Nov 19th 2010 By Jeremy Taylor
Our happy hour fact to amaze your drinking buddy with.
There is evidence to suggest that our actions are influenced by future events.
, a psychology professor at Cornell University
ran nine experiments on 1,000 student volunteers to test if what is going to happen in the future will influence their decision-making
In one experiment, the students were shown two curtains on a computer screen. They were told there was an erotic image behind one. After they guessed a curtain, the computer randomly put the erotic picture behind one of the curtains and then revealed it to the student.
It turned out that the students' pick and the computer's randomization agreed more often than could be explained by chance. In fact, in eight of the nine experiments, there was a statistically significant conclusion that people have some sort of insight about what is going to happen in the future.
Bem's findings will be published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology
later this year. Joachim Krueger
, a psychology professor at Brown University
, who finds the concept that people can sense what is going to happen in the future "ridiculous," has conceded that Bem's methodology is in "good order."
It's odd to think that we can learn from the future, when it is so hard for us to learn from the past.