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Examining Claims of Psi Phenomena


Where does parapsychology stem from? 19th century spiritualism. When did the field of parapsychology begin? 1882 Society for Psychical Research ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Examining Claims of Psi Phenomena

Examining Claims of Psi Phenomena
  • Myth and Fact

  • ____________- the scientific study of paranormal
  • _______- all psychic phenomena
  • ____________________________ the ability to
    obtain knowledge of a target object or of another
    persons mind in the absence of sensory contact
  • __________________________- the ability of the
    mind to influence matters directly

  • Story time
  • Where does parapsychology stem from?
  • 19th century spiritualism
  • When did the field of parapsychology begin?
  • 1882 Society for Psychical Research

Examples of psi
  • Out-of-body experiences observing from above
  • Accurately describing a physical location without
    visiting it
  • Self-hypnosis
  • ____________
  • Leaving ones body at will
  • ______________
  • Myth or fact?

What is psi useful for anyway?
  • Enhancing Human Performance Issues, Theories and
  • Enemy actions
  • Technology
  • Nuclear weapons
  • Mind reading

Anecdotal Evidence
  • Personal testimony
  • People continue to rely on qualitative
    (descriptive) evidence, although nothing in
    scientific literature supports psi claims.
  • __________________________
  • _______ Natural conditions allow psychic
    functioning to occur naturally
  • _______ Personal testimonies are often affected
    by biases

Scientific Evidence
  • What do psychologists want?
  • Critical Thinking
  • Control
  • Replicable
  • Robust
  • Lawful

The workings of psi
  • How is psi phenomena created?
  • Human Emotion
  • How come not everyone demonstrates paranormal
  • _________________________________________
  • Ex daily distractions, loud traffic
  • Psi practitioners have an ability to reliably
    guide psi by intention or motivation

Psychokinesis Healing
  • Mice and goiters
  • Mice under anesthesia
  • Myth or fact?

Watkins, 1965, 1971
Zener CardsPK
  • Zener cards

MacDougall Rhine, 1927
Zener Cards cont.PK
  • The Pearce and Pratt Experiments
  • Pearce 100-250 yards away
  • Pratt places Zener cards face down
  • Pearce records the order of the cards
  • Pratt Pearce

Remote ViewingESP
  • Participant and experimenter in one location
  • Research team at another geographical location
  • Participant records images
  • Team and participant gather to review
  • Remote Viewing video with Objects

  • ____________________________
  • How is it done?
  • Halved ping-pong balls taped over their eyes.
  • White-noise
  • Bright light
  • Sender communicates an object
  • Ganzfeld Video
  • Participant records their thoughts
  • Is it a hit?

  • Criticisms sensory leakage, inadequate
    randomization, statistical errors, and inadequate
  • Conclusion Research methods are too weak to
    establish the existence of paranormal phenomena.
  • BUT

Random Event GeneratorsESP
  • REGs were invented by Helmut Schmidt
  • Benefits
  • Completely random events
  • Sensory leakage
  • Double-blind procedure
  • Response recording

An Autoganzfeld experiment
  • Does Psi Exist? (Bem, 1994)
  • Participants NYC students Julliard students
  • 160 clips static and 1 minute long
  • Ranking
  • Hit rates
  • Overall ________, expect _________ by chance!
  • __________students 50!!!
  • Myth or Fact???

Criticisms of Psi Experiments and the Solutions
  • cheating while alone subjects are never left
  • sensory cues targets are prepared by an
    independent experimenter and are handled as
    little as possible
  • non-randomness random selection is used
  • inaccurate reading scores are double checked by
    an independent scorer
  • inappropriate use of statistics the American
    Institute of Mathematical Statistics evaluates
    the statistics used
  • fabricated evidence double-blind procedures and
    replication are essential

The James Randi Education Foundation One Million
Dollar Challenge
  • The Foundation is committed to providing
    reliable information about paranormal claims. It
    both supports and conducts original research into
    such claims.
  • At JREF, we offer a one-million-dollar prize to
    anyone who can show, under proper observing
    conditions, evidence of any paranormal,
    supernatural, or occult power or event. The JREF
    does not involve itself in the testing procedure,
    other than helping to design the protocol and
    approving the conditions under which a test will
    take place. All tests are designed with the
    participation and approval of the applicant. In
    most cases, the applicant will be asked to
    perform a relatively simple preliminary test of
    the claim, which if successful, will be followed
    by the formal test. Preliminary tests are usually
    conducted by associates of the JREF at the site
    where the applicant lives. Upon success in the
    preliminary testing process, the "applicant"
    becomes a "claimant."
  • To date, no one has ever passed the preliminary

Tell me, is Psi Phenomena Fact or Myth?!?
  • An evaluation of a large body of the best
    available evidence does not support the
    contention that these phenomena exist.
  • The 1988 NRC report concludes, The Committee
    finds no scientific justification from research
    conducted over a period of 130 years for the
    existence of parapsychological phenomena.
  • Palmer says that we cannot evaluate the effect
    of the paranormal because we do not currently
    have an adequate theory of paranormality.
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