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1. Controversies: ESP and Psychokinesis What does the research say and what are the criticisms? 2. Controversies <ul><li>1.) Ganzfeld studies of ESP…
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  • 1. Controversies: ESP and Psychokinesis What does the research say and what are the criticisms?
  • 2. Controversies <ul><li>1.) Ganzfeld studies of ESP </li></ul><ul><li>What is the Ganzfeld technique? </li></ul><ul><li>Developed by Honorton (1974) </li></ul><ul><li>Subjects are in a red-lit room with halved table –tennis balls taped over their eyes and earphones playing white noise </li></ul><ul><li>Why was it developed? </li></ul><ul><li>Researchers believe that ESP is a weaker force than other senses therefore gets ‘drowned out’ </li></ul>
  • 3. Controversies - Ganzfeld studies of ESP <ul><li>1985 – Honorton published results: </li></ul><ul><li>Found: 38% success rate as apposed to 25% due to chance. </li></ul><ul><li>Hyman (1985) – challenged results: claimed studies lacked security and were not correctly analysed. He re-analysed results and found NO evidence! </li></ul><ul><li>How to resolve their issues…. </li></ul><ul><li>They got together and developed a new scientifically improved technique ( autoganzfeld ). Again Honorton found sig results (34%) </li></ul><ul><li>After his death in 1992… researchers have found conflicting evidence. </li></ul>
  • 4. Controversies – Psychokinesis (PK) <ul><li>What is Psychokinesis? </li></ul><ul><li>The ability to move things with your mind </li></ul><ul><li>2 TYPES </li></ul><ul><li>1.) Macro-PK </li></ul><ul><li>Batcheldor (1984) claimed that people feeling self-conscious prevents PK from happening. </li></ul><ul><li>He ‘dealt’ with this by initially performing a fake levitation – becoming comfortable with the idea – and then transferring to real levitation of objects. </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>
  • 5. Controversies – Psychokinesis (PK) <ul><li>2.) Micro – PK </li></ul><ul><li>In the US, paranormal labs at Princeton use: </li></ul><ul><li>REG </li></ul><ul><li>The test: to see if people can manipulate the flipping of a coin. </li></ul><ul><li>Jahn (1997) found: </li></ul><ul><li>1.) Effect sizes very small for individuals </li></ul><ul><li>2.) But when scores combined – extremely significant </li></ul><ul><li>3.) Also found effects increased when 2 subjects who had a close emotional attachment worked together. </li></ul>
  • 6. Commentary - Ganzfeld studies of ESP <ul><li>Procedural criticisms : </li></ul><ul><li>Subjective interpretation…. (Carroll 2003) </li></ul><ul><li>Description of image is wordy and requires researcher to ‘match’ reported images sent… </li></ul><ul><li>The psi assumption </li></ul><ul><li>Carroll 2003 also argues that it should not be assumed that positive results prove PSI/ESP </li></ul><ul><li>The sheep-goat effect: </li></ul><ul><li>We can’t deny that there is an interaction between subjects beliefs, the researchers beliefs and the results of the research. </li></ul><ul><li>Skeptics often do not find evidence </li></ul><ul><li>Supporters do…. </li></ul><ul><li>So how can positive results be explained then…? </li></ul>
  • 7. !!!Commentary – Ganzfeld studies of ESP <ul><li>One explanation for findings is </li></ul><ul><li>‘ Researcher bias’ </li></ul><ul><li>Even unknowingly researchers may give ‘hints’ to participants </li></ul><ul><li>Eg. Clever Hans story: </li></ul><ul><li>1904: scientists were convinced that the horse could do arithmetic…but in fact it wasn’t true. His owner was giving him clues in the questions… </li></ul><ul><li>In paranormal research, sig results disappear when experimenter changed… </li></ul>
  • 8. Commentary – Studies of Psychokinesis <ul><li>Macro PK: </li></ul><ul><li>‘ Placebo effect’ </li></ul><ul><li>Greening (2005) found that in a study where research said aloud ‘The spoon is bending’ – participants were more likely to report that it did </li></ul><ul><li>Micro – PK: </li></ul><ul><li>Bierman (2000): concluded that since scientific control has become more stringent, effect size has declined . </li></ul><ul><li>This isn’t the usual trend for scientific research… </li></ul>
  • 9. The Application of PSI abilities <ul><li>Who would be interested </li></ul><ul><li>in this research?? </li></ul><ul><li>Who would want to know if </li></ul><ul><li>ESP existed?? </li></ul>
  • 10. Application of PSI abilities <ul><li>In 1970’s: The CIA in the US explored whether it could be used to exploit counterintelligence </li></ul><ul><li>The US government has spent millions on research but failed to find evidence </li></ul>
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    Jul 23, 2017
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