Science & Tech

People Are Quite Open to Meet Real Aliens, Study Says

A new study says human beings would be very much okay with meeting real aliens.

According to a report published on January 10, 2018, in Frontiers of Psychology, if and when we humans run into a genuine alien species, we would likely do so with openness and little fear.

According to Michael Varnum, co-author of the report and an assistant professor of psychology at Arizona State University, “If we came face to face with life outside of Earth, we would actually be pretty upbeat about it.”

The approach to the study involved three separate parts.

The first section looked at the language used in newspaper articles where the subject matter was the possibility that we may have already stumbled on alien life. The articles covered the 1996 discovery of what at that time were thought to be fossilized microbes from Mars, a 2015 discovery of periodic dimming around a distant star (something thought to be indicative of alien life), and the 2017 discovery of Earthlike planets orbiting around a star. The research team saw the articles as demonstrating far more positive than negative feelings about the discoveries.

A second section by the researchers involved asking 500 people to write about their own reactions as well as the response of humanity as a whole, in the event alien microbial life were to be discovered. Once again, the responses were seen as more positive than negative, regardless of whether it was about individual reactions or humanity’s as a whole.

In third the third part of the study, 500 other individuals looked at past articles about scientific discoveries and then to write about their reactions to them. Both groups were reading articles from The New York Times. One set read about the possible creation of man-made synthetic life. The other set learned of possible evidence of microbes found on a Mars meteorite. Both sets responded positively, with the likely discovery of evidence of alien life generating an even stronger positive response than for the synthetic life creation.

A fourth and as-yet-unpublished part of the study looked into reactions to the possibility that the ‘Oumuamua asteroid might be a spaceship instead. Reactions here were positive also.

As Varnum said about all results, “taken together, this suggests if we find out we’re not alone, we’ll take the news rather well.”

What the study did not cover is how many people believe that the Earth is already being visited by Aliens.