Do you Believe in Ghosts?

If you have ever before seen a ghost, you have something alike with 18 percent of Americans. Although there is no proof that our brains are created to see ghosts, the apparitions are frequently different.

Researchers who study as well as supernatural magazine experiences gradually will tell you that ghosts can show up in many different methods. Some spirits are committed to tormenting people, appearing in their desires or unforeseen minutes; while others frequent a specific location and prepare to discourage anybody who passes by.

Some of the ghosts have the same appearance as when they were human, while there are also noisy as well as aggravating poltergeist, even more like uncontrollable mythological forces than individuals. What is the factor for numerous disparities? Why are some individuals most likely to see ghosts than others? It ends up our spiritual development may be the reason.

Although researchers have been studying this and other similar issues for decades, they have not come to clear conclusions. It has been ruled out that believing in the paranormal implies differences in intellectual capacity. Whatever the reason that creates these differences in the beliefs of the people, it can affect all regardless of their intelligence and level of education.

One option to explain why people believe in the paranormal is that it arises as a result of cognitive bias. Cognitive biases are shortcuts that our mind uses to solve daily problems, without us realizing it. Like certain beliefs, they can appear in the entire population, as they are a consequence of our evolution as a species.

In particular, a cognitive bias of interest in this topic is a causal illusion. Causal illusion consists in the illusory perception of a cause-effect relationship where there are only coincidences. For example, a student might think that wearing red will bring him good luck in the exams, only because in the past he got good grades after he premiered a shirt of that color. Causal illusions of this kind could be the origin of superstitions and other beliefs, including Paranormal ones

Fortunately, causal illusions can be easily studied in the psychology laboratory, through computer games-like programs. In an experiment, researchers at the University of Deusto Fernando Blanco, Itxaso Barbarian and Helena Matute asked anonymous participants to try to cure some characters in the game by giving them medicine. Actually, and without their knowledge, the medication had no effect on the characters, but they cured themselves very often (and with the same probability whether they took medicine or not). Also, the participants completed a questionnaire on their paranormal beliefs, which included questions about ghosts, telepathy, healing, or spiritual energy.

The researchers discovered that those participants who had more paranormal beliefs also developed a (mistaken) idea that the medicine they used in the game was working, that is, a causal illusion. They also observed another interesting pattern, and that is that paranormal believers tended to use medicine much more often during the game, so that these decisions biased the information they ended up seeing during the game. As they administered medication to most of the patients in the game, they could not know if those patients would have been cured or not had they not taken medicine. This trend occurs to all of us every day, for example, when we are exposed to advertising. If we want to know if a new toothpaste works to whiten your teeth, we will probably ask people who have tried it, and we will not consider whether people who do not use toothpaste are also satisfied with yours. This way of skewing the information we receive can trigger causal illusions and is also widespread. Research suggests that people with paranormal beliefs tend to accentuate this bias in the choice of information to which they are exposed and which favors causal illusions, which may explain why they end up developing strange beliefs.