gunda007: November 2011 Archives

Fortune tellers have always been known for being sufficiently vague and arbitrary about everything they predict for an individual. Their predictions could in fact apply to anyone else who is even slightly similar to the given person. (An interesting incident that illustrates this is seen in the short story The Fortuneteller by Karel Capek).
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It is a proven fact that people find it exceedingly difficult to pick out a prediction which was made for them from other predictions as they are all so similar. Regardless of this, when they are told only their own prediction they are more than eager to say that it applies to them and that it's "spot-on". This phenomenon is known as the P.T. Barnum effect and it is also seen in things like tarot card readings and horoscopes.
When reading one's horoscope, if one took the time to also read other horoscopes the similarity between them all would be inescapable. The P.T. Barnum effect explains the reason for ignoring the principle of extraordinary claims by using the principle of confirmation bias.
People tend to believe what they're told and what they read in the case of horoscopes- they do not consider the fact that it is nigh impossible to tell a person's fortune by any means that are scientifically verifiable. They refuse to look for the extraordinary evidence that is required as proof for horoscopes, tarot card readings etc.
More information about the effect can be found here.

This theory shows that babies form attachments to their parents not because of the nourishment they provide but the physical contact which they have with their babies-leading them to feel positive emotions. Contact comfort is the substitute for imprinting in some mammals, the young will form attachments to whoever (or whatever, in the case of rhesus monkeys) provides them with the most comfortable physical touch.
They will be more inclined to seek the person (or thing) that provided them with this comfort when faced with a scary stimulus. In rhesus monkeys, Harlow showed that this need was greater than the need for nourishment.
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In addition to this, it is also essential for good physical and emotional health and development. Children who grow up in orphanages are sometimes seen to have poor weight gain, infants tend to sicken and die if they don't have any physical contact. More information can be found on this hypothesis here.
It has also been found that premature babies can be helped by gentle massaging and other physical contact with their parents. This is a way of ensuring their survival and also making sure that they grow up healthy.

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This page is an archive of recent entries written by gunda007 in November 2011.

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