Talk:Synchronicity

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Arbitration Committee Decisions on Pseudoscience

The Arbitration Committee has issued several principles which may be helpful to editors of this and other articles when dealing with subjects and categories related to "pseudoscience".

Principles
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Unclear paragraphs in the Criticisms section[edit]

I am not a Jung expert so I don't feel qualified to adequately edit the following paragraphs but, in the hope that a Jung expert will stumble onto this page in the future, an edit of the following paragraphs would be most helpful. Here are the paragraphs to which I refer (in blockquote), followed by my suggestion in italics.

A possible explanation for Jung's perception that the laws of probability seemed to be violated with some coincidences[19] can be seen in Littlewood's law.

- Maybe it's just me being dense, but I don't understand the connection.

In psychology and cognitive science, confirmation bias is a tendency to search for or interpret new information in a way that confirms one's preconceptions and avoids information and interpretations that contradict prior beliefs. It is a type of cognitive bias and represents an error of inductive inference, or as a form of selection bias toward confirmation of the hypothesis under study or disconfirmation of an alternative hypothesis. Confirmation bias is of interest in the teaching of critical thinking, as the skill is misused if rigorous critical scrutiny is applied only to evidence challenging a preconceived idea but not to evidence supporting it.[20]

- Is the author of this paragraph asserting that confirmation bias explains synchronicity? If so, this point needs to be stated explicitly and substantiated in some manner.

Wolfgang Pauli, a scientist who in his professional life was severely critical of confirmation bias, made some effort to investigate the phenomenon, coauthoring a paper with Jung on the subject. Some of the evidence that Pauli cited was that ideas that occurred in his dreams would have synchronous analogs in later correspondence with distant collaborators.[21]

- I don't understand what the author of this paragraph is trying to say. This paragraph needs some explication of the Pauli & Jung article (which needs a reference), including elucidation of Pauli's "synchronous analogs" - an example would probably help. Absent such expansion, it would be preferable to eliminate this paragraph for the time being.

Mark D Worthen PsyD 16:33, 20 November 2012 (UTC)

I can see how one might be confused at the above phrasing: "Pauli, a scientist who in his professional life was severely critical of confirmation bias, made some effort to investigate the phenomenon, coauthoring a paper with Jung on the subject."

The sentence really should have been written in this manner: "Pauli, a scientist who in his professional life was severely critical of confirmation bias, made some effort to investigate the phenomenon of synchronicity, coauthoring a paper with Jung on the subject.", which Pauli eventually did indeed: C. A. Meier, ed. Atom and Archetype: The Pauli/Jung Letters 1932-1958. (Princeton University Press, 2001). The author of the above may have been intimidated by the frequent mentions of "Not repeating words too often" by Wikipedia article critics and thus, avoided an extremely important and pertinent contextual repetition. I presume the author of the above paragraph, maybe someone well acquainted with the scientific method as well as Pauli's rigorous attention to details, was merely attempting to comment on the fact that IF Pauli was manifesting an interest in synchronicity, it was indeed after a great deal of forethought and much pondering. My understanding and interpretation of the sentence is: "If someone so severely critical of confirmation bias, like a physicist such as Pauli, made some effort to investigate the phenomenon and even co-authored an article with Jung on the matter, this would add more weight to Jung's postulations, in a very big way."

Also, in the book "Pauli and Jung: The Meeting of Two Great Minds" By David P. Lindorff, we read the following:

It took twenty-odd years from the time of the principle's inception [1930] and Pauli's encouragement for Jung to write an essay on the subject. [the subject being synchronicity]

Pauli revealed his initial interest in synchronicity in a letter to Jung (November 7, 1948): "Our talk yesterday over the 'synchronicity' of dreams and outer experiences... was a great deal of help to me." With Pauli's support, Jung began to put his ideas on synchronicity into writing.

Half-year later (June 22, 1949), Jung wrote, "For a long time you have urged me at some point to put my thoughts down on synchronicity. I have finally succeeded in following your suggestion." He asked Pauli to give some enclosed material a critical review, adding, "The physicists are the only ones today who are seriously concerning themselves with such ideas." Jung suggested that they plan to meet at his Bollingen retreat for a discussion. The date of their meeting was set for July, but Jung asked Pauli for an immediate overview of the material.

Two years of written letters followed between two of the greatest minds of the twentieth century; One a psychologist and the other a physicist on the cutting edge of quantum mechanics.

174.116.18.135 (talk) 17:59, 3 July 2013 (UTC) Jerry M. Languirand, PMP

Maybe I read too fast, but I don't get the impression that it was a single paper. Rather two (or more?) papers, one written by Jung, the other by Pauli, published within the same cover? Student7 (talk) 19:14, 6 July 2013 (UTC)

Pattern recognition[edit]

Not sure about the new "pattern recognition" material. All looks very scientific and well-sourced. Just wondering if if belongs here. The material suggests real correlation between observation and fact. Synchronicity seems to address uncorrelated material. I think the material should be rm. Student7 (talk) 22:44, 12 April 2013 (UTC)

lead sentence contradiction[edit]

Right now the lead sentence says: "events that are apparently causally unrelated or unlikely to occur together by chance, yet are experienced as occurring together in a meaningful manner." - 'Causally unrelated' is exactly the opposite of 'unlikely to occur together by chance'. I am not crazy, right? I'm taking a liberty to erase the 'unlikely' part.Cosainsé (talk) 19:53, 7 July 2013 (UTC)

I like the causally unrelated part. One did not cause the other. One cause did not trigger the events.
The second phrase I am less sure about. It's like when I pick up the phone to call someone, only to find that person calling me before the ring sounded. The chances of that happening at exactly the same time are unlikely. Diminishingly small. Maybe rewording? Student7 (talk) 22:05, 9 July 2013 (UTC)

My comment: the sentence is better written: "Synchronicity is the experience of two or more events as meaningfully related, whereas they are unlikely to be causally related. The subject sees it as a meaningful coincidence, although the events needn't be exactly simultaneous in time." This notion "occurring together" lends one to believe that the events are synchronous, which they needn't be. (See also my earlier comment.) I take the liberty to change this sentence. Matswin (talk) 06:03, 14 July 2013 (UTC)

Yet another external link?[edit]

I humbly request that my "Critique of Synchronicity" is inserted as an external link. Could somebody please read my article and insert it if it is found pertinent? http://home7.swipnet.se/~w-73784/synchronicity.htm Matswin (talk) 07:39, 13 July 2013 (UTC)

The problem we have here is WP:RS. No author is given and no "publisher" per se and no obvious "peer review." I like the material, but it doesn't seem to meet the criteria Wikipedia has established. Student7 (talk) 15:26, 16 July 2013 (UTC)

Questionable references[edit]

There are two references to Bishop's book, which seems to be an inferior work according to Prof. Palmquist: http://www.scientificexploration.org/journal/reviews/reviews_18_3_palmquist.pdf Especially, there is a reference to Kant's notion of intellectual intuition: "It has been asserted that Jung's analytical psychological theory of synchronicity is equal to intellectual intuition." I suggest that this line is removed, since Palmquist shows that there is no connection between synchronicity and Kant's notion. Matswin (talk) 05:51, 15 July 2013 (UTC)

This sort of thing usually happens. I think when you have one WP:RS source calling another a liar, you have to find a way to incorporate both sayings. Bishop says that "X",(ref) but Palmquist states that is baloney.{ref) "Inferior work" sounds WP:POV unless we are pretty sure that the work is WP:SOAPBOX or non-WP:RS. Hard to consign a book by a scholar to the junkpile! Anyway, it's not up to us to do that. Would take more than one scholar. Student7 (talk) 17:14, 18 July 2013 (UTC)
The JSE publishes pseudoscience and is not reliable, IRWolfie- (talk) 21:20, 22 July 2013 (UTC)

Remove reference to Arthur Koestler in the article overview

In my admittedly non-schooled reading of Jung and Koestler, they seem to be talking about very different things. Koestler addresses causality (influence of the mind at the quantum level if I understand), Jung is clearly focused on meaning and, if anything, his concept purposefully does not include causality. The reference to Koestler, especially in the article overview confuses this article, which is about Jung's concept. Also there is no other reference to Koestler in the article body. So its not appropriate to reference his work in the overview. I'm not adept enough at Wikipedia protocol to figure out when the reference to Koestler was added to the article. If recent, then it should be removed pending discussion. If its been there for years, then let's discuss removing it.

--Ronewolf (talk) 14:21, 27 August 2013 (UTC)

You may be correct.
We do have articles which discuss material which is differently interpreted at a high level by various WP:RS. I would agree that this difference should be mentioned. "When Koestler discusses synchronicity, he means ..."
This implies that one author cannot be used to substantiate the other unless made explicit by the authors themselves.
Neither do I have sufficient overview of the topic to make substantial changes, if needed. Student7 (talk) 18:54, 1 September 2013 (UTC)

(Another) Questionable Reference[edit]

Toward the end of the description section there is a vague discussion of researchers who are continuing Jung's work on synchronicity. Ray Grasse is the sole example cited. Ray Grasse is an astrologer with a degree in film-making.[1] In my opinion, without formal training of any kind in a related field, he does not strike me as a very representative example to cite in a discussion of researchers who are furthering Jung's work and he certainly should not be the only example cited (which he currently is). Whether or not one thinks him a charlatan (which he certainly is) his work is of dubious value as a representative example. I think the reference should either be removed, supplemented with other examples, or moved to a section more appropriate for discussing "research" like this. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 108.88.37.66 (talk) 18:52, 16 January 2014 (UTC)

Agree. I rm this material. Kind of left hanging though. And reference-less. So needs work! Student7 (talk) 23:31, 20 January 2014 (UTC)


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