As my mentor, Dr Stanley Unwin said:
ooH! Frabjous, frabjous Joy!
A crack team of crack cognitive psychology researchers took a break from torturing pigeons to show us how much they know about an infinitesimally tiny corner of the universe and to demonstrate the validity of using virtual reality as a valid way to elicit paranoid responses .
Like d’oh! have they never been on facebook?
The team snagged, like, two-hundred victims and subjected them to immersion in a VR-world that simulated riding on London underground with a bunch of “droogs” n “characters” they’d invented.
Two thirds of victims responded in ways that had them ticking boxes like at ticky-box thing on ticky-box diagnostic questionnaires like some pigeon-in-a-Peter-piper-picked- -peck-of-Paranoic-pokemon-pepper-pig-poke thing.
Hence the headline: “Two Thirds of Brits Paranoid”.
You can watch the price of drug company shares go up with every click on that clicktastic clickbait.
Victims were subject to a barrage of nineteen “measurement instruments” – questionnaires to you and me – in order for the crack-team of po-faced wise-cracking crack-researchers to determine if people were paranoid, fake paranoid or pigeons – including one that tested for the kind of weird-n-wonky perceptual wibblies known to arise from having been immersed into VR world .
Shame they didn’t include a measuring instrument for testing susceptibility to persecutory thoughts brought about by being observed by an army of clipboards-r-us psychonauts armed with a mountain of of cognitive questionnaires.
Like, that’d never leave you feeling like the people are watching you are a bit too creepy for your liking.
Funny how they spend money on this shit and don’t even give out free pens
– unless, of course they have a drug company’s name on em.
Come on, they din’t even ask folks the most interesting questions, like:
- Would you feel more creeped out travelling on our fake VR creepster Tube, or on the real London Underground?
- Who’s creepier, the dudes in the VR or the researchers asking you these questions?
- Add your own favourite [here]…
Note: clipboards-r-us is a registered trademark.
Please note we don’t recommend anything, anytime – but certainly don’t recommend riding the subway staring at people with your clipboard and ticking boxes.
…at least not unless you got free stuff to hand out.
“You cant do science on this stuff”-
Well, that’s just not true.
We can “do science” on anything.
We just need smarter scientists and smarter researchers.
Paranoia, here, is defines as “any unreasonable fear.”
Well let’s see now, how “scientific” is that?
Unreasonable to whom? from what perspective, in what context?
and in context of who’s life experiences?
This is the kind of “science” that relies upon “because I say so”.
In the same way that it used to rely upon “my god is bigger than your god”
That’s not science that’s anti-science – using power to draw a veil of ‘science” to bully people.
“Paranoia” always makes sense from a human experience perspective- it’s jusy that to understand we need look beyond the end of the average researchers nose.
Want a better way to make sense of paranoia?
The image is from a TEDx Talk by Jim Van Os, where he’s illustrating how the list of what are regarded as “symptoms” of a larger “illness” or some other “problem” we call “psychosis” and “paranoia” are actually everyday experiences – and how between one-third and two-thirds of us are experiencing at least one, right now.
His explanation of that kind of experience that we can all have and which gets called “paranoia” makes much more sense than the nebulous nether regions these researchers are poking around in to justify getting more grants so they can go freak more people out on the subway. I suggest they stop poking folks and join these folks. Improveverywhere.com
Jim van Os and his team have a much more useful way to use technology too….