Saturday, March 24, 2012

Naomi Tickle Refuses Scientific Testing

March 22, 2012 - Naomi Tickle "Wrote the book" on Personology - accessing personality based on looking at someones face.  Read my previous blog for my offer to help her to win $1Million JREF challenge by demonstrating her ability in double blind conditions.  Predictably, Naomi ducks and weaves her way out of being tested.  My comments are  below, Naomi's are summarized to protect her private email content. It turns out the "scientific study" she references from 1963 has been looked for and not found in any scientific journal.  See the link here in the Skeptics dictionary.   I had no idea I was talking to someone so who made that illustrious tome.  Further comments inline below.   The only reason I'm summarizing Naomi is at her request.

From Naomi Tickle
To: Darren McBride
Subject: Re: Re Offer

Naomi:  "After taking a look at the JREF website and looking through what you outlined below, I have decided against applying for the challenge of proving the Face Pattern Recognition system.  You may well think I have come to this decision because I don't think my system works.  Well, I know it does. "

Yes, most people really like this kind of thing.  And you’re so personable and confident and friendly no one wants to challenge you.  Even the guy who misread your book (chapter 5) and said it was racist has taken a lot of heat behind the scenes.  It is unfortunate he jumped on you like that.

Naomi talked about the validity of her charts and face reading technique.
I’m not sure what charts you are referring to here (from your book?)  I don’t doubt your sincerity or that you are a very genuine person.  In my opinion you are just not aware how to go about scientifically verifying your theories.

Naomi stated that the major reason for not participating in the challenge is that she doesn't want her work to be torn apart and believes people jump to conclusions without fair evaluation and hoped I wouldn't be offended that I was one of these people. She didn't want me to put my own spin on things.
No offense taken.  I have, in fact, “jumped to the conclusion” that your face reading probably doesn’t work.  I have done so without having my own face analyzed by you. But even if I had an assessment and you nailed my personality perfectly, I would consider the evidence completely anecdotal which is why I didn’t avail myself of the opportunity when you came to town.  Plus, I had already shown you some of my personality by asking you a question after your presentation.  Whether I (or anyone else) feels your assessment of them is correct is not validation of the science behind your method.  Only double blind testing can validate your technique – and you are afraid of doing that apparently.   I think accessing someone’s “personality” is a very slippery thing. I even think formal “personality tests” don’t have definitive science behind them, which is why I suggested doing these tests by determining who is in what very different career.
As for “putting their own spin on things” – that is the reason YOU design the JREF challenge.  If you document what you can do in writing in advance, the people testing you can’t easily spin it if they accept the challenge and you succeed.  What you’re really saying is you don’t believe the $1Million prize is real or you don’t think it will be given if you succeed because it’s hard for me to believe you’re worried about “tearing the work apart” if you’re really confident it works.

Naomi stated she has client testimonials but I would believe she made them up.
Please understand I do not think you “made it all up”.  I don’t think you are deliberately lying. As I said, I think you’re merely deluding yourself and others.  I have seen demonstrations where the same horoscope is handed out to a group of 30 people and they are asked if they feel the horoscope is accurate.  85% of them raise their hands only to discover they’ve all been handed the exact same horoscope.  You see, if you say things like “You sometimes drive your spouse crazy by over analyzing things” lots of people will resonate with that vague assessment.

Naomi indicated people in the USA are more close minded then elsewhere and refuse to dig deeper.  She also said she's tested her theory to her satisfaction.
Oh Bullshit Naomi.  People are people the world over. Plenty of Americans are as susceptible to woo woo as are the Chinese or the whoever. Americans are generally better educated so maybe that’s the reason
I’m trying to dig digger into the subject – but you don’t want to subject your beliefs to double blind science.  You are happy and confident in your deluded state. Except you didn’t test out the theory correctly.  You used vague personality suggestions and let people nod like lemmings.

Naomi suggested I test out face reading for myself using her book.  Restated that Robert Whiteside conducted a study of 1008 people in 1963 that showed it was 88% accurate.
I wouldn’t even begin to know how to test the observations for myself as I don't believe I have your magical observation skills.  Googling the study you reference lead me to this entry in the skeptics dictionary in which they indicate they have been unable to find any such publication in any scientific journal. 

Naomi indicated what mattered most was helping people and that takes importance of tearing work apart by people who haven't taken time to research it. She thanked me for outlining the JREF challenge and suggested if they were open to researching one trait at a time she'd consider that.
If you’re OK with this being the placebo effect so be it.  The work would only be torn apart if it deserves to be torn apart – because it’s bunk.  If it holds up you have nothing to worry about.  Testing one trait at a time seems reasonable – Again if the trait were something scientifically undeniable and testable such as a persons career or whether they got A’s in math versus C’s in math (say by looking at pictures of high-school students).

1 comment:

  1. Critical Thinkers apparently are even aware of their own bias.

    Regardless of what a study can prove, or who the principal investigators are, methods that are planned out to use, the statistical analysis to explain the data collected, and even the conclusions...well, to be fair along the way there will biases influencing it.

    There are lots of poor studies out there that exist, with companies that even spend $$$$ on it to put out their products validity, when in fact ---Look at GMOs, in the early studies by Monsanto's researchers, they only reported 3 months to determine GMOs possible malevolent effects. They reported it is Safe. This made the public think it's safe, when in fact the study biases existed, he wanted his GMO food OUT (and has benefited grossly $$$ from it). Many studies came out later which you have seen in other studies to lead to TUMOR growth in rats when the study was done more long term.

    A study is not the ONE way to validate this whether it works or not to read faces, it is only ONE of a million possibilities! Remember, humans are very idiosyncratic what may work or be effective for some, is not going to work for others.

    To some cliantro taste great whereas to with gene variants ORGA2, they dislike its taste - its like soap. Anyways, what is the point of 'KNOWING" this? A study of over 30,000 people were done.

    Educating and understanding, exploration are important. And, it seems that todays world they can SEE this or figure this out without using their own senses, judgment, and a study DOES not tell you all, just gives you small piece of understanding.

    A real scientific and critical thinking person would (for example of Personology) would first explore this themselves by Education, Understanding, and having first hand experience.

    In fact, to discredit, and criticize what you have not tried is truly a poor moral character.

    Aha! How could you possibly learn and understand ALL that exists in this world? Look at the big picture. Humans have been surviving, eating, building, cooperating together LOOOOOOONG before science existed. Cultures like the Chinese, Phoenicians, Egyptians were highly advanced in their civilizations, and face reading may have been part of those cultures. It serves a purpose, and is an ART form, an aspect of culture that can bring people together like food, and music, dancing, astrology.

    At one point in my life, I was this person-- pointing out how you must be a critical thinker, use facts, data and statistics, and it really is effective in some discussions but is not for all.

    Over and over, I have seen mistakes happen where someone or something of value to humanity (such as giving people a sense of who they are, why they are here, and in this case reading into the small details about our bodies -- what a wrinkle says, or the shape of eyes, and nose) are pushed under the rug because some person or group of people admonish its validity.

    Later it reemerges, and has been truth all along.

    Regardless of what you think is true scientifically, you may come to find out the truth is really when you look in the mirror every morning.

    Naomi, you were great to decline this offer.

    Trying to give proof to what works or can be effective like Face Reading is like trying to find scientific evidence of which number is bigger? 5 or 10? Obviously.

    Additionally, the comment I read about Americans being more educated was a small part of this, however, I must disagree--American does not pride themselves on good education ... look at our public schools, the way kids are brought up with junk food like McDonalds, and their parents have two household incomes without being able to afford all the bills, and although colleges are much better (and maybe what I think you mean about better education), look at the way the American system treats new grads who have new jobs and hundreds of thousands of debt. When we talk about good education, and smart people, please reference another country like Switzerland.

    Written with respect for your individuality as well.