Misinformation overload

You would think that anyone claiming to be rational and skeptical in their approach to investigation would be unlikely to spread misinformation and, if anything, they would fight misinformation being spread by the less rational people out there.

However the sad reality is that some people who do claim to be rational and skeptical in their approach to their research do promote misinformation and sometimes don’t even realise it. This is a scary truth.

If somebody claims to be credible – or pretends to be if they believe it will made them seem more professional – and they start talking about ideas that seem scientific and factual then people will assume that they know exactly what they are talking about, and that the ideas these people are promoting are true.

It’s bad enough in the paranormal research field when people who don’t have an ounce of common sense or rationalism in them spread misinformation – yet, these people who typically hold some sort of bias due to belief promote such pseudo-theories that are easy to spot. “Orbs are paranormal”, “ouija boards are evil”, “ghosts use our energy” – all of which can be read about on our ‘Fact vs. fiction’ page.

Such ideas are easy to spot as non-factual and sometimes the people who present them are easy to spot as not being completely rational. This is why when people who appear to be rational in their approach to their research spout misinformation it’s so dangerous because people assume that they are a credible source of information and will trust them and take everything they say as the truth, when it isn’t.

A great example of this would be the American television show, Ghosthunters, that see’s two founders of a paranormal research team talk about Electromagnetic hypersensetivity (EHS) all the time – like, on EVERY episode.

They talk about it as though it is an option for why the people at supposedly haunted locations might experience what they do. They detect the EM fields that they believe are to blame using an EMF meter.

EHS is the theory that some people are sensetive to Electromagnetic fields and being exposed to certain levels of EM fields makes them feel like they are being watched, makes them hear things, see things, feel like they are being touched and lots of other things that are associated with ghosts.

It sounds credible, it sounds scientific, it sounds rational and so it must be right and it must make them a rational research team, right?

Well, this is the idea that most of my American friends seem to hold and they become shocked when I suggest that actually, the theory that the people on Ghosthunters promote isn’t true.

Add on top of this the fact that your bog standard EMF meter isn’t capable of detecting these low level frequencies and you’ll see why what ghosthunters the television show promotes is wrong.

Oh, and did I mention that these low level frequencies – that are different than the normal electromagnetic field (EMF) are referred to as Experience-Inducing fields (EIF) and are NOT caused by electrical appliances or currents?

So when the people on the television show Ghosthunters wave their bogstandard EMF meters around (that don’t detect EIF’s) near electrical wiring, appliances etc. (that don’t create EIF’s) and claim that their readings show that the home owner is probably being effected by them – they’re completely wrong.

This proves then that if somebody who claims to be rational and skeptical suggests a theory that sounds rational, plausable and even scientific you should never take it at face value.

Some of you might say that I’m being a hyprocrite for saying this as I, myself, claim to be rational and skeptical, but actually the same thing applies to me and the Wiltshire Phenomena Research team too.

Don’t take everything we claim on our website as fact – feel free to explore it, research it and draw your own conclusions from it. You should never just accept somebodies word as true without being even the slightest bit skeptical of their claims – it’s dangerous to do so. If you do and you think it’s acceptable to do so, you should question your gulliability. Seriously.


About Hayley Stevens

Hayley Stevens is a podcaster, blogger, writer, public speaker and ghost geek. She likes tea, cake, sci-fi books and being a humanist.

Posted on April 30, 2010, in ghost, irrational, misattribution, paranormal, pop culture paranormal. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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