Predictions, perception and patterns of expectancy
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This thesis aims to explore the nature of predictions through examining the ways in which they are employed to the frameworks of assumptions that generate and in turn provide a context for interpretation. These frameworks, be they scientific or even religious/spiritual in nature utilise predictions (e.g. demonstrable hypotheses or prophecies) as a means of ascertaining knowledge and understanding about the world. There exists a problem, however, if the status of knowledge derived from the less logical or intuitively based predictive processes is viewed within many mainstream scientific frameworks as being either without validity or wholly impossible. The reason as to why predictions are formed is generally due to a lack of information about the state of a system under observation. The use of predictions within our lives then is often so prevalent that we can take for granted the extent to which we base our behaviour upon possibilities and not actualities through the anticipation of what might be. The primary reason for this is due to the passage of time, in that we would not be able to perceive the future (or the past) without the construct of time. This enables us to then establish models or frameworks of events to project into the future. The other inherent phenomenon then associated with predictions is the formation of expectations that are generated from these models, frameworks or even assumptions. These expectations can be formulated and described in a variety of ways, from the very well defined mathematical descriptions that constitute statistical information about the likelihood of a correct prediction, to the comparatively vague impressions of feelings about the future that are characterized as intuitions or gut feelings.