Twitter Used to Test Our "Psychic Abilities"

By Allison Bond | June 1, 2009 12:12 pm

TwitterTwitter isn’t just the hippest new way to get gossip, headlines, and nosy details of your friends’ lives. It’s helping people whine, embarrass themselves, find taco trucks and counter the Taliban like never before.

Now, researcher Richard Wiseman of the University of Hertfordshire is using Twitter to investigate the not-so-scientific world of psychics. Specifically, he’s looking to learn more about the ability to psychically identify geographic locations, a so-called psychic power that actually has a name: remote viewing. Wiseman will think of a place, and research subjects will “tweet” where they perceive the location to be. He predicts that up to 10,000 people will participate, and all locations Wiseman chooses will be in the U.K. (which, uh, narrows the guesses down pretty considerably).

Some speculate whether Twitter and other digital media are making us dumber, or wasting valuable time with stunts like this. So is the psychic study a waste of time and resources? Or a positively Twitterific, if you will, use of the technology? While it may not be in furtherance of a monumental scientific discovery this time, Twitter, and other 2.0 technologies, are, in a way, doing exactly what they’re intended to do: be the latest in a line of tools that let human beings be, er, twits.

Related Content:
Reality Base: Could Twitter Be a Tool for Terrorists?
Reality Base: Caught in a National Disaster? Twitter Could Save Your Life
Reality Base: Want to Send Your Representative a Message? Use Twitter!

Image: Courtesy of Twitter

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Technology Attacks!
  • Jo

    A waste of time and resources, only insofar as it won’t convince anyone of anything.

    But as a feedback tool in general, it’s useful. Most people won’t participate in telephone surveys, but they’ll take a few minutes to answer a poll or voice an opinion. Of course, when you leave it open to anyone, you have no idea how your sample set is being skewed (as PZ’s minions love to illustrate).

  • Pingback: Do Ten Percent of Twitter-ers Send Ninety Percent of Tweets? | Discoblog | Discover Magazine

  • http://twittenatorinfo.com twittenator review

    Thanks for the tips you talk about through this website.

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