04
Nov
11

Psychological Relativity — Jim Blascovich Speaks About Frames of Reality Reference at TEDx

In his speech at TEDx Winnipeg, Dr. Blascovich (director of the Research Center for Virtual Environments and Behavior at the University of California, Santa Barbara), talks about something called psychological relativity: the concept that our idea of ‘reality’ is bound to frames of reference, much like like motion requires a frame of reference to decide what is still and what is moving. For most of us, we believe that the ‘real’ reality is the physical world. Blascovich argues that this is only true because, for most of us, our psychological frame of reference is bound to the physical world. Had we been born in some sort of virtual reality — not unlike the Matrix — our psychological frame of reference would be within that world, and we would believe it to be the real world. The section on psychological relativity start at 7:10 but the whole thing is worth a watch:

I’m curious to know whether or not it’s possible to have a psychological frame of reference in more than one reality at the same time. I’ve posed this question to Dr. Blascovich himself and I’ll let you know his response.

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