Research Methods 101: Correlation does not prove causation.

The beginning researcher, facing his first foray into the world of empirical experimentation, is taught about statistical methods. One of the first things they learn about statistical results is the obviousness that “correlation does not prove causation.” By this he means that simply because two events or factors coexist or even “vary,” that is, they go up and down together, it does not prove that they are causally related in the way that the naive researcher might imagine. FOR in fact it can cause B, but alternatively, B can really cause FOR or it may even be that both FOR and B vary together due to the factor VS which works in ways that are not reflected in the experiment.

Synchronicity: An “aquasal” connection principle.

Synchronicity is one of the most fascinating concepts proposed by psychological theorist Carl Jung.

By synchronicity he meant an “acausal” connecting principle. Acausal means no logically connected in the sense that we normally imagine one object acting on another to produce the final effect. He chose the word “synchronicity” instead of the word synchronous, which means “happening at the same time”.

“Synchronous” could include mere statistical probabilities of co-occurrence, however small. Jung chose instead, as a psychologist rather than a statistician, to focus on those cases in which an individual’s internal “psychic” state – for example, his dreams, fantasies or internal questions – corresponded to an apparently simultaneous, external, target, event. He included in his consideration of these meaningful coincidences, connections that could also be widely separated by distance and therefore, in his pre-internet communication age, cannot be immediately known. It also included significantly related events that could occur in the future and therefore be recognizable only in hindsight (Jung, 1951).

We find it difficult to dismiss these surprising coincidences as simply “random.”

Today’s individuals, like his, when trying to make sense of these seemingly inexplicable coincidences using the rational processes of our conscious minds, are often profoundly reluctant to accept that conjunctions of such remarkable experiences can be completely random. Inexplicable “synchronous” experiences stand out to us, highlight ideas, answer questions, and stir our hearts. They change our lives and sometimes our destiny to such an extent that we feel compelled to attribute them to some organizing power in the universe.

Rational thought tends to remain insistently in the logical realm of causes. Synchronicity is one of the most fascinating concepts proposed by psychological theorist Carl Jung. . Once driven beyond the capacity of easy causal explanation, the option VS, the alternative force proposed to move both FOR and B, and create all the amazing matches varies; some propose to God, others a universal and intentional connection of all things.

Synchronicity is not really about coincidence. Synchronicity has to do with meaning.

In Jung’s famous example of meaningful synchronicity, he was sitting with a bright young client whose relentless rationalism made her insensitive to understanding how her unconscious motives drove her life. All unconscious products, including her dreams, continued to be dismissed as meaningless and irrelevant to her. As a result, his psychological treatment was hampered.

One day, when I was diligently reporting a dream of a golden beetle brooch, a similar and rare beetle flew out the window and landed on the desk between them. This coincidence of the inner and outer worlds “drilled the desired hole in his rationalism and broke the ice of his intellectual resistance” (Jung Pg 512) so that the treatment could progress. The coincidence convinced her that it was possible for the inner world to be symbolically translated into the outer world. The question was not the coincidence, but the new conviction that it allowed about the value of the inner world.

Making sense is a internalwind. It is not the same as logic.

Our lives are full of inadvertent coincidences. It is the creation of meaning that we choose to do around some of them that really creates the change. Assigning meaning creates personal relevance and motivates personal choices. It is the factor VS what CONECT FOR and B in life-changing ways.

Synchronicity as a special case of “projection”.

One of the attributes of the unconscious is that it can assemble understanding in extremely complex ways, far beyond the possibilities of “logic” to serve individual growth and development.

Synchronicity can be understood as a manifestation of this unconscious work. In particular, a special case of “projection” could be considered. In projection, we see in the outside world, and often in other people, what we imagine or hope to see inside.

Cognitive psychologists might call the process “stimulus selection.” By this they mean that out of all the myriad possible aspects or attributes of a person, place, thing or event, we unconsciously select those specific parts that meet our expectations and ignore or ignore the rest. If we push the same phenomena a little further, and especially if we attribute intentionality, as Jung did, to the unconscious, we find that our psyche uses the same mechanism to communicate with our conscious minds by subtly highlighting and drawing conscious attention to them. or rude. those aspects of the outside world that you can use to symbolize or “cover” the proposals or objectives that you want us to understand and consciously adopt.

In Jung’s famous example, the young client was able to accept that it might be valuable to accept that her inner world might be reflected in her outer world of experiences, preferences, and behaviors. The factor VS in his experiential equation was the work of his unconscious “psyche” and his desire to begin communicating his fears and feelings to him.

Synchronicity is an internal experience of attributing meaning and relevance to external information.

So it might be more accurate to speak of the “impression” of synchronicity.

For those of us who are in awe of the complexity and subtlety of unconscious influence but see it as a fully human attribute and driving force in human behavior, understanding synchronicity as an inner meaning-creating experience can be entirely enough and enough gift.


CG Jung (1951). The structure and dynamics of the psyche: on synchronicity, Complete works. Flight. 8.