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The Wonders Of The Ouija Board

1241 words - 5 pages

In a dim, candlelit room, a group of curious teenage girls gather around a small wooden board, with their eyes wide open as a small, upside-down heart-shaped object slowly travels along the dark black printed letters. Their fingers lightly make contact with the object, yet it still moves as if another force is pushing it. With pounding hearts, the group watches messages sent across the board and a sense of mystery and amazement unfolds. They are bubbling with many questions. What’s making this mysterious board spell out words and phrases- the spirit world, or your subconscious mind? The ideomotor phenomenon holds well-developed history and studies, uses similar to the Ouija board, and many ...view middle of the document...

The ideomotor effect, a principle that states that your subconscious mind is controlling the board, has come to light in the past two centuries. It was first recorded in a paper on how Ouija boards move, in the year 1852, by William Benjamin Carpenter. Since then, many experiments and studies on the effect have been completed. It has a well-supported history, and one significant study would be one recently done, during October of 2012, by Dr. Chris French, a psychologist at the University of London. The study was completed with an Ouija-playing robot and a blindfolded player. The robot’s purpose was to simply act as another player, so that the real person would assume that another person was moving the planchette with them. The study showed that when asked factual questions (such as, “What is the capital of Brazil?”), people would answer correctly 50% of the time on their own, but 65% of the time with the aid of the board (with techniques above in place). This proves that the ideomotor effect has a strong amount of valid support and that the board can delve into the secrets stowed in your subconscious mind.
The ideomotor effect works with a very large number of historical applications, some of which include dowsing rods and the Chevreul’s pendulum effect. Dowsing rods are Y-shaped sticks that are said to lead to ghosts and sources of water. The user holds the two side-by-side prongs of the stick, and, as if a force is acting upon it, the rod will “magically” point to the desired direction. It’s the ideomotor effect, as UK news source DailyMail states, the results of dowsing or Ouija boards are caused by tiny movements the person is not aware of making. The pendulum effect is simple; its concept is that the user holds a pendulum and it will continue to swing even when the user is not intentionally swinging it. Magic? Not so, as the well studied ideomotor effect applies to the two concepts as well. Once again, DailyMail supports the existence of the effect within the pendulum effect and the Ouija boards. It writes, “Scientists say it is possible to recreate the effect by hanging an object such as a ring from a foot-long piece of string. When the string is held at arm's length the weight will swing in small circles, even if the arm is held still.”. During WWI, injured patients were even said to be able to communicate through facilitators. The facilitators would guide their patients’ hands on a keyboard, typing messages that they thought were from the patients. It was later found that the messages were actually the result of the ideomotor effect, as the messages came from the guides’ subconscious minds. Once again, the...

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