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Parapsychology Practical Class Aims 1. To learn a little about testing claims of psychic ability 2. To learn how to test against chance (µ) Objectives.

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Presentation on theme: "Parapsychology Practical Class Aims 1. To learn a little about testing claims of psychic ability 2. To learn how to test against chance (µ) Objectives."— Presentation transcript:

1 Parapsychology Practical Class Aims 1. To learn a little about testing claims of psychic ability 2. To learn how to test against chance (µ) Objectives You will conduct two runs of the TELEPATHY programme. Wpsyc/practicals/Jonathan & Jasper 1 st yr Pracs/Parapsyc 1.Test your (or your partners) score against chance using z score. 2.Test your tables scores against chance using one-sample t before a break 3.Repeat after a break – INVESTIGATE THE EFFECTS OF HOLDING HANDS 4.Run within-subjects t to see whether the break affected your tables performance (break = IV)

2 What Is Parapsychology? Parapsychology – the scientific study of paranormal phenomena (aka psychical research) Parapsychology – the scientific study of paranormal phenomena (aka psychical research) Psi – the object of study: Psi – the object of study: PSI Telepathy Clairvoyance Precognition Psychokinesis (PK) ESP GESP

3 Why Investigate psi? Anecdotal evidence suggests that humans can obtain information outside the normal five senses and outside accepted laws of physics (cf. The Aberfan disaster). Over the last 60 years experimental evidence has been amassed that has lead some researchers to accept that some form of anomolous cognition does exist (Bem & Honorton, 1994). [Parapsychology] represents an excellent opportunity to evaluate and develop the methods used by science to decide upon the reality of reported phenomena, (Wiseman, 1996). …If we could free the mind from the absolute restriction of the mechanism of the senses, the effect upon the science of the mind – psychology – and upon mans whole view of himself would be almost too great to conjecture. (Rhine, 1938).

4 Anecdotal Evidence: The Aberfan Disaster On 21 October, 1966, the coal tip on the mountain overlooking the welsh mining town of Aberfan slid down the mountainside burying a school killing 128 children and 16 adults. On 21 October, 1966, the coal tip on the mountain overlooking the welsh mining town of Aberfan slid down the mountainside burying a school killing 128 children and 16 adults. Several premonitions of this event were recorded in front of witnesses, some up to fourteen days before the event. Several premonitions of this event were recorded in front of witnesses, some up to fourteen days before the event.

5 Joseph Rhines Experimental Work J.B. Rhine experimentally investigated claims of ESP J.B. Rhine experimentally investigated claims of ESP Famous for the Pearce- Pratt series of experiments (see next slide) Famous for the Pearce- Pratt series of experiments (see next slide) Pearce claimed to have ESP abilities Pearce claimed to have ESP abilities Clairvoyance Clairvoyance

6 Experimental Evidence: Forced Choice The Pearce-Pratt distance-series ESP tests:74 runs through a deck of Zener cards produced a hit rate of 7.1 out of 25 when chance would give 5/25 (MCE- Mean Chance Expectation). The probability of this happening was p< ZENER CARDS (ESP CARDS) (25 cards/deck)

7 Experimental Evidence: Forced Choice Helmut Schmidts random event generator (REG): Parapsychology experiments have been criticised for the use of non-random processes. Schmidt therefore created a machine that chose one of four outcomes on the basis of random electron emission from a radioactive particle. In a forced choice experiment subjects had to precognise which of four lights would activate (p< ) or clairvoyantly report a pre-determined order of lights (p<0.0001).

8 Free response dream experiments: At the Maimonides lab (NY) researchers studied the effects of telepathy through dream imagery during REM sleep. The sender would focus on a picture during the night (such as the the descent from the cross – right). Subjects dreams would be noted after each period of REM and in the morning. Judges would then try to match their descriptions against the pictures. Experimental Evidence: Free Response

9 Remote viewing (RV) – statistically significant results have been found for the reporting of unknown locations (Targ & Puthoff, 1977). Ganzfeld experiments – Honorton (1978) reported that over 50% of Ganzfeld experiments reported significant results. Conclusion? Though all parapsychology experiments are open to criticism (at the very least on the level of fraud), the evidence is suggestive that there may be something of interest in the results. (The American government certainly thought so as it sponsored RV research for several years).

10 Now It Is Your Chance To Test psi The experiments chosen for todays practical are forced-choice tests where the stimuli are sampled randomly with replacement. Choose TELEPATHY from your local directory You should be aiming to get significantly higher than 10/40 (25 % as there are four options that you can choose from in the study).

11 Now It Is Your Chance To Test psi Record your Ps age & gender to include in your Participants section

12 What To Put In Your Report The z-score and one-sampe t test parts have no independent nor dependent variable – youre comparing performance again chance. Thats all. But the within-subject t test assess the effects of holding hands on telepathic performance – this has possible IVs and DVs. 10/40 = chance >> 10 correct psychic powers! << 10 correct psychic powers + self deprecation? SO, TWO-Tailed hypothesis

13 What To Put In Your Report For tables data: Figure (Histogram) with error bar (standard error of the mean) Figure 1. Mean percentage performance from Experiment 1. Error bars indicate one standard error of the mean. See Procedure for full details.

14 What To Put In Your Report

15 Just you Your table Your table holding hands z score One-sample t Within- participant t The chance level of performance was 10/40 correct. The individuals mean percentage accuracy, over the 40 trials, was 27%, which did not differ from the chance, z =.10; p >.460 The tables mean percentage accuracy was 23%. Using a one-sample t test table data were found not to differ significantly from chance, t(9) = 1.01; p >.26 As for Your table Note: compare your tables performance with/wihtout hand holding using a within-subject t test. See Handbook – Section 2, p. 5

16 What To Put In Your Report Discuss the comparisons between the different tests you conduct E.g., does including tables data lead to different conclusions than from you own data alone? Constructive methodological criticism Could Ps be cheating? If data ~ chance, could psychic cross talk have interfered with clairvoyance? How might you avoid that?

17 What To Put In Your Report Appendices Essential 1. 1.Your raw data Template in Jasper 2010 Notice these useful Excel functions. Double click to check youve correctly lassoed

18 What To Put In Your Report Appendices Essential 2. Hand calculation of z. Follow instructions in handbook. Use neatest handwriting 3. SPSS Printout

19 z score in Excel z score in Excel =(B2-25)/(SQRT(40*0.25*0.75)) =(B2-25)/(SQRT(40*0.25*0.75)) Where B2 = the cell with your no. of correct trials. Where B2 = the cell with your no. of correct trials.

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