Archive for June 2018

Pareidolia can be dangerous when it gets religious or political: Jesus on toast may be one thing, but what if a rusty sacred water stain dripped down the front facade of your public county courthouse and believers came flocking? IN THIS EPISODE: What Does ‘Pareidolia’ Mean & Why is it Dangerous? | Celebrity Suicides | David’s Book Deal is Back On | Fixing Garage Floor Divots | David Learns Prison Martial Arts. WHAT IS PAREIDOLIA? [Wiktionary] Pareidolia is the tendency to interpret a vague stimulus as something known to the observer, such as interpreting marks on Mars as canals, seeing shapes in clouds, or hearing hidden messages in reversed music. This behavior exists because humans seek to create meaning when meaning is absent, I suppose. And perhaps it’s no danger to see a teddy bear in the clouds or a man in the moon. Those are functional. Whimsical. Harmless. In fact, some scientists opine that pareidolia is an indicator of an efficient brain attempting to identify patterns in the environment. This is good. This is survival – it’s situational awareness, to a limit…  DANGERS OF PAREIDOLIA. Pareidolia isn’t just about seeing faces, though. It’s about interpreting any vague stimulus as meaningful. If you have a headache and feel tired, it wouldn’t take more than 10 minutes on the Internet to match your symptoms to an exhaustive list of mild to terminal medical conditions. In this instance, a type of pre-suasion exists in which the person is already primed to seek bad news. A simple television commercial can convince people that they are afflicted with a condition. Context and situation influence pareidolia. What do you expect when you gingerly tour a haunted house? That creaky door might be a sign from a spirit – or a just a hinge in need of oil. WHAT IS APOPHENIA? Apophenia can be considered as a blessing as well as curse. It is because of this tendency that we can explore new things, but sometimes it may mislead us. It stems from the fact that we humans are always looking for meaning in our life. We often believe that everything happens for a reason. Well, most times, it could be that things are totally unrelated, and yet we won't let go of our relentless pursuit to find a connection. That is apophenia. It is well documented as a rationalization for gambling. Gamblers may imagine that they see patterns in the numbers that appear in lotteries, card games, or roulette wheels. One variation of this is known as the "gambler's fallacy". The Mayan Calendar also contributed to “End-of-Times” apophenia for some people that perceived clear connections between the calendar end date, stock market crash, increase in hurricanes, and any myriad of other events that were destructive, but not necessarily connected incidents. Dr. Perrodin advises asking "Does this makes sense?" and using member checks as strategies to avoid rampant pareidolia or apophenia. FOLLOW DR. PERRODIN: Twitter @SafetyPhD and subscribe to The Safety Doc YouTube channel & Apple Podcasts. SAFETY DOC WEBSITE & BLOG: www.safetyphd.com David will respond to comments & emails. The Safety Doc Podcast is hosted & produced by David Perrodin, PhD. ENDORSEMENTS. Opinions are those of the host & guests and do not reflect positions of The 405 Media or supporters of “The Safety Doc Podcast”. The show adheres to nondiscrimination principles while seeking to bring forward productive discourse & debate on topics relevant to personal or institutional safety. Email David: thesafetydoc@gmail.com LOOKING FOR DR. TIMOTHY LUDWIG, PHD? Dr. Perrodin’s “Safety Doc Podcast” negotiates school and community safety. To be informed about industrial safety, please contact Appalachian State University Professor Dr. Timothy Ludwig, PhD, at www.safety-doc.com.

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Good exists independent of being filtered and shaped by humans. It endures context and situation and has superb inter-rater reliability. Yet, “good” is overwhelmingly subjected to external positionality - or to exist per the characteristics and conditions of what others deem must be present for something to be considered good. GOOD, POSITIONALITY & PAREIDOLIA. Positionality is completely different from pareidolia, which is a psychological phenomenon in which the mind responds to stimulus, usually an image or a sound, by perceiving a familiar pattern where none exists. A popular example of pareidolia is seeing familiar images in clouds. We can also be primed for pareidolia. Persons on a ghost tour are expecting to have some unusual encounter. Hence, a creaking door becomes a message from the spirits - and not a reminder to visit the hardware store for a can of WD-40. Pareidolia is internal and while it is proximal to the process of identifying good that Dr. Perrodin talks about, it still involves the steps of attempting to conform what is perceived to be dependent upon some previous experience or observation. WHY KNOWING THE DIFFERENCE GIVES YOU AN ADVANTAGE. Understanding positionality and pareidolia empower you with keen awareness of what is authentic in your environment versus responses that are unintentionally manipulated by your brain or overtly manipulated by other people. The latter can shift you toward external validation (imagine becoming addicted to “Likes” for your social media posts) and undermine the solid footing of sense of self and ability to use face validity to craft your own rubric for identifying “What is Good”. DAVID SHARES 3 STORIES. Dr. Perrodin shares three personal anecdotal stories to parse out how he believes that “good” can be universally recognized. He begins with recalling a tandem bike ride with Robert, a high school student who is blind and has autism. After sharing that story, he tells of the trip he made with his daughter in order for her to purchase potted daisies for Mother’s Day. David concludes by re-visiting his time as a volunteer tour guide at historic Fort Winnebago which included working with his Dad to refurbish a 100-foot split rail fence and water well in a manner that infringed only slightly on authenticity. THE REAL MEANING OF GOOD AND EVIL (Psychology Today, 2013). Dr. Perrodin dissects this article to point out the specific terminology and strategies deployed to persuade people into believing what is good and what is evil. For example, the article states: “‘Good’ means a lack of self-centredness. It means the ability to empathise with other people, to feel compassion for them, and to put their needs before your own. It means, if necessary, sacrificing your own well-being for the sake of others’. It means benevolence, altruism and selflessness, and self-sacrifice towards a greater cause - all qualities which stem from a sense of empathy.” David argues that empathy, altruism, etc., are all human constructs and have nothing to do with whether something or some activity has “face-validity” goodness. While David certainly doesn’t argue against empathy and compassion, he notes that they are not coupled to something that would have face-validity goodness - such as a scenic vista. FOLLOW DR. PERRODIN: Twitter @SafetyPhD and subscribe to The Safety Doc YouTube channel & Apple Podcasts. SAFETY DOC WEBSITE & BLOG: www.safetyphd.com David will respond to comments & emails. The Safety Doc Podcast is hosted & produced by David Perrodin, PhD. ENDORSEMENTS. Opinions are those of the host & guests and do not reflect positions of The 405 Media or supporters of “The Safety Doc Podcast”. The show adheres to nondiscrimination principles while seeking to bring forward productive discourse & debate on topics relevant to personal or institutional safety. Email David: thesafetydoc@gmail.com LOOKING FOR DR. TIMOTHY LUDWIG, PHD? Dr. Perrodin’s “Safety Doc Podcast” negotiates school and community safety. To be informed about industrial safety, please contact Appalachian State University Professor Dr. Timothy Ludwig, PhD, at www.safety-doc.com.

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