What is it about?

Sometimes, it feels like we know what is about to happen, before it even occurs. One 'spooky' possibility is that the future is reaching back into the past to affect us. This idea, retrocausation, is the epitome of 'big if true.' In this article, we used several experiments to examine whether the future is affecting our reaction times in the present. The results were mostly negative, however one experiment did show some small effect, a tantalizing possibility for future research.

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Why is it important?

As a researcher, the idea of retrocausation to me is somewhat... unlikely. However, equally, I think it is important to investigate claims made by other researchers, and not just throw them out offhandedly. While the findings of this set of experiments are interesting, what is more important is the application of the scientific method to a question, and the engagement with ideas too-often dismissed in main-stream academia.


On a personal note, I think this research is interesting not because of what it found (or didn't), but because it takes an even-handed approach to a question often dismissed.

Jordan Wehrman
University of Sydney

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Investigations into retrocausal effects in cueing tasks., Psychology of Consciousness Theory Research and Practice, April 2024, American Psychological Association (APA),
DOI: 10.1037/cns0000394.
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