Does the ideomotor effect debunk dowsing ?

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Ian Pegler
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Does the ideomotor effect debunk dowsing ?

Post by Ian Pegler »

(2 topics merged here - GG)

Ideomotor effect - a pseudoscientific term used by pseudoskeptics, the term predates the birth of any kind of modern science of the mind, even Freud.

from another thread on this forum:
Ian Pegler wrote:from The Divining Hand by Christopher Bird, p.86...
Christopher Bird, The Divining Hand wrote:"In yet another huge book on mineralogy written in Latin, Father Bernard Caesius in 1636 began
to wrestle with the problem of, not whether, but why the rod should turn at all.
He came to the conclusion that the rod did not move of itself but was somehow moved by the
dowser."
same book, p. 88...
Christopher Bird, The Divining Hand wrote:"Both Caesius and [Athanasius] Kircher were among the first to state that seemingly involuntary
muscular action on the part of a dowser causes their dowsing instruments to move."
So it would be wrong to suggest that Willian Benjamin Carpenter discovered the ideomotor effect, he merely coined the term.

Ian
Ray Hyman is a member of CSICOP an organsation that seeks to debunk the so-called "paranormal". He is entitled to his opinion (but I wouldn't give twopence for it).

Dowsers have known for a very long time (centuries!) that this kind of involuntary subconscious movement is untimately responsible for the movement of the rods. But really so what? It doesn't always respond in accordance with expectations, not if you're doing it right. The term "ideomotor effect" says nothing about the nature of consciousness or how the mind knows more than it should.

Psychology textbooks in which you will find this term are mostly written by pseudoskeptics with an axe to grind against subjects like dowsing.

Ian
Last edited by Ian Pegler on Tue Jan 16, 2018 5:00 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: How does the ideomotor effect debunk dowsing ?

Post by Lyndon Ronstadt »

I remember a tv program on dowsing many decade ago in which dowsing rods where placed in the hands of celebrities. I remember an actress from Coronation Street - Amanda Barrie if memory serves - and the shock on her face when the rods reacted strongly in her hands. From that day I never doubted that dowsing is a real phenomenon.

If science wants to debunk dowsing it has to account for latent, untrained ability.
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Re: How does the ideomotor effect debunk dowsing ?

Post by Ian Pegler »

famous Ray Hyman quote:
Ray Hyman wrote:I think we get more bang for our buck if we focus on the media and education—the opinion makers—instead of serious research
from here

Says it all.

Ian
Mick

Re: How does the ideomotor effect debunk dowsing ?

Post by Mick »

Ian Pegler wrote:famous Ray Hyman quote:
Ray Hyman wrote:I think we get more bang for our buck if we focus on the media and education—the opinion makers—instead of serious research
from here

Says it all.

Ian
I can't find that, whereabouts in the article is it ?

Thanks
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Re: How does the ideomotor effect debunk dowsing ?

Post by Ian Pegler »

I can't find that, whereabouts in the article is it ?

Thanks
Towards the bottom. Search the page on "bang for our buck".

Ian
Mick

Re: How does the ideomotor effect debunk dowsing ?

Post by Mick »

Got it. Thanks very much.

PS, I just needed it to rub someones nose in it a the JREF forum. You should check out that forum, it's great fun. :lol:
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Re: How does the ideomotor effect debunk dowsing ?

Post by Ian Pegler »

Mick wrote:Got it. Thanks very much.

PS, I just needed it to rub someones nose in it a the JREF forum. You should check out that forum, it's great fun. :lol:
I used to browse quite regularly, until my anti-virus software started complaining. Most likely some of the adverts have dodgy scripts.

Ian
Mick

Re: How does the ideomotor effect debunk dowsing ?

Post by Mick »

Ian Pegler wrote:Ideomotor effect - a pseudoscientific term used by pseudoskeptics, the term predates the birth of any kind of modern science of the mind, even Freud for Pete's sake.

from another thread on this forum:
Ian Pegler wrote:from The Divining Hand by Christopher Bird, p.86...


Dowsers have known for a very long time (centuries!) that this kind of involuntary subconscious movement is untimately responsible for the movement of the rods. But really so what? It doesn't always respond in accordance with expectations, not if you're doing it right. The term "ideomotor effect" says nothing about the nature of consciousness or how the mind knows more than it should.

The only psychology textbooks in which you will find this term are those written by pseudoskeptics with an axe to grind against subjects like dowsing.

Ian
OK then let's try and show that dowsing does work !

I think a good place to start is if we can come show why it sometimes does not. If we can do this we are well on the way to writing a dowsing rule book. As it is right now I can't help get the feeling that dowsers have little interest in discovering what is really going on.
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Re: How does the ideomotor effect debunk dowsing ?

Post by Ian Pegler »

Mick wrote:OK then let's try and show that dowsing does work !

I think a good place to start is if we can come show why it sometimes does not. If we can do this we are well on the way to writing a dowsing rule book. As it is right now I can't help get the feeling that dowsers have little interest in discovering what is really going on.
Frankly I don't think you have a very good grasp of the situation. Of course dowsers are interested in showing that dowsing works, but who are you trying to convince?

It doesn't matter what evidence you show the pseudo-skeptics, they are never going to believe it. They are ideologically opposed to dowsing and anything else they see as "woo". Look into the history of the birth of the skeptical movement, its ties with the American Humanist Association and some of the things they've done i the past. The late Robert Anton Wilson termed them "The New Inquisition" (I recommend his book of the same name, btw).

That doesn't mean that we can't - or haven't - produced evidence for dowsing.

My advice would be, since this interests you, to join the BSD. That way you will have access to the specialist groups that work on this kind of thing and even contribute yourself to the body of knowledge.

You can produce evidence that will convince some people - just not everyone.

Ian
Mick

Re: How does the ideomotor effect debunk dowsing ?

Post by Mick »

Ian Pegler wrote:Frankly I don't think you have a very good grasp of the situation. Of course dowsers are interested in showing that dowsing works, but who are you trying to convince?
I would like it to be universally recognized that dowsing works, because I KNOW that it does.
Ian Pegler wrote:It doesn't matter what evidence you show the pseudo-skeptics, they are never going to believe it. They are ideologically opposed to dowsing and anything else they see as "woo". Look into the history of the birth of the skeptical movement, its ties with the American Humanist Association and some of the things they've done i the past. The late Robert Anton Wilson termed them "The New Inquisition" (I recommend his book of the same name, btw).
Yes I know what you mean about the pseudo-skeptics, it's like a religious fervor with them. However I don't blame them for seeing the "woo" as it certainly exists. It exists here !
Ian Pegler wrote:That doesn't mean that we can't - or haven't - produced evidence for dowsing.
What evidence ?
Ian Pegler wrote:My advice would be, since this interests you, to join the BSD. That way you will have access to the specialist groups that work on this kind of thing and even contribute yourself to the body of knowledge.
Why do these groups not post here ?
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Re: How does the ideomotor effect debunk dowsing ?

Post by Grahame »

Mick wrote: I would like it to be universally recognized that dowsing works, because I KNOW that it does.
So does any dowser, and we would like it to be universally recognised too. However we may be waiting quite some time for that until a satisfactory scientific explanation of HOW it works comes along.
Mick wrote:
Ian Pegler wrote:My advice would be, since this interests you, to join the BSD. That way you will have access to the specialist groups that work on this kind of thing and even contribute yourself to the body of knowledge.
Why do these groups not post here ?
Many of them do post here. However a forum is for discussion; it is not the best place to post lengthy articles on dowsing, which are more likely to appear in our journal Dowsing Today. Joining the BSD would give you access to that source of knowledge.

Also see Ian's point about pseudo-sceptic fundamentalism above. This is a public forum, and many serious dowsing researchers are naturally reticent about publicising their findings in such an uncontrolled environment, especially as we know that it is frequented by pseudo-sceptics and several posts are often quoted on that other forum that you are a member of - you know the one I mean, I refuse to give them the luxury of a mention that will be picked up by Google bots and enhance their rankings.
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The trouble with having an open mind, of course, is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it - Terry Pratchett.
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Re: How does the ideomotor effect debunk dowsing ?

Post by Mick »

Grahame Gardner wrote: So does any dowser, and we would like it to be universally recognised too. However we may be waiting quite some time for that until a satisfactory scientific explanation of HOW it works comes along.
It works by bypassing the filter between the conscious mind and the subconscious mind. The conscious mind works by using logic and reason and so can not dowse. The subconscious mind does not know logic and can dowse. Dowsing is illogical to the conscious mind, that's why all the pseudo-sceptic fundamentalism. :P The subconscious mind works much like a computer, it just processes information and does not care about logic or reason. Dowsing is very closely related to if not a form of self hypnotism. ( If it could be established that dowsing was a form of hypnotism it could well gain some credibility ) It's how the subconscious mind get's the information that I find intriguing.
Grahame Gardner wrote:Many of them do post here. However a forum is for discussion; it is not the best place to post lengthy articles on dowsing, which are more likely to appear in our journal Dowsing Today. Joining the BSD would give you access to that source of knowledge.

Also see Ian's point about pseudo-sceptic fundamentalism above. This is a public forum, and many serious dowsing researchers are naturally reticent about publicising their findings in such an uncontrolled environment, especially as we know that it is frequented by pseudo-sceptics and several posts are often quoted on that other forum that you are a member of - you know the one I mean, I refuse to give them the luxury of a mention that will be picked up by Google bots and enhance their rankings.
I think that's a lame excuse. What does it matter what the pseudo-skeptics think ? Dowsing will never be recognized if we hide it away from public view.
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Re: How does the ideomotor effect debunk dowsing ?

Post by Ian Pegler »

Mick wrote:What does it matter what the pseudo-skeptics think ?
If you don't care then why do you bother with them?

I for one don't care what they think, but I do care how they act, and the one thing leads naturally to the other.

Do I care when a dowser I know becomes a target for their personal vilification? Do I care if the actions they
take are aimed at undermining the work that we do and misrepresent dowsing to the world?

What do you think?

Ian
Mick

Re: How does the ideomotor effect debunk dowsing ?

Post by Mick »

Ian Pegler wrote:
If you don't care then why do you bother with them?
Because some of them are at least prepared to discuss dowsing. I think a few of them are OK,while some of them ( maybe the majority ) have their religion to protect.
Ian Pegler wrote:I for one don't care what they think, but I do care how they act, and the one thing leads naturally to the other.
That's life. You can either hide away, or meet the challenge head on. I prefer the head on approach.
Ian Pegler wrote:Do I care when a dowser I know becomes a target for their personal vilification? Do I care if the actions they
take are aimed at undermining the work that we do and misrepresent dowsing to the world?

What do you think?
I think we should not be afraid of being vilified.

As has been pointed out, this is a discussion forum, so let's discuss dowsing, there is much to discuss ! I find the hard part is getting dowsers to discuss it.
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Re: How does the ideomotor effect debunk dowsing ?

Post by Ian Pegler »

Mick wrote:I think we should not be afraid of being vilified.
Clearly they've never tried to get you sacked from your job, but that's happened to at least one or two of our members that I know of.
That's life. You can either hide away, or meet the challenge head on. I prefer the head on approach.
Then throw the pseudo-skeptics off Wikipedia, how's that for a challenge?


I see that within 24 hours my words are being echoed in the other place, so talking to you is a bit like talking to them, but if I wanted to talk to them I'd go over there.

So I won't be posting here, at least not on this thread.

Ian
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