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stereologist

Excitedness Effect

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stereologist

There seem to several version of this excitedness effect mentioned online. We'll get into the different versions in subsequent posts. The main idea is that being excited about being an eyewitness in some way taints our observations. The term was coined by Hartmann, an astronomer, back in 1968

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Kenneth_Hartmann

Quote

Hartmann was a member of the 1966–1968 University of Colorado UFO Project (informally known as the Condon Committee), a controversial[citation needed]public study of UFOs sponsored by the U.S. Air Force. He primarily investigated photographic evidence, and rejected most as unreliable or inconclusive; in his studies published in the Committee's final report, he concluded two cases - Great Falls (motion pictures of two bright light sources difficult to reconcile with known aircraft) and McMinnville (two photographs of a saucer-shaped craft)[3] - were unexplained and particularly noteworthy as probative evidence of the reality of UFOs.

The issue is not that he served on the Condon panel. That's background information. The issue is the excitedness effect.

Here is one version:

http://www.astronomyufo.com/UFO/sighting.htm

Quote

"...the excited observers who thought they had witnessed a very strange phenomenon produced the most detailed, longest, and most misconceived reports..." (Condon et al. 574)

 

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stereologist

Here is another variation of the effect:

Quote

"observers with the poorest observations are most likely to submit reports" (Sagan and Page 19)

http://www.astronomyufo.com/UFO/rocket.htm

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stereologist

From 953 of the Condon report we have:

Quote

The "excitedness effect" has an important bearing on the UFO problem. It is a selection effect by which the least accurate reports are made more prominent (since the observer becomes highly motivated to make a report), while the most accurate reports may not be recorded.

http://files.ncas.org/condon/text/s6chap02.htm

This suggests that stories received are possibly the least reliable or useful stories and a great deal of imaginative thinking has been introduced into the process.

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Minimalists

Good stuff Stereo..Never heard of that effect before...

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Aaron2016
Posted (edited)

Reminds me of the classic court room drama 'Twelve Angry Men'.  Two of the key witnesses claimed to have seen and heard the suspect commit the crime, but when their evidence was carefully examined the jury realized that both key witnesses had totally exaggerated what they saw and heard as they were both excited and nervous during their testimony.

 

Edited by Aaron2016
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the13bats
Posted (edited)

i have seen a version in my club days booking famous acts, later fans would tell stories that were not how it happened, some very off, some i knew of as people full of bull but some i knew as sincere but the excitement of meeting a star they liked got things all messed up in their memories, i have a buddy who about 20 25 years ago was drinking way too heavy on the club nights, he doesnt remember much if any of what he did in those days and that upsets him now.

bottom line for me eye witness accounts are weak no matter the event, but it seems when it comes to subjects like we discuss here some go into it that their case is supernatural, peranormal etc, and some will get very butthurt p***ed off if doubted,

rhen others are just trolls.

Edited by the13bats
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stereologist

I think that there are important lessons for everyone in this analysis by Hartmann that tells us to be somewhat cautious about eyewitness reports.

Hartmann is not guessing on this idea as some people might propose. He based this on eyewitness reports of a known event.

This is one of the issues in getting a feeling for the quality of the data collected. The question is what does the data represent? In the case of UFOs and other  similar areas the data is not collected by some sampling process. It is offered to the person doing the analysis. A good research  project normally develops a sampling strategy to obtain information from the population of interest. In these studies the population of interest is the set of observers for an event. It seems that Hartmann has determine that the population ends up being represent by those that make unreliable reports.

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stereologist

This excitedness effect reminds me of all of those posters stating, "I know what I saw."

They do get very excited when they say that. I wonder if they have been made aware of this excitedness effect? It especially applies to those people. Reading about this made me wonder about some things I have seen such as a traffic accident, and what I believe to have been space junk reentering the atmosphere, and my close encounter with a bear out west - was it really a black bear?

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the13bats
6 hours ago, stereologist said:

This excitedness effect reminds me of all of those posters stating, "I know what I saw."

They do get very excited when they say that. I wonder if they have been made aware of this excitedness effect? It especially applies to those people. Reading about this made me wonder about some things I have seen such as a traffic accident, and what I believe to have been space junk reentering the atmosphere, and my close encounter with a bear out west - was it really a black bear?

if not space junk and a bear what? are we losing you to the dark side Luke?

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stereologist
2 hours ago, the13bats said:

if not space junk and a bear what? are we losing you to the dark side Luke?

When I read about the excitedness effect I realize I was excited in these two events.

Space junk: Was the duration of the observation as long as I thought? The excitedness effect tells me I could have been way off on duration. Maybe it was a very high nickel content meteorite.

The bear that ran right across the trail in front of me. Definitely a bear, but maybe I missed seeing the hump which I was looking for. Maybe I was setting myself up for relief by not seeing the hump. Therefore, the close bear was a black bear and not a brown bear.

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Captain Risky

...the only problem with this theory is that airforce and navy personnel manning fighter jets, air traffic controllers and radar instillations don’t fit into this silly box...

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Trelane
3 hours ago, Captain Risky said:

...the only problem with this theory is that airforce and navy personnel manning fighter jets, air traffic controllers and radar instillations don’t fit into this silly box...

Please explain further.

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Alchopwn

So, what this report is saying is that people who see something unusual and reported cannot be trusted to accurately describe what they saw.  Based on this "science" we would have to end the legal use of witnesses, as their testimony would always be "excited" and therefore unreliable.  Think of all the murderers who would freely walk the streets because of witnesses being declared unreliable.  You could use this study to contradict anyone who discovered something.  Consider the classic husband and wife argument:

Wife: "Notice anything different?"

Husband: "No"

Wife:  "My hair dummy, I have a new hairdo."

Husband:  "You're excited therefore I cannot trust your testimony. I see no new hairdo; you're misprepresenting events to suit your need for attention."

Wife: "I have a receipt for the hairdo..."

Husband: "It must be fake, and a further symptom of your attention seeking behavior. Who would go to all that effort to fake a receipt? And yet you did, just to get attention.  You are mentally ill."

(P.S. He's totally gaslighting her)

In fact there are studies that suggest the reverse is true.  People who have a stand-out event in their lives that causes them to release adrenaline often have it etched into their consciousness, and this can be the source of PTSD if the event was traumatic.  In PTSD you relive the same event over and over again, which you can't do if you don't remember it clearly.

I think this alleged study is a way to try to discredit and silence debate.  The question is, why would the airforce want to silence and discredit people talking about UFOs?

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stereologist
8 hours ago, Captain Risky said:

...the only problem with this theory is that airforce and navy personnel manning fighter jets, air traffic controllers and radar instillations don’t fit into this silly box...

Actually they do fit in very well.

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stereologist
30 minutes ago, Alchopwn said:

So, what this report is saying is that people who see something unusual and reported cannot be trusted to accurately describe what they saw.  Based on this "science" we would have to end the legal use of witnesses, as their testimony would always be "excited" and therefore unreliable.  Think of all the murderers who would freely walk the streets because of witnesses being declared unreliable.  You could use this study to contradict anyone who discovered something.  Consider the classic husband and wife argument:

Wife: "Notice anything different?"

Husband: "No"

Wife:  "My hair dummy, I have a new hairdo."

Husband:  "You're excited therefore I cannot trust your testimony. I see no new hairdo; you're misprepresenting events to suit your need for attention."

Wife: "I have a receipt for the hairdo..."

Husband: "It must be fake, and a further symptom of your attention seeking behavior. Who would go to all that effort to fake a receipt? And yet you did, just to get attention.  You are mentally ill."

(P.S. He's totally gaslighting her)

In fact there are studies that suggest the reverse is true.  People who have a stand-out event in their lives that causes them to release adrenaline often have it etched into their consciousness, and this can be the source of PTSD if the event was traumatic.  In PTSD you relive the same event over and over again, which you can't do if you don't remember it clearly.

I think this alleged study is a way to try to discredit and silence debate.  The question is, why would the airforce want to silence and discredit people talking about UFOs?

The links I provided showed several examples of this behavior in which known events and well recorded events were reported as UFOs.

In these cases the witnesses made major mistakes. This link is full of mistakes made by witnesses. It reveals how even the direction of travel is gotten wrong.

http://www.astronomyufo.com/UFO/rocket.htm

I think your hair example would fail this test since both husband and wife have a base line of knowing each other well.

As far as the PTSD event, that doesn't mean they remember it correctly. As stated  in the excitedness effect people usually get the place right and something happened right but after that all bets are off.

This effect is not to discredit and silence debate. It tells us that we have to be careful with witness reports. They often get things very wrong and those most likely to report are those with the worst accuracy.

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joc
22 minutes ago, stereologist said:

Actually they do fit in very well.

...and sometimes meteors do hit the ground...aka... c r a s h ....

...but one has to also think, if there were Alien Spaceships in our atmosphere...in reality, what would be the likely hood of their ever crashing anywhere?  To traverse interstellar space and effectively avoid all the junk in space and be able to enter/exit planetary atmospheres at will, is to suggest a perfection of flight that would negate any chance of 'crashes'.  Not only that...in the desert of all places?  

Aside from the Excited Effect, which is very interesting...one has to also take into mind the local residents of rural areas.  In East Texas those rural areas are often referred to as 'the sticks'.   Many in the 'sticks' just don't have the ability to process things that they have never seen before as something other than ....way out there....especially in places like Roswell, where there is a secretive airforce base.  The association must therefore be that the Military is there to investigate these lights we saw because they know they are Alien spacecraft and the fact that I saw one crash should tell everyone that they have it inside their base.

...when in reality...the desert is a great place to conduct secretive flight experiments.  And why should an airforce base in the desert...and meteor showers that have always been happening have anything to do with each other...in fact they don't.

Back to the Excited Effect...what our memory lacks, imagination will insert.  It is also difficult to distinguish a real memory and a thought memory.  One might see a blue car driving fast...and then watch a movie where there was a car chase with a red and blue car.  One starts thinking about the red car, because someone they knew use to have one like that which they saw...the next thing you know...they are remembering the 'blue' car they originally saw as a red car.

 

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Minimalists
3 hours ago, Alchopwn said:

So, what this report is saying is that people who see something unusual and reported cannot be trusted to accurately describe what they saw.  Based on this "science" we would have to end the legal use of witnesses, as their testimony would always be "excited" and therefore unreliable.  Think of all the murderers who would freely walk the streets because of witnesses being declared unreliable.  You could use this study to contradict anyone who discovered something.  Consider the classic husband and wife argument:

Wife: "Notice anything different?"

Husband: "No"

Wife:  "My hair dummy, I have a new hairdo."

Husband:  "You're excited therefore I cannot trust your testimony. I see no new hairdo; you're misprepresenting events to suit your need for attention."

Wife: "I have a receipt for the hairdo..."

Husband: "It must be fake, and a further symptom of your attention seeking behavior. Who would go to all that effort to fake a receipt? And yet you did, just to get attention.  You are mentally ill."

(P.S. He's totally gaslighting her)

In fact there are studies that suggest the reverse is true.  People who have a stand-out event in their lives that causes them to release adrenaline often have it etched into their consciousness, and this can be the source of PTSD if the event was traumatic.  In PTSD you relive the same event over and over again, which you can't do if you don't remember it clearly.

I think this alleged study is a way to try to discredit and silence debate.  The question is, why would the airforce want to silence and discredit people talking about UFOs?

Quote

The question is, why would the airforce want to silence and discredit people talking about UFOs?

Matters of national security maybe the only time that would happen. The other question is, how much of this UFO phenomena can be attributed to a national security matter? 

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stereologist

I think that those that do not read the material get confused about the issue.

This is about recognizing the inherent limitations in anecdotal evidence. What can you expect? What is likely to be of value?

Already there have been those that want to pretend some segment of people are  immune to these problems. That does not appear to be the case.

We're human. We make mistakes. It is important to understand the sorts of mistakes people make to use the statements people make.

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the13bats
Posted (edited)

perhaps for some ego or cause,agenda, beliefs get in the way of accepting this effect idea,

heres an example, tina and i take the trike to daytona bike week, park to get a pizza and right where we had been in the street a tuner showing off wrecks two bikers and T bones a car turning, we were so close we felt the impact, and mine and tinas accounts vary on some details a fair amount, we both got some right some wrong,

 

Edited by the13bats
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Captain Risky

Ahh... the excitedness effect...lol

So when a UFO shows up on a radar and is intercepted by pilots that make a visual wouldn't that make this theory really a multiple excitedness, ness, ness? 

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Captain Risky

Nah really i think the mod's need to shut this thread down. It ridicules common sense. 

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Golden Duck
1 hour ago, Captain Risky said:

Nah really i think the mod's need to shut this thread down. It ridicules common sense. 

Meh, common sense is just prejudice.

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the13bats
1 hour ago, Captain Risky said:

Nah really i think the mod's need to shut this thread down. It ridicules common sense. 

as does your trolling anything you dont agree with...:tu:

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Captain Risky
Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, the13bats said:

as does your trolling anything you dont agree with...:tu:

...do the computers and radar installations that pick up UFO's suffer from excitedness effect? Or two pilots flying from different angles that see the same thing also suffer from the very same "excitedness?"

Edited by Captain Risky

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