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Feb 01

Pareidolia and Photos – Am I seeing Things?

parei

We have heard it here in this group many, many times…”It just pareidolia”, which is the tendency for the brain to perceive meaningful shapes, especially faces, in random visual or audible stimuli. The good news though is that we have the ability to override this natural instinct of ours.

If we as paranormal investigators want to actually present real proof of paranormal events to the world and further the fringe sciences, we need to remain purely objective when analyzing our evidence.

We need to detach ourselves from our evidence completely, and be willing to debunk it.

IS THE PHOTO WORTHY OF BEING CONSIDERED?

First and foremost before we even get into looking at images in a photo, we need to be sure the photo is a suitable candidate for analysis. We need to perform a quality check:

– The photo needs to be in good focus. No blurry or poor quality, badly pixelated photos.

– The exposure needs to be reasonably correct. It cannot be too dark, nor too bright. If the photo does not pass this quality check, then it cannot be offered as evidence to the world at large. It’s just not good enough to stand as any type of proof. This is because blurry or bad photos give alot of fodder for your brain to use to make all sorts of
wonderful, or horrific, images.You have to let it go! Keep it for yourself if you wish, but do not submit it as evidence to anyone else.

If the photo passes the initial quality check, we can then analyze any images it contains.

DO I SEE A FACE?

When analyzing an image we see in a photograph, we need to observe its qualities closely, without bias. We MUST be able to leave our beliefs and wishes at the door.

Study the image in question. The image should be an actual object – it should be separate and apart from anything else in the photo, with a distinct shape. It cannot be inside a bush, in tree branches, in the shadows etc. It also MUST be clear and obvious. If you have to draw circles or outlines, or zoom in to see it, it is not good enough to be considered. Zooming into a digital photo causes pixelation and digital artifacting, which can add to the pareidolia effect.

We need to set aside any impressions we get and look at it purely objectively. Look ONLY at what is ACTUALLY there. For instance, we can’t call 3 ovoid shapes and a curvy line a face. For it to be a real face, we need to see actual eyes, a nose and a mouth. If it only *seems* like a face, then we have to let it go.

So…

QUESTIONS TO ASK YOURSELF TO DETERMINE IF AN IMAGE YOU SEE IN A PHOTO MAY BE A PRODUCT OF PAREIDOLIA

Looking at the photo below, ask yourself:

Is the image made of vague shapes that only resemble a face or figure? Is the image composed of other elements in the photo, such as branches, shadows, leaves, reflections, patterns on wood or other
materials, etc?

Does the image look like an actual object existing independently in the photo? This photo is of a brick on my fireplace. My house is not haunted. This is not a face.

WE CAN DO THIS!

If we really want to find proof of the paranormal, there is no other way – we must be objective always. We must debunk, debunk, debunk. When in doubt we must be willing to throw it out. This goes for every piece of evidence we analyze whether it be visual, audio or other, whether it be yours, mine or ours.

If we hold ourselves to these standards, and come across something we cannot debunk, that makes for strong evidence, and that is the ONLY way we will further the fringe science of paranormal investigating.

April Abercrombie

April Abercrombie

I was Case Manager for Denver Paranormal Research Society for nearly 4 years. While on the team, I primarily conducted investigations for clients of their private residences. I have since left Denver Paranormal to pursue my own research and conduct investigations of haunted locations. I now focus mostly on historical places.
April Abercrombie

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