Do Humans Have the Collective Ability to "Feel the Future"?

At the very least, that’s what a research conducted by the Global Consciousness Project tried to determine. They wanted to know if collective thought and sentiment, expressed prior to a negative event, may actually point to the fact that a wider swathe of the population have a premonition about future, unpredictable events. Can we sense the future?

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Presentiment or the “predictive physiological anticipation” effect is a phenomenon described by the way our bodies react before a certain unpredictable event happens. If there is any scientific basis to say that such an ability exists, then we might have to probe into the connection between human consciousness and the world around us.

We know that certain animals have a sense about them of impending danger, since they are able to notice changes in the environment, vibrations within the earth, or they have some kind of instinctive mechanism in their physiology that tells them that something wrong is about to happen.

Usually, such senses are felt moments before the actual event happens, and by then, it might be too late. So, the researchers at the GCP wanted to see if public sentiment days or weeks before a negative unpredictable event happens would correlate. And if so, then it might be a possible predictor for future events.

To be able to remove any biases that could distort the data, the team isolated incidents or events that were significantly negative than other days, and separated events which come immediately after another negative event since they might have been affected by the first event. Also, they evaluated the events to see if they were truly unpredictable, and then compared tweets from two days to two weeks before the chosen events happened.

From their analysis, they found that preceding the events, general sentiment had followed a negative trend, which then culminated in the unforeseeable negative events. Now, whether these meant that humans could feel that an impending negative event was about to happen, much like animals could sense natural disasters, is uncertain at best.

There’s a possibility that the downward trend in sentiment may not be related to any future events happening, but it could just point to the social or political climate at the time. This would require the selection of events to be truly independent of other factors that could have influenced people’s sentiment for the results to be truly significant.

But the researchers believe that the study may suggest that the collective mood of society at present may be affected by the emotional reactions to a future event, in a sort of backwards ripple effect. Whether or not this is truly the case, we cannot say for certain.

(Image credit: Ivan Lapyrin/Unsplash)

Source: neatorama

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