【英国】为什么如此多的人相信通灵的力量?
2021-07-25 yzy86 6448
正文翻译


本文作者来自曼彻斯特城市大学,攻认知心理学、通灵学方向~

Mind reading and the ability to predict thefuture are not skills people generally associate with the human race. Yet,research shows many people genuinely believe in the existence of psychicpowers.

大体上,人们不会把读心术和预言未来的能力和人类这个种族联系在一起,而研究显示有很多人真的相信通灵力量的存在。

You would think that instances of provenpsychic fraud over the years would weaken the credibility of psychic claims.There have been historical cases, such as Lajos Pap, the Hungarian spiritualistmedium, who was found to be faking animal appearances at seances. And then morerecently, self described psychic James Hydrick was revealed as a trickster.Hydrick confessed his paranormal demonstrations were tricks learned in prison.

你会认为,多年以来通灵人士被揭穿为骗子的情况会削弱主张通灵存在的可信度。历史上已然存在一些案例,比如说匈牙利灵媒Lajos Pap,他在降神会上被人揭发假扮动物的外表。之后是在距今更近,自称能通灵的詹姆斯·海德里克被发现是个骗子。海德里克坦白说他那些超自然的表演都是监狱里学来的把戏。

Another notable example involvedtelevangelist Peter Popoff. His wife used a wireless transmitter to broadcastinformation about sermon attendees to Popoff via an earpiece. Popoff claimed toreceive this information by paranormal means and rose to fame hosting anationally televised programme, during which he performed seemingly miraculouscures on audience members.

另一个值得注意的例子牵扯到电视福音派布道家彼得·波波夫。他的妻子利用无线发报机通过一枚耳机向波波夫播送在布道现场者的信息。波波夫声称自己是通过超自然方式接收到这些信息的,通过主持一档全国电视节目而声名大振,在此期间他表演针对观众的看似神迹的治愈术。

But despite such cases, there are stillmany people who firmly believe in the power of psychic ability. According to aUS Gallup survey, for example, more than one-quarter of people believe humanshave psychic abilities – such as telepathy and clairvoyance.

但尽管存在这类前例,仍然有大量的人坚信存在通灵的力量。比如说,按照美国盖洛普公司的一项调查,超过四分之一的人相信人类拥有诸如心灵感应和透视的通灵能力。

The believers

信徒们

A recent report may help to shed some lighton why people continue to believe in psychic powers. The study tested believersand sceptics with the same level of education and academic performance andfound that people who believe in psychic powers think less analytically. Thismeans that they tend to interpret the world from a subjective personalperspective and fail to consider information critically.

最近的一份报告可以帮忙搞清楚为什么人们会继续相信通灵之力。该研究测试了具有同等教育程度和学业成绩的信徒和怀疑论者,然后发现相信通灵力量的人在思考时更不注重分析。这就意味着他们倾向于从主观的个人视角出发去解读世界,并且无法批判性地看待信息。

Believers also often view psychic claims asconfirmatory evidence – regardless of their evidential basis. The case of ChrisRobinson, who refers to himself as a “dream detective”, demonstrates this.

信徒也常常把声称通灵的情况作为确凿的证据,完全不考虑有没有证据作为基础。自称“梦中神探”的克里斯·罗宾森的案例就展现了这一点。
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Robinson claims to have foreseen terroristattacks, disasters and celebrity deaths. His assertions derive from limited andquestionable evidence. Tests conducted by Gary Schwartz at the University ofArizona provided support for Robinson’s ability, however, other researchersusing similar methods failed to confirm Schwartz’s conclusion.

罗宾森声称自己已经预知到了恐怖袭击、灾难和名人的死亡。他的断言得自片面且可疑的证据。由亚利桑那大学的加里·施瓦兹进行的测试支持了罗宾森能力的真实性,然而,其他使用了类似方法的研究者却无法确认施瓦兹的结论。

Vague and general

含糊不清且笼统

Psychic claims are often general and vague– such as foretelling a plane crash or celebrity death – and this is in partwhy so many people believe in the possibility of psychic abilities.

声称通灵往往流于笼统和含糊不清,比如预言一场空难或是名人的死亡,而这也部分解释了为什么如此多的人相信通灵力量存在的可能性。
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This is known as The Barnum effect, acommon psychological phenomenon whereby people tend to accept vague, generalpersonality descxtions as uniquely applicable to themselves.

而这被称为巴纳姆效应,是一种很普遍的心理现象,即人们倾向于接受含糊不清、笼统的性格刻画,并将其视为符合他们自身特征的独特刻画。

Research for example, has shown thatindividuals give high accuracy ratings to descxtions of their personalitythat supposedly are tailored specifically to them, that are in fact vague andgeneral enough to apply to a wide range of people. The name references thecircus man Phineas Taylor Barnum, who had a reputation as a masterpsychological manipulator.

举例来说,研究已经发现:对他们性格特质的刻画,个体会给出很高的准确度评分,这些刻画本该是特别为他们量身定制的,而实际上则是含糊不清且笼统的,完全可以适用于各种不同的人群。该名称取自马戏团人士泰勒·巴纳姆,他因为精通心理操纵而名声在外。

Impossible to validate

无法验证

Many psychic claims have also provedimpossible to confirm. A classic illustration is Uri Geller’s contention thathe “willed” the football to move during a penalty kick at Euro 96. The ballmovement occurred spontaneously in an uncontrolled environment and Geller madethe claim retrospectively.

许多声称通灵的情况也被证明为无法确认。有过一个经典的例证,就是尤里·盖勒争辩说,他能在96年欧洲杯赛上的一场点球大战中,靠“念力”让足球移动。球的运动是在一个不受控的环境中自然发生的,而盖勒是在事后回顾时作出这种断言的。

When professed abilities are subject toscientific scrutiny researchers generally discredit them. This was true ofDerek Ogilvie in the 2007 TV documentary The Million Dollar Mind Reader.Investigation concluded Ogilvie genuinely believed he possessed powers, but wasnot actually able to read babies’ minds.

当所声称的能力经受科学审查时,总的来说研究者们是怀疑他们的。2007年电视纪录片《百万美元读心者》中德雷克·奥格尔维便是这种情况。调查得出的结论是,奥格尔维是真的相信他拥有能力,但他给婴儿读心的时候失败了。

And when scientists have endorsed psychicclaims, criticism has typically followed. This occurred in the 1970s whenphysicists Russell Targ and Harold Puthoff published a paper in the prestigiousjournal Nature, which supported the notion that Uri Geller possessed genuinepsychic ability. Psychologists, such as Ray Hyman refuted this – highlightingmajor methodological flaws. These included a hole in the laboratory wall thatafforded views of drawings that Geller “psychically” reproduced.

而当科学家们对通灵表示认可的时候,紧随而来的往往是批判。这种情况发生在1970年代,当时的物理学家罗素·塔尔格和哈罗德·普索夫,在颇有声望的《自然》杂志发表了一篇论文,支持尤里·盖勒真的拥有通灵能力的看法。而诸如雷·海曼的心理学家驳斥了这种看法,并强调了方法上的一些重大缺陷。这其中包括验证中的一个漏洞,这就让盖勒得以给出在“精神上”再现的视图。

Mixed evidence

互相矛盾的证据
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Another factor that facilitates belief inpsychic ability is the existence of scientific research that provides positivefindings. This reinforces believers’ views that claims are genuine andphenomenon real, but ignores that fact that published studies are oftencriticised and replication is necessary in order for general acceptance tooccur.

另一个助推信仰通灵能力的因素是产生积极发现的科学研究的存在。这强化了信徒的观点,即断言和现象俱为真,却无视了已经发布的研究常遭批判的事实,为了让大众接受的情况发生,再现(实验结果)是必须的。

One prominent example of this was a paperproduced by social psychologist Daryl Bem in the high-quality Journal ofPersonality and Social Psychology. It was said the research showed support forthe existence of precognition (conscious cognitive awareness) and premonition(affective apprehension) of a future event. But other researchers failed toreproduce these results.

这种情况的一个著名例子,是社会心理学家达里尔·贝姆在高端刊物《人格与社会心理学》里创作的一篇论文。据说该研究的发现支持了预知(有意识下的认知化觉知)和感应(感性化理解)未来事件能力的存在。但是其他研究者无法再现这些结果。
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Mind set

思维定势

So it seems that despite occurrences offakery, forgery and fraudulence – as well as mixed evidence – people will stillcontinue to believe in psychic phenomena. Indeed, research has shown that onein three Americans feel they have experienced a psychic moment – and nearlyhalf of US women claim they have felt the presence of a spirit.

所以看起来,哪怕发生过伪造、欺诈以及证据互相矛盾的情况,人们仍会继续相信通灵这种现象。确实,研究者们已经发现:三个美国人中就有一个觉得他们体验过通灵的瞬间,而且几乎一半的美国女性声称她们感觉到过灵魂的存在。

Whether this is down to lack of analyticalskills, genuine experiences, or just in a bid to make the world a little bitmore interesting, it seems believers will continue to believe – despite scienceindicating otherwise.

无论这种情况是否要归咎于缺少分析技能,是真的有过体验,还是仅仅为了力图让这个世界更有趣一点,看起来信徒们还是会继续相信的,哪怕科学指明的是相反的情况。

评论翻译
1、The articlehighlight failures to reproduce experiments making extraordinary claims. However, it appears that [many mainstream resultsare irreproducible, too. What light doesthat cast on the extraordinary results?

本文强调了无法再现那些作出超常论断的实验。然而,貌似很多主流的实验结果也是无法再现的。那么对于超常的结果又能说明什么呢?

2、I think it’sreasonable to say that those individuals who have developed their analyticalskills either through education or work are more likely to consider theplausability of a particular claim in an effective manner than those whohaven’t.

我认为这样说是合理的:那些已经通过教育或工作培养出分析技能的人要比没能培养出此技能的人更有可能以一种有效的方法考察某个特定论断的可信度。

I’d argue that belief in the paranormal islargely the product of false-positives arising from a combination of bias (Theywant it to be true) and person lacking the skill/capacity to examine a claimeffectively. It’s not that they just accepted it blindly but rather theyweren’t adequately equiped to identify its questionable veracity.

我会主张,相信超自然,很大程度上是偏见(他们希望这是真的)和一个缺乏有效检验某种论断的技能/能力的人结合起来以后产生的误报造成的。并不是说他们只会盲目地接受,而是他们不具备充分的能力去鉴别其中存在问题的真实性。

On a side-note it’s important to not createa false dichotomy between analytical and emotional decision making. When youhave a decent amount of experience to call upon then your emotional reaction toa situation can be useful. I often pick up on calculation or process errorsbecause data looks wrong and then use my analytical skills to check for errors.

附注:不在分析性决策和情绪化决策之间制造出错误的二分法是很重要的。当你有丰厚的经验可以用来召唤的时候,你对某种局面的情绪化反应也可以派上用场。我常会主意到计算或进程中的错误,因为数据一看就不对,然后利用我的分析技能去找出错误。

Unfortunately those who rely heavily ontheir emotions consider the above to be patronising and it can be difficult todiscuss issues with.

不幸的是,那些严重依赖感觉的人会把上述行为视作一种恩赐,很难与之讨论问题。
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The saying ‘you can’t reason someone out ofa position they didn’t reason themselves into’ is pretty accurate.

有句格言是相当准确的:你无法说服别人去改变一个他们自己都无法说服自己抱定的立场。

3、I think this is afascinating topic. Many people do indeed believe in supernatural phenomena. Imyself personally know many people, scientifically trained, who believe inthese things. I have heard many anecdotes that seem persuasive. If pushed, Imyself would say I probably believed in these phenomena, due to someexperiences I’ve had which I cannot explain in any other way.

我觉得这是一个引人入胜的话题。很多人确实相信超自然现象。我个人认识很多相信此类事物的人,他们都受过科学训练。我听说过很多颇有说服力的奇闻轶事。如果一定要表态,我会说我可能也是相信此类现象的,这是由于我有过的一些无法以任何方式解释的经历。

I am surprised that more people are notmore interested in a genuine, open, anthropological approach to testing whethersupernatural phenomena really occur rather than starting from the position thatthey are probably not true, as this article seems to. This is an issue withabsolutely huge implications for peoples’ worldviews, and it should be a topicthat is approached in a very careful, nuanced, detailed and open-minded way.This interesting middle ground is rarely occupied.

让我感到惊讶的是,有更多的人对于测试超自然现象是否真的会发生的那些正统公开的人类学方法不那么感兴趣,反而从喜欢从它们可能不是真的这个立场出发,这篇文章貌似就是这个德性。这是一个对人们的世界观有着巨大影响的问题,而且它是一个应当以非常小心、细致、精密和心态开放的方式去处理的话题。这是一片很少被人涉足的饶有趣味的中间地带。

In my opinion, just because phenomena arenot reproducible does not mean they are not valid. The very nature of thesephenomena is that they are not controllable. A truly empirical, scientificapproach does not discredit evidence based on a priori assumptions thatphenomena can be controlled. The requirement of reproducibility applies tomaterial phenomena that can be controlled.

在我看来,就因为现象无法被复制,并不意味着它们不确凿。这些现象的本质就是它们不可控。一种真正实证的、科学的方法不会去怀疑基于现象可控这种前验假定得来的证据的可信度,可再现的要求适用的是可以被控制的物质现象。

4、It is ironic thatacademics will correctly criticise notions of psychic ability whilenevertheless thinking that thoughts exist and that thoughts have an effect inthe real world. Quite simply, thoughts have never been found in the brain andnever could be.

讽刺的是,学者们会像模像样地去批判通灵能力这个概念,尽管如此却认为思维是存在的而且会对真实的世界产生影响。相当简单,思维从来没有在大脑中被找到过,也绝没法找到。

Prayer doesn’t work because there are notreal communicators and real mechanisms for communication. Psychokinesis doesn’twork because imagining an event does not produce a real obxt acting onanother one. Astral travel is imaginary because it cannot accord with theperson as an obxt that perceives with real mechanisms of perception. Wecannot speak to the dead because people are obxts that perceive and deadpeople no longer perceive.

祷告不起作用,是因为并不是真的存在交流者和交流机制。念力不起作用,是因为想象出一个事件并不会产生一个真实的对象去作用于另一个对象。遨游太虚是虚构的,因为它无法依靠真实的知觉机制和这个作为客体的人协调一致。我们没法和死人说话,因为人是能感知的客体而死人不再能感知了。

5、This morning Ithought a courier was about to arrive. About 8 seconds later he buzzed theintercom to my unit on the third floor.

今天早上,我感觉会有快递员上门。大约8秒后,他用三楼的对讲机呼叫了我这个单元。

6、This article is wellwritten. Too bad it’s mostly wrong. To give just one example, Bem’sprecognition experiment is dismissed because there were a few well-publicizedfailures to replicate. What the authors fails to mention is that there havebeen at least 90 replications reported, and overall there is no question thatthe effect Bem reported was sucessfully repeated.

这篇文写的很好,可悲的是几乎都是错的。这里我只给出一个例子就好,没有人理会贝姆的预知能力实验,因为有一些再现实验失败的情况被广为宣传。本文作者没有提到的是,存在至少90次有实验成功再现的记录,而且总的来说,贝姆记录到的效果在实验中被成功再现是不存在任何问题的。

Why isn’t this front page news? Why don’tthe authors know this? Because confirmation bias cuts both ways. Those whobelieve that psychic phenomena are mere superstitions look for data thatsupports their view, and they ignore the rest.

为什么这个上不了头版新闻呢?为什么那些作者们不知道此事?因为确认偏误同时对双方起作用。那些相信通灵现象的人不过是迷信,会去寻找能支持他们观点的数据,而且他们会无视其他。
(译注:确认偏误(confirmation bias)指人们会倾向于寻找能支持自己观点的证据,对支持自己观点的信息更加关注,或者把已有的信息往能支持自己观点的方向解释)

The fact is that meta-analyses of the majorclasses of psychic phenomena have been successfully repeated many times. Thiswas reported in a lead article in American Psychologist in May 2018. This isthe flagship journal of the American Psychological Association, not a fluffynew-age magazine.

事实是,对通灵现象发生的主体人群进行的荟萃分析(Meta分析)已经成功重现了很多次。这一点在2018年5月登载于《美国心理学家》的一篇头版文章中有记录。这可是美国心理学会的顶级刊物,不是什么内容贫乏的新纪元运动(New Age)杂志。
(译注:新纪元运动(New Age Movement)起源于1970-1980年西方的社会与宗教运动,所涉层面极广,涵盖了灵性、神秘学、替代疗法,并吸收世界各个宗教的元素以及环境保护主义)

The bottom line is that surveys show thatthe majority of the population – including the majority of scientists – believein psychic phenomena because they’ve personally experienced one or moreepisodes. In addition, those experiences have been tested in the laboratory andfound to be genuine phenomena. Of course, this does not mean every anecdotalpsychic claim is true.

其概要是:调查显示大部分人口包括扩大部分科学家都相信通灵现象,因为他们个人体验过一次或更多次的(相关)事件。此外,那些体验一直都在实验室里接受测试,并被认为是真实现象。当然了,这并不意味着每一个奇闻般的通灵论断都是真的。

7、Willfull Blindnessalso comes into play where people reject clear evidence of something because itdoes not conform to their ‘world view’ or accept dubious evidence that does. Inthis way people may often believe only what they want to believe and ignoreevidence for an alternative reality if it challenges their basic beliefs.

当人们拒绝接受非常清楚的证据时,装瞎也会开始起作用,因为那不符合他们的“世界观”,或是去接受符合其世界观但存在问题的证据。以这种方式,人们就总是可以只去相信他们想要相信的东西,如果挑战了他们的基本信仰,就无视能佐证替代性事实的证据。

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