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You Really Didn't Know That Was Going to Happen


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You Really Didn't Know That Was Going to Happen
« on: November 08, 2019, 02:28:48 PM »
I learned a long time ago that my intuitive "knowledge" was not all that trustworthy. Reflexes and instinctive reactions are a different story--I wouldn't still be alive today without them. Admittedly, some other people's intuitive perceptions are probably better than mine. This study appears to demonstrate that most of us are biased in our impression of our own level of knowledge, at least in one particular realm.

"'I knew that was going to happen:' Déjà vu and the 'postdictive' bias" | ScienceDaily

For many, déjà vu is just a fleeting, eerie sensation that "I've been here before." For others, it gets even eerier: In that moment of unsettling familiarity, they also feel certain they know what's going to happen next -- like, a girl in a white shirt is going to pass me on the left.

And when the girl in the white shirt really does pass by, well, what can explain it? Cue theories of past lives, clairvoyance, and the supernatural.

Not so fast, says Anne Cleary, a memory researcher at Colorado State University who is one of the world's experts on déjà vu. A dogged scientist who uses laboratory experiments to induce déjà vu in human subjects, Cleary has a new theory on why déjà vu is accompanied not only by feelings of prediction, but also an "I knew that was going to happen" feeling a minute later.

Cleary's most recent déjà vu experiments, published in Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, document evidence of such a "postdictive" bias in déjà vu experiencers in the lab, and offers a plausible explanation for why it happens.

Prior experiments had uncovered a strong predictive bias in people having déjà vu -- that they feel like they know what's going to happen next. But in the lab, people who were having déjà vu were not able to actually predict what was going to happen next. That predictive feeling, however intense, was just that -- a feeling.

"If this is an illusion -- just a feeling -- why do people so strongly believe they actually predicted what unfolded next?" said Cleary, a professor in the CSU Department of Psychology. "I wondered if there was an explanation in some sort of cognitive illusion."

[Snipped a short description of the experiment.]

The "I knew that was going to happen" bias was very strong when déjà vu occurred, and especially strong when the scene happened to be rated as very familiar. But, like the feelings of prediction, the feelings of having gotten the prediction right were not rooted in reality. In other words, déjà vu gave the subjects not only predictive feelings, but a strong hindsight bias after the fact.

Cleary's team concluded that the high degree of familiarity that accompanies déjà vu also carries through to the postdictive bias. "If the entire scene feels intensely familiar as it unfolds, that might trick our brains into thinking we got it right after all," Cleary said. "Because it felt so familiar as you were going through it, it felt like you knew all along how it was going to go, even if that could not have been the case."

So the "I knew that was going to happen" bias is probably all part of the illusion of prediction that often accompanies déjà vu, Cleary says. According to her prior experiments, déjà vu is a memory phenomenon in which we're trying to retrieve a memory, but we can't place it -- sort of like the feeling of a word on the tip of your tongue. She has previously demonstrated in the lab that when scenes in the Sims mapped spatially to different scenes that were viewed earlier but forgotten, more instances of déjà vu occur.

[Continues . . .]

Abstract from "A postdictive bias associated with déjà vu":

Recent research links reports of déjà vu – the feeling of having experienced something before despite knowing otherwise – with an illusory feeling of prediction. In the present study, a new finding is presented in which reports of déjà vu are associated not only with a predictive bias, but also with a postdictive bias, whereby people are more likely to feel that an event unfolded as expected after the event prompted déjà vu than after it did not.

During a virtual tour, feelings of predicting the next turn were more likely during reported déjà vu, as in prior research. Then, after actually seeing the turn, participants exhibited a postdictive bias toward feeling that the scene unfolded as expected following déjà vu reports.

This postdictive bias following déjà vu reports was associated with higher perceived scene familiarity intensity. A potential reason for this association may be that high familiarity intensity as an event outcome unfolds falsely signals confirmatory evidence of having sensed all along how it would unfold. Future research should further investigate this possibility.

"Religion is fundamentally opposed to everything I hold in veneration — courage, clear thinking, honesty, fairness, and above all, love of the truth."
— H. L. Mencken

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Re: You Really Didn't Know That Was Going to Happen
« Reply #1 on: November 08, 2019, 04:19:36 PM »
I knew you were going to post this.


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Re: You Really Didn't Know That Was Going to Happen
« Reply #2 on: November 08, 2019, 04:28:38 PM »
Interesting that they are able to recreate déjà vu in the lab.

Interesting that they are able to recreate déjà vu in the lab.

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The universe is a cold, uncaring void. The key to happiness isn't a search for meaning, it's to just keep yourself busy with unimportant nonsense, and eventually you'll be dead!


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Re: You Really Didn't Know That Was Going to Happen
« Reply #3 on: November 08, 2019, 06:01:16 PM »
I lose myself infused in something more than what they've seen
I'm not a slave to greed
I don't embrace your make believe
I've never been for sale no matter what they think I need