Clever Hans and the Ideomotor Effect

The final way that a lack of free will comes from our peculiar brains is the ideomotor effect. This phenomenon occurs when our unconscious minds transform our expectations into reality through involuntary physical reactions; we do it to ourselves, other people do it to us, and this all results in a confusing carousel wheel where it’s impossible to determine what is the true cause or reason for an act. One thing is for sure—it’s not our conscious choice.

The emphasis here is on the words “unconscious” and “involuntary.” Because we don’t know we’re causing the actions and we cannot control them, the results can be surprising—for others and for ourselves—and can even trick us into thinking there’s magic or supernatural forces at work. As one might expect, there is another, more logical explanation.

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