Imagine you're using the Ouija board for the first time. You're barely touching the planchette, but slowly it starts to move as if propelled by a phantom hand. What's happening? Do Ouija boards really work? Are you communicating with the dead? Some scientists believe they have a definitive answer, and they used technology with scientific methods to reach it. However, before you make up your mind, consider all points of view and what science may not have considered.
Do You Involuntarily Move the Planchette?
A team of Danish scientists presented their findings of a study, Predictive minds in Ouija board sessions that concluded individuals either intentionally or unintentionally move the planchette during Ouija board sessions. Using scientific data, the team analyzed eye-tracking technology that recorded the behavior of 40 volunteer Ouija board users. The volunteers were long-time users of the Ouija board. The scientists concluded that eye movement proved to be predictive. The user would either consciously or unconsciously look at the letter before the planchette moved and stopped over it. To get a baseline, the paired participants were asked to spell out words intentionally and move the planchette to yes/no responses. This allowed the scientists to map eye movement for deliberate planchette movement to compare to unconscious movements of the planchette.
Each board had only two people using the planchette. The scientists discovered that according to the eye movements of their volunteers that at least one of the two people knew where the planchette would go and the other person may or may not be aware. The scientists concluded that the participants move the planchette, not some otherworldly spirit.
Is It as Simple as Ideomotor Response?
In the study, the scientists were also able to identify the ideomotor response in some volunteers through the eye movement tracking technology. The ideomotor effect is a psychological response where the volunteers unconsciously moved the planchette. In an ideomotor response, a thought or even a mental image creates a muscular response that is an automatic response like how your knee jerks with hit with a rubber hammer by a physician. It's purely a reflex When you think of something or mentally picture it, your muscles involuntarily respond. It can a very minute response that you would never know you did since it is wholly an unconscious reaction. An example of how ideomotor works while using another divination tool is dowsing rods or a pendulum.
Malevolent Spirits and Ouija Boards
For those who believe a spirit steps in and controls the planchette, this scientific study quickly disproves that concept. Science demonstrated that it's all involuntary or intentional movement. But how does that explain the many people who have experienced spirits communicating through the planchette on the Ouija board? These people would argue that the scientists may not have considered all aspects of Ouija board use, especially those who had malevolent entities intrude during their session. Can all of those encounters be explained away as some involuntary movement, like an ideomotor response? Or could the involuntary response be governed by a spirit?
Channeling a Spirit
One possibility that might fuel an argument between Ouija board users and scientists is channeling. Could it be that the person making those involuntary unconscious movements is because they are channeling a spirit the way a medium does? If the medium is channeling a spirit, then the spirit would use the medium's body to move the planchette in response to the questions being asked. Of course, the scientists would first have to acknowledge that the medium is indeed channeling a spirit. There's really no test for that - yet.
If channeling is real or possession is real, then each circumstance would result in the entity using the Ouija board player's body to move the planchette. The test conducted on the volunteers proved that they were the ones moving the planchette, but not surprisingly, it ignored channeling as even a remote possibility.
How Some Mediums and Psychics Use a Ouija Board
While this study is insightful, is it really how psychics and mediums are using the Ouija board? There are some mediums who use the Ouija board in channeling, and others use it in conjunction with their own psychic abilities. The finding of the study wouldn't surprise these individuals because they use the Ouija board to connect with their higher selves. They aren't using the Ouija board the same way someone does to contact ghosts as so often depicted in movies.
The psychic or medium uses the board as a way to focus on their inner selves, known as the higher self. In these instances, the medium connects with their higher self to guide the planchette to reveal inner knowledge to the medium. That inner knowledge may be communicated to the higher self by the medium's spirit guides. Just as a medium or psychic uses other divination tools, they knowingly use the Ouija board as an extension of their abilities. In these instances, the Ouija board is like an ink pen during automatic writing sessions. For these mediums and psychics, they would most definitely agree with the results of the study.
Do Ouija Boards Work?
You can weigh the scientific evidence against the inner workings of psychics and mediums. Once you do, you should be ready to answer the question, do Ouija boards work.