Automatic writing or psychography is writing which the writer states to be produced from a subconscious and/or spiritual source without conscious awareness of the content.
George (Georgie) Hyde-Lees, the wife of William Butler Yeats, claimed that she could write automatically. In 1975, Wendy Hart of Maidenhead claimed that she wrote automatically about Nicholas Moore, a sea captain who died in 1642. Her husband, who did research on Moore, affirmed that this person had resided at St Columb Major in Cornwall during the English Civil War.
Spiritual Automatic WritingEdit
- Main article: Spiritism
A 1998 article in Psychological Science described a series of experiments designed to determine whether people who believed in automatic writing could be shown that it might be the ideomotor effect. The paper indicated that "our attempt to introduce doubt about the validity of automatic writing did not succeed." The paper noted that "including information about the controversy surrounding facilitated communication did not affect self-efficacy ratings, nor did it affect the number of responses that were produced. In this sense, illusory facilitation appears to be a very robust phenomenon, not unlike illusory correlation, which is not reversed by warning participants about the phenomenon."
Psychology professor Théodore Flournoy investigated the claim by 19th-century medium Hélène Smith (Catherine Müller) that she did automatic writing to convey messages from Mars in Martian language. Flournoy concluded that her "Martian" language had a strong resemblance to Ms. Smith's native language of French and that her automatic writing was "romances of the subliminal imagination, derived largely from forgotten sources (for example, books read as a child)." He invented the term cryptomnesia to describe this phenomenon.
- Carroll, Robert Todd. "Automatic writing". The Skeptic's Dictionary. 2003. ISBN 0-471-27242-6.
- Randi, James. "Automatic writing". An Encyclopedia of Claims, Frauds, and Hoaxes of the Occult and Supernatural. 1995. ISBN 0-312-15119-5.
- "Automatic Writing". A Diary Through Spirit
- "Scientific American article". Houdini's Skeptical Advice: Just Because Something's Unexplained Doesn't Mean It's Supernatural By Michael Shermer, February 4, 2011
- ". Writing the Divine By Sara Wiseman
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