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Paul the Psychic Octopus

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Paul the Psychic Octopus

Postby Wakeman » Wed Jul 14, 2010 9:18 pm

http://www.fifa.com/worldcup/news/ne...034/index.html

The World Cup ended a few days ago with Spain as the Champion. Besides the event itself, one interesting topic arised is this Psychic Octopus from a Germany aquarium. He correctly predicted the result of 8 matches during this World Cup.

Have anyone thought about how he did this?

I think one of the possibility is that this is a case of self-fulfilling prophecy. Paul might be lucky and successfully guessed the result of the first few games. After knowing this, if the Germany players believed in superstition and checked the result of Paul prediction everytime before the game, this actually might have psychological effect to the players. When Paul predicted they would win, they went to the field with excellent confidence. Since the team was already very good by itself, they won the match and "fulfilled" the prophecy. On the other hand, when Paul predicted they would lose, they would keep worrying about the match, which eventually affected their performance in the actual match. When they lost the match because of suboptimal performance, the prophecy was fulfilled again.

Someone can verify this by asking whether the German players (as well as other team's players) were aware of Paul's prediction. If this is the case, Paul might be responsible to the result of some matches to some degree!

Another thought is that someone in the aquarium who was very good at football match prediction made the actually prediction. Then he used certain trick to make sure Paul would only choose the box he wanted. I heard someone said that Paul usually chose the box on the right. Can anyone confirm whether he chose the box on the right everytime, or he also chose the other box sometimes? Alternatively, the box might have some hidden mechanic and the guy simply locked one of the box so Paul could only open the other. This might explain why sometimes Paul stayed on one of the box for a long time then went to open the other box!

Of course in the end, there is the possibility that he was simply that lucky. :P

What do you think?


[edit]link to Self-fulfilling prophecy in case someone don't know what it is.
Last edited by Wakeman on Thu Jul 15, 2010 7:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Paul the Psychic Octopus

Postby Lightbeard » Wed Jul 14, 2010 9:52 pm

Sucks that he'll be dead by the next World Cup. Here is a video someone made about him http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ftUvfi1J ... Wgb6RLmPdg
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Re: Paul the Psychic Octopus

Postby Barathorn » Thu Jul 15, 2010 2:41 am

Just quirky luck. Plain and simple.

IT IS AN OCTOPUS!

Now if it had been a Dolphin or Badger I would have believed it instantly.
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Re: Paul the Psychic Octopus

Postby Lightbeard » Thu Jul 15, 2010 2:49 am

Barathorn wrote:Just quirky skill. Plain and simple.

IT IS A PSYCHIC OCTOPUS!



fixed
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Re: Paul the Psychic Octopus

Postby Barathorn » Thu Jul 15, 2010 2:52 am

Lightbeard wrote:
Barathorn wrote:Just quirky skill. Plain and simple.

IT IS A PSYCHOTIC OCTOPUS!



fixed


Much funnier.
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Re: Paul the Psychic Octopus

Postby Chicken » Thu Jul 15, 2010 2:55 am

Just goes to show that Octopi really are related to the Old Ones.
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Re: Paul the Psychic Octopus

Postby Barathorn » Thu Jul 15, 2010 3:01 am

Chicken wrote:Just goes to show that Octopi really are related to the Old Ones.


What Njall and Beornus?

Harsh.

:lol: :lol:
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Re: Paul the Psychic Octopus

Postby Argali » Thu Jul 15, 2010 12:51 pm

I'm sure if you ask the bookmakers, someone somewhere called the results of each match correctly. Doesn't make them psychic.
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Re: Paul the Psychic Octopus

Postby Zobel » Thu Jul 15, 2010 1:33 pm

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Re: Paul the Psychic Octopus

Postby mew » Thu Jul 15, 2010 1:42 pm

I hear he was receiving death threats.
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Re: Paul the Psychic Octopus

Postby Wakeman » Thu Jul 15, 2010 7:50 pm

Zobel wrote:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Texas_sharpshooter_fallacy



I'm not sure if this is a case of Texas sharpshooter fallacy because all Paul's prediction was made before the matches. The flags were plain flags of the particular countries. No cryptograms or such was involved.

Btw, check out the page of Self-fulfilling prophecy as well. It is a well established psychology concept which might at least partially explain Paul's mystery. If anyone can confirm this with the players of the involved teams, the aquarium should think twice if they want to let Paul or other octopi predict again.
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Re: Paul the Psychic Octopus

Postby Wakeman » Thu Jul 15, 2010 7:56 pm

Argali wrote:I'm sure if you ask the bookmakers, someone somewhere called the results of each match correctly. Doesn't make them psychic.


A guy who predicts the result of 8 matches correctly is a smart and lucky guy, and that's all. However, if it is an octopus, there maybe something fishy behind.
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Re: Paul the Psychic Octopus

Postby Barathorn » Fri Jul 16, 2010 1:25 am

I think Wakeman pulled a two day Lightbeard.

Get well soon!
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Re: Paul the Psychic Octopus

Postby Passionario » Fri Jul 16, 2010 5:26 am

mew wrote:I hear he was receiving death threats.

Indeed he was.
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