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Pareidolia

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Pareidolia

Postby call_copse » Fri Aug 30, 2013 7:31 am

I propose this word because I like it and don't think it's been done. It's relevant to big data, religion and many other topics although it has a relatively simple derivation. I'd quite like a definitive pronounciation, being a little timid about saying it.
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Re: Pareidolia

Postby Slava » Fri Aug 30, 2013 1:21 pm

Well, as you're British and I'm American, I can't guarantee the definitiveness of my pronunciation guide, but here goes:

parr-i-DOH-lee-ə - Courtesy of Wikipedia.

I also found this version - British Received Pronunciation: /pær.aɪˈdəʊ.li.ə/, from this site. I like this one because it shows Braille and ESL, plus others.

It appears pareidolia is a subset of apophenia, and its article on Wikipedia is under debate as to its neutrality.

The word has its own website, by the way.
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Re: Pareidolia

Postby Perry Lassiter » Fri Aug 30, 2013 2:40 pm

As a pastor, i have at times been rather religious myself. But for the life of me, I can't understand why Jesus or Mary would have nothing better to do than show up on old refrigerators or cracked concrete.....Whew! No lightning yet.
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Re: Pareidolia

Postby gailr » Fri Aug 30, 2013 11:14 pm

Penn and Teller's Cruel Tricks for Dear Friends included instructions for painting the face of the devil on a random tortilla in a package (with lemon juice), before inviting friends over for dinner. They emphasized not making the drawing too perfect; it needed to have a properly organic, is-it-or-isn't-it look as cooking developed the image...
:)

The ability to see faces or figures in the environment is an entertaining part of being human. The impulse to assign a culturally familiar religious identity to these perceived faces or figures has made for some interesting studies.
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Re: Pareidolia

Postby Philip Hudson » Sat Aug 31, 2013 2:45 am

The Rorschach inkblot test uses pareidolia. It does not serve much purpose to my mind. After I had a stroke I was given the test. Because it was the D-Day memorial when I took the test, all the blots looked like the coast of Normandy, Omaha Beach, and Utah Beach to me. The administrator, not knowing what D-Day day was, thought I was stir crazy. Even when I explained she didn't understand.

I had a course in tests and measurements in the University. I analyzed some of the tests, including Rorschach. There is no way to “pass” some of those tests except to give the answers expected of you. When I try to be honest, my score is declared invalid.

Lots of people see the Virgin Mary or other religious apparitions in things. Someone sold a potato chip on E-bay that looked like Jay Leno in profile.

Linus in "Peanuts" saw the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel in the clouds. Charlie Brown only saw a horsy and a ducky.
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Re: Pareidolia

Postby Perry Lassiter » Sat Aug 31, 2013 2:09 pm

I read recently that Rohrschach had been discredited. My understanding was that it was of more value when you took the whole series of answers together. Did they, for example, see a lot of body parts as opposed to animals or plants. Likely a conversation afterward would throw light on the choices. It was simply dumb not to find out what D-Day was. rorschach was never meant to be a pass/fail test, merely an aid in diagnosis and a conversatinon starter.
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Re: Pareidolia

Postby Philip Hudson » Sat Aug 31, 2013 3:29 pm

Perry: All standard tests are pass/fail and are usually deceptive. I failed the Kuder Preference Test. They said my score was invalid because I was inconsistent. Actually, scorning the test, I had intended it to come out that way. The Minnesota Multiphase Personality Test once asked whether one hated his/her father or mother the most. I took a short form IQ test that gave my IQ as infinite. I got all the questions right. This is, of course, ridiculous. I took The Stanford–Binet Intelligence test and got a different IQ rating. It wasn't low but I shall not reveal my score. Whatever it measures it measures well. I'm just not sure what it measures.

I took all these tests when I was in high school ages ago, but when I had a stroke they tried to test me again. I humored them on a few but not the MMPT. I wouldn't take it. I had already had a university course in tests and measurements and knew what it was. The analyst told me that I was an egomaniac and wasn’t intelligent enough to live the life of an egomaniac successfully. I have had other bouts with these kinds of tests when I wasn’t the subject. They are universally bad.

One of my computer programmers was a genius by any standard I can imagine. He took the Officer's Candidate School tests and passed all but one of them with flying colors. Then he failed the Kuder Preference Test and was drafted into the Army as a buck private. On the test he chose to play tennis doubles over being the captain of the football team. When I explained to him how to take a test he applied again and became a commissioned officer.
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Re: Pareidolia

Postby Perry Lassiter » Sat Aug 31, 2013 11:08 pm

How can you fail a preference test?
On an IQ test, I thought I finished the math section, then found just before the end another page or two were stuck together. On the same test I got all the reasoning problems correct, therefore it didn't truly test me.

On yet another, the interpreter said if we didn't like where we were, if we had a high Q3 we could change it. Mine was 2 or 3. Fortunately I like me ok. Q3 had to do with self discipline I think. Pity.
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Re: Pareidolia

Postby Philip Hudson » Sun Sep 01, 2013 12:00 am

You can fail a preference test by preferring the wrong thing. Like preferring tennis to football, thus proving you are not US Army officer material.
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Re: Pareidolia

Postby Perry Lassiter » Sun Sep 01, 2013 1:22 pm

My problem with Kuder is well exemplified by your choice of tennis or football. Taking the test, I'd feel exasperated. I love both. I spent many afternoons on the courts and played many pickup games of touch. I'd usually prefer football on tv, but it would depend on who's playing. I remember some question like take out the garbage, change a light bulb, or go to the store. Again, what's the situation.

Supposedly the same preference test has been given to successful people in each of the vocations. Their answers were supposedly compared to yours. If yours were similar to airline pilots, they'd add that to occupations for you to consider. Still, if you're afraid of heights...
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Re: Pareidolia

Postby Philip Hudson » Sun Sep 01, 2013 5:56 pm

The "take out the garbage" choice in the Kuder is there to create the validity score. I have to hand that to the creators. They reasoned that anyone who made that choice either wasn't paying attention to what he was doing or else was stir crazy. Hence, the test was deemed not valid if you chose too many of these kinds of responses. No allowance is made for someone who didn't want to do any of the above. Kuder is a cruddy test.
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Re: Pareidolia

Postby call_copse » Mon Sep 02, 2013 7:41 am

gailr wrote:Penn and Teller's Cruel Tricks for Dear Friends included instructions for painting the face of the devil on a random tortilla in a package (with lemon juice), before inviting friends over for dinner. They emphasized not making the drawing too perfect; it needed to have a properly organic, is-it-or-isn't-it look as cooking developed the image...
:)

The ability to see faces or figures in the environment is an entertaining part of being human. The impulse to assign a culturally familiar religious identity to these perceived faces or figures has made for some interesting studies.


I like the Penn and Teller idea, I'll have to try that, perhaps on a Naan bread, with my wife - that'll learn her for being a Catholic.

I'd probably go a little further and suggest that paraeidolia likely explains our general propensity for religious attribution, and religious beliefs overall - but that's just me.
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Re: Pareidolia

Postby Philip Hudson » Mon Sep 02, 2013 9:53 pm

I have no use for pareidolia in any genre, especially in religion. My dear mother was the iconic iconoclast of religion. If it wasn't given in word or song, it wasn't Christian. We didn't have a Christmas tree, celebrate Christmas, or any other holy day. No religious images or symbols were allowed in our house. I had a total antipareidolian and iconoclastic upbringing. But I was also brought up a devout Christian, which I still am. Humanity is incurably religious. In his “Pensées”, Pascal wrote, “There is a God shaped vacuum in the heart of every man which cannot be filled by any created thing, but only by God, the Creator, made known through Jesus.” With due respect to people of other or no religion, that is where I an in my pilgrimage.
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Re: Pareidolia

Postby gailr » Tue Sep 03, 2013 10:01 pm

'Seeing things' within the visual environment is so much a part of the human experience that many artists have made their reputations by skillfully hiding faces and objects within their work for the delight of both their patrons and the larger public.

Giuseppe Arcimboldo (1526?-1593) had great humor to match his great talent, rendering portraits as still lifes in a style that some artists still pay homage to in tours de force that speak to their own eras. Till Nowak's Salad is a notable contemporary example.

Charles Allan Gilbert (1873-1929) contributed All is Vanity, in which a young woman at a vanity table is superimposed on a skull. Which image is perceived first depends on the viewer. This style of visual pun continues to be popular for streamlined figure–ground perception games; Profiles/Vase for example.

Bev Doolittle (1947- ) built her career on a kind of planned pareidolia in her artwork. There are may layers of faces, animals, people, and objects to be found and enjoyed in her work.

Another popular form of pareidolia is found in art cards intended for spelling out names or words, derived from collections of alphanumeric characters or other symbols 'found' in everyday objects. One of my current favorites is a close-up of a two-pegged, cast metal coat hook, attached to the wall by two slightly off-set screws. The caption is usually a variation on Drunk Octopus Wants to Fight! and it always makes me smile when someone posts it.
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Re: Pareidolia

Postby Perry Lassiter » Tue Sep 03, 2013 11:58 pm

Now your art lecture has gone and done it. I had to open a new window and google Bev Doolittle. Recognized her work immediately, tho I hadn't the name. Didn't remember seeing the Gilbert work tho. I also remember encountering many discussions of who various figures were modeled on in many famous and not so famous works. Seems artists got corrupted by patrons wanting to sneak into great art!
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