Thursday, November 01, 2007

Spoiler Alert: Which Room Is Haunted?

This is one of those questionable interpretations that I was writing about yesterday. Richard Wiseman of the University of Hertfordshire uses these pictures "to study whether people have preconceived notions about the appearance of a haunted site." He interprets that people choose the left room because it "fits the stereotype". In other words, it's "creepier."

I'll admit I picked the left room, but not because it looks "creepier." I don't find anything particularly creepy about plumbing. I picked it because old pipes make strange noises that someone may interpet as disturbing or creepy. I'm familiar with old ghost tales and their "explanations." I'm also familiar with the sound of old pipes and their "ghostly" noises.

So, assuming that many people may be familiar with the strange noises made by old pipes, how does this "experiment" justify the interpretation? I don't think it does.

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