Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Scientifically proven

What happens in your mind when you read a phrase like "scientifically proven?" This morning, I was reading a book that is currently the subject of lots of buzz (yes - it made it to Oprah). It contained a statement that it has been 'scientifically' proven that an affirmative thought is hundreds of times more powerful than a negative thought. No reference was given to the study or studies that "proved" this hypothesis.

I wonder when the notions of affirmation and negation were operationalized so that they could be tested experimentally.

I wonder what units of power were used in quantifying.

I wonder how many hundreds of times more powerful. Since this is science, I assume quantity matters.

The book made it to Oprah. The people involved with it are going to realize their own affirmations - they are going to make lots of money. Probably not as much as a the quiet single mom who wrote a children's book while sitting in coffee shops with her baby. But still. Lots of money. Wealth is a word that figures frequently in their affirmations.

I am aware of science that will show that more parts of one's brain are active in a positive thought (positive in that it represents something that can be perceived) than are active in a negative thought (negative in that it is a "not" thought - a trick of language that allows us to talk about something that is opposite to what can be perceived). In this model, the mushroom cloud after a nuclear explosion is a "positive" while "not smoking" is a negative. This is not quite the same as saying the brain supports thoughts about what we want.

What happens in your mind when you are fed bits of information that are related to truth and which correspond your experience and then a bit of information that you would never accept out of context? Do you notice how many words have been twisted just a little to make the point?

2 comments:

Drilling Services said...

I am not bothered by whether it is "scientifically proven" or not.

The crux is that positive thinking really works.

Aaron Whiston said...

Why is it that so many people jump at the chance to defend negativity and self-defeatist thinking? It's a little pathetic to be honest - what is it about the idea of personal empowerment that is so upsetting to the blogger who made this post?

I'm not familiar with the study Beckwith cited here but I do know a growing body of evidence in various scientific circles is proving the obvious relation to consciousness/observation and what we candidly refer to as "reality". John Hagelin, Fred Alan Wolf, Lyn Mctaggert, and hundreds of others have written about and conducted their own experiments and it's just a matter of time before ALL of mainstream science (once again) stops resisting a "new" idea and admits the truth of these matters.