Did a wish come true?
It was a hot sunny day. I approached a bus stop and made a wish. I wanted my bus to come in one minute to save me from standing round in the heat. I looked up at the ‘next bus’ screen and my wish had come true – it was 1 minute away! Then something really strange happened. Suddenly the bus was 4 minutes away, as was the one below it which had also previously been a minute away. So what happened?
It’s possible it was a technical glitch but I’ve seen these indicators on innumerable occasions and never seen it change like that. I’m confident it was a misperception. I often misperceive digital displays of numbers, like clocks. It happens so often that I always take time to study digital clock displays to make sure I’ve got it right.
But here’s the interesting thing – the display showed exactly what I wished it would. So had my conscious desire affected the unconscious process of misperception? I’ve not come across any examples of this before but I suppose it might be possible.
However, there are other possibilities. It might just be a coincidence. It’s possible that in the bright lighting I could see the vertical stroke of the 4 well enough but not the others. My brain would then misperceive it as a 1. So, it would have appeared as a 1 even if I hadn’t wished. I think I’ll need a few more examples before I accept that a conscious thought might affect an unconscious misperception.
It would be interesting if conscious thought COULD affect misperception. In a case where someone is looking for a particular ghost at a haunted location they might misperceive a tree as that exact ghost. If they were expecting a ghost in a top hat and holding a walking stick, that’s what they might well see.
Author :© Maurice Townsend 2021
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