the fun of it.  Ohh!!  Its very morally wrong!!!!
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#69 Gregory

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Posted 31 August 2003 - 07:06 PM

All in all it's just sad that anyone would spend so much time trying to prove that something DOESN'T exist. Oh well.  :)  :-/  :'(


I disagree strongly with this comment.  Seeking the truth is always worthwhile.  If we didn't have people trying to disprove claims of ghosts, visitations, demons, and the like, we'd have no way of sorting the valid paranormal claims from the nonsense.

And not to nitpick, but the experiment isn't even intended to prove that ghosts don't exist.  It's intended to show that certain phenomena that are often attributed to ghosts can be explained through other methods.

Sorry if I'm sounding a little snappy, but this issue (the first one, not the nitpick) is very important to me.
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#70 stevenedel

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Posted 02 September 2003 - 03:30 AM

You're quite right Greg!
Extraordinary claims demand extraordinary evidence. (Carl Sagan)

#71 Mykiedave

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Posted 02 September 2003 - 11:21 AM

Once again, I'm going to fall back on the tride and true, truth is subjective. One mans evidence is anothers falsehood. Trying to prove that these effects can be manufactured? Hollywood does it daily. IF he does succeed it'll be another stone for the cynics to use against us. "Oh, you can acheive THAT by doing THIS." We know that electromagnetic fields can be generated and manipulated. Cold spots can be created. Thru sound waves not pitched to human hearing things can appear to move of their own volition. Nothing is proven true because something else is proven false. I think that we are on the verge of truel wonderful discoveries as our equipment becomes more and more advanced. But as zealots have proven over the centuries, fisth is something that cannot be proven or dismissed, if it can, it's not faith.
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#72 Bangin

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Posted 02 September 2003 - 11:50 AM

Trying to prove that these effects can be manufactured? Hollywood does it daily.


Indeed.  :)

BTW, seeking the truth is my top priority.  :-*  
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#73 KarenSue1973

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Posted 02 September 2003 - 02:39 PM

But Hollywood tells people that its fake.  Do you think that for this expirement that he is really going to tell people that the haunted house if fake?  As for the placebo effect.  The way to get rid of that is to have 3 different houses.  One haunted, one fake, and a control group.  You learn that one in intro to psych.  I am starting my psych class tomorrow afternoon.  I will talk to in the instructor.  He already knows that I am slightly out there, I had him last semester for a different psych class and I will tell him about this expirement and I will let you know what he says.
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#74 Gregory

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Posted 02 September 2003 - 03:35 PM

Once again, I'm going to fall back on the tride and true, truth is subjective. One mans evidence is anothers falsehood.

Evidence is certainly subjective.  I, for one, do not believe the truth to be subjective, but I will leave that question to better philosophers than I.


Trying to prove that these effects can be manufactured? Hollywood does it daily. IF he does succeed it'll be another stone for the cynics to use against us.


There are many skeptics who do not appreciate being termed cynics, and I am one of them.  I am absolutely not a cynic.  In fact, I’ve had people dismiss my world view as being hopelessly idealistic.  Cynicism and skepticism are completely different.


"Oh, you can acheive THAT by doing THIS." We know that electromagnetic fields can be generated and manipulated. Cold spots can be created. Thru sound waves not pitched to human hearing things can appear to move of their own volition.

I’m not sure what you’re getting at here.  You seem to be suggesting that the experiment is unnecessary because we already know that what it’s supposed to prove is true.


Nothing is proven true because something else is proven false.


Absolutely true.  If you’re saying that this experiment cannot disprove the existence of real haunted houses, I agree 100%.


I think that we are on the verge of truel wonderful discoveries as our equipment becomes more and more advanced. But as zealots have proven over the centuries, fisth is something that cannot be proven or dismissed, if it can, it's not faith.


Again, I’m not sure what you’re getting at here.  Not only can faith be dismissed from scientific inquiry, it should be.
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#75 Gregory

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Posted 02 September 2003 - 04:36 PM

And now, a correction:

Earlier in this thread, I tried to show that Wiseman was allowed to perform this experiment because it did not violate the American Psychological Association's ethics guideline.  Which would have been perfectly correct, except for one fairly major detail that I somehow managed to overlook: Wiseman isn't American; he's British.  I can't believe I made such an absurd mistake:-[

Fortunately for my argument, Wiseman's experiment also seems to hold up under the British Psychology Society's guidelines.  Their rule seems to be that a researcher's subjects should not be exposed to risks greater than those that the subject chooses to expose him/herself in everyday life.  So a researcher could ask a mountaineer to risk his/her life in an experiment, since mountaineers, by their choice of profession, put their lives in danger regularly.  But the researcher must ensure that the risks of the experiment are less than the risks of mountaineering, and of course the subject must be informed of the danger.  It all seems very convoluted, but if Wiseman chooses his subjects well, he should be in the clear.
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