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Throughout history, humanity has developed various tools to achieve personal evolution and enlightenment to varying degrees of success. One such philosophy that has gained significant traction in popular discourse is the Law of Attraction, which posits that energies attract to like energies, theoretically making it possible to improve one’s life through thought. Unfortunately, the current scientific landscape is void of significant research regarding the law of attraction and its efficacy, leaving distinct gaps in current research. Due to this lack of scientific support, many in the general public falsely view the Law of Attraction as pseudoscience; ineffective at best and destructive at worst. This research centers around the hypothesis that the Law of Attraction is not a pseudoscience, but rather a demonstration of the power of focus. While these effects may be difficult to quantify, it remains an interesting area of research that requires further study. The following will examine the background of the law of attraction, as well as contribute pertinent data to the ongoing scientific discourse surrounding this under-researched school of thought. It will offer the results of a brief qualitative research study that uses a comprehensive field experiment to measure the efficacy of the Law of Attraction and contribute to current multidisciplinary discourse.
The Law of Attraction is a philosophy centered in the school of New Thought, although elements of its principles can be seen throughout history. The Law of Attraction is a philosophy that centers around the belief that positivity attracts positivity and vice-versa when concerning the thought process. This is because thought is associated with an energy that is exuded, which theoretically creates changes to the energy surrounding an individual. There are various tools and strategies that can be used in the Law of Attraction to facilitate these thoughts, including meditation, journaling, chanting, affirmations, vision boards, etc.
Current literature shows that the law of attraction, although a relatively modern concept, has been practiced under other names across time and cultures, including institutionalized religions like Buddhism, Christianity, Islam, etc. One of the central tenants of the law of attraction has been a key component in various religions and philosophies throughout human history, which is the concept of mindfulness. Current scientific research shows that practicing mindfulness has a host of physiological benefits, and can significantly improve overall quality of life.
Recently, scientific discourse has made great strides in accepting the existence of the mind-body connection, as the physiological relationship between the thinking and feeling realms has become indisputable. The Law of Attraction is, essentially, the practice of influencing the body through the mind, as mental focus is meant to facilitate the completion of external goals. For example, it an individual uses the Law of Attraction to become healthier; consistent mental focus and attention will make physical follow-through much more likely.
It is important to note that despite the reputation of the school of New Thought in popular culture, much of it, including the Law of Attraction, is based in reason and logic. Overall, the limited research regarding the law of attraction indicated that the components of this practice are conducive to success because they elicit focus, action, and reflection. Despite the current lack of scientific evidence, the Law of Attraction encourages personal growth and development, which objectively leads to greater contentment and quality of life. As such, it is critical that more scientific research be dedicated to the Law of Attraction to see the depths to which it may be beneficial.
This study employed a combination of qualitative and quantitative methods to ascertain the efficacy of the law of attraction. The methodology used for the experiment portion of this research is informal field experimentation and based on the participants’ senses. The experimental group consisted of four participants. Two of the participants were told the following words: bumfuzzle, conjubilant, and poppycock. The other two participants were given no such instruction, but both groups were told to talk to me again in 48 hours. These results were then recorded at the end of the 48-hour period and compared to the previously compiled research.
The results of the experiment were that one individual from the first group remembered hearing the word bumfuzzle during the 48 hour time frame, while the other group did not report hearing any of those words during this time. These results show that 25 percent of the participants heard a word, which exceeded the expectations of the interviewer. These results were gathered through a brief telephone interview with each participant, and they consented in having this experiment incorporated into this research. The data gathered from qualifies as qualitative and quantitative; it is informal and based on the participants’ senses, but it is also is a source of statistics.
The overall objective of this experiment was to get informal data about how the mind influences experiences. Whether the participant who did hear one of the words used in the experiment, or she was experiencing the power of suggestion, the end result is the same. As such, this gives credence to the power of the law of attraction. Although small in scope, this experiment reinforces existing research regarding the influence of the mind. The fact that one of the participants heard the obscure word at all signifies a correlation, which may also speak to other psychological phenomenon and the influence the mind has on the senses. The primary limitations of this experiment, and most other research concerning subjects such as law of attraction, is that it is impossible to objectively prove that the mind influenced the external world; the evidence is witness testimony. As such, experiments where people report their anecdotal evidence are often the most effective method to create and gather data pertaining to such phenomenon. However, this does not negate the existence of law of attraction, but rather necessitates new experimentational approaches.
Future research could expand upon using the Law of Attraction to achieve specific goals beyond remembering certain words. This experiment showed that the power of thought may either attract like words to an individual focusing on them, make one more sensitive to hearing distinct words, or to believe they are hearing certain words while they are not. In the future, experiments may center around whether the law of attraction can have more profound effects, including changing one’s physical or mental health, or attracting certain concrete things into one’s life.
Ultimately, this research shows that the Law of Attraction is not pseudoscience, but rather a philosophy that does not claim to be science. Whether it be called the power of suggestion, synchronicity, mindfulness, etc., the Law of Attraction is worth exploring due to the preponderance of research concerning the mind-body connection. The data gathered in this research combined with the current literature review show that there is interesting potential in the Law of Attraction that should not be discounted due to the use of stereotyping and inaccurate perceptions.
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