Ouija science experiment to try crowd-source funding

I’m not as interesting in the funding for this as I am in the experiment itself.

Researchers crowd-source funds to back Ouija board science project – The Globe and Mail.

Scientists at a University of British Columbia lab examining human unconsciousness using Ouija boards are taking to the Internet to look for research funds.

Docky Duncan, a research assistant with UBC’s Visual Cognition Lab, said in an interview Tuesday that the project is “off the beaten track” and there has been “incredible difficulty” getting even the modest $2,000 in funding it needs.

Without an obvious organization to back the project, Mr. Duncan said researchers had to look to crowd-sourcing as an alternative.

The Ouija project previously launched a six-week funding campaign on Microryza that fell short of its goal. This time, though, Mr. Duncan is hoping the campaign, to be launched at the end of this month, will achieve its desired $2,000 mark.

In the UBC experiment, participants are given a series of questions that they first must answer on a computer and are then asked to answer using the Ouija board. During the Ouija board segment, participants are assigned a partner and are blindfolded. Eventually, one of the pair is told to withdraw, leaving the other participant to play alone without knowing it.

I’m a bit concerned about the methodology here. It’s not clear what questions they are posing. And their assumptions disturb me: “There’s still a lot that we don’t know about how our brains work and about how our subconscious is organized,” he said. “There are still a lot of questions that we can’t answer and, using this sort of usually-frowned-upon unusual methodology, we can actually start answering some of these really interesting and unanswered questions.”

Um, sure, the Ouija works via ideomotor response. I don’t see how that is controversial. The participants do not realize they are doing it. There’s nothing paranormal about it. So, I’m not at all clear how this experiment will work. But I hope it gives interesting insight into how we tend to get the responses we want.

Also, NO the ouija board is not a doorway to hell. It’s a parlor game.

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  3 comments for “Ouija science experiment to try crowd-source funding

  1. Altus
    March 10, 2014 at 9:23 PM

    The use of the term “subconscious,” set my BS meter off. It’s a term originally used by Janet, a contemporary of Freud, who a lot of folks who still believe in the Sybil narrative worship. It’s also a New Age term that you would be hard-pressed, I think, to find peer-reviewed reaserchers in the U.S. using.

  2. Kathy Moyd
    March 11, 2014 at 4:30 PM

    Maybe IIG and JREF should send someone to watch.

  3. Lee
    March 11, 2014 at 11:36 PM

    It would seem to me IF there is great difficulty in obtaining funding for even that amount it must not be in anyway tied with any serious science. I am surprised they could not find funding from the fringe Ouija board believers and advocates.

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