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BIAL Foundation
TI:"Belief in the paranormal, cognitive ability and extrasensory perception: The role of experimenter effects"
Selection Description
Type Title Begin End
DocumentBelief in the paranormal, cognitive ability and extrasensory perception: The role of experimenter effects2002

Reference code: PT/FB
Entity holding: BIAL Foundation
Location: S. Mamede do Coronado
BIAL Foundation Archive
Start date: 1994
The BIAL Foundation was created in 1994 by Laboratórios BIAL in conjunction with the Council of Rectors of Portuguese Universities. BIAL’s Foundation mission is to foster the scientific study of Man from both the physical and spiritual perspectives.
Along the years the BIAL Foundation has developed an important relationship with the scientific community, first in Portugal and after worldwide. Today it is an institution of reference which aims to stimulate new researches that may help people, promote more health and contribute to new milestones to gain access to knowledge.
Among its activities the BIAL Foundation manages the BIAL Award, created in 1984, one of the most important awards in the Health field in Europe. The BIAL Award rewards both the basic and the clinical research distinguishing works of major impact in medical research.
The BIAL Foundation also assigns Scientific Research Scholarships for the study of neurophysiological and mental health in people, arousing the interest of researchers in the areas of Psychophysiology and Parapsychology.
To date the BIAL Foundation has supported 461 projects, more than 1000 researchers, with research groups in twenty-seven countries, resulting, until April 2013, in about 600 full papers, out of which 172 published in indexed international journals with an average impact factor of 3.6 and a substantial number of citations (1665).
Since 1996 the BIAL Foundation organizes the Symposia entitled "Behind and Beyond the Brain", a Forum that gathers well renowned neurosciences speakers and the BIAL Foundation Fellows which are spread around the world.
Classified as an institution of public utility, the BIAL Foundation includes among its patrons the Portuguese President, the Portuguese Universities Rectors' Council and the Portuguese Medical Association.
Accessibility: By permission

Reference code: PT/FB/BL
Entity holding: BIAL Foundation
Title: BIAL Grants
Start date: 1994
In 1994 the BIAL Foundation launched a programme of science research grants with the aim of encouraging the research into Man’s physical and mental processes, namely in fields still largely unexplored but which warrant further scientific analysis, as Psychophysiology and Parapsychology.
Since its launch, applications to the BIAL grants have been increasing. Up to now 461 projects have been supported, involving more than 1000 researchers from 27 countries.
The approved applications have benefited from grants in amounts comprised between €5,000 and €50, 000. The amount to be granted is fixed by the Scientific board according to the needs of each project.
The supported projects have originated, until April 2013, in about 600 full papers, 172 out of which were published in indexed international journals with an average impact factor of 3.6 and a substantial number of citations (1665).
Among the BIAL Foundation fellows is worth highlighting the presence of scientists from prestigious universities from the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Russia, Germany, Japan, France, Canada, and many others.
The BIAL grants are promoted biannually.

Reference code: PT/FB/BL-2000
Location: Arquivo PCA - Pastas 1 a 13/2000
2000 Grants
Start date: 2001-01 - 2014-02
13 caixas de arquivo

Reference code: PT/FB/BL-2000-034
Location: Arquivo PCA - Pasta 2/2000
034 - Experimenter effects in parapsychology: Replication and mechanism
Duration: 2000-12 - 2002-01
Richard Wiseman, Caroline Watt
Institution(s): The University of Edinburgh (UK)
Contents: Contents:
Application form
Financial report and expenditure documents
Final report
Language: eng
Wiseman, R.
Secondary author(s):
Watt, C.
Number of reproductions:
Parapsychology / Paranormal belief / Extrasensory perception (ESP)

Reference code: PT/FB/BL-2000-034.03
Location: Arquivo PCA - Pasta 2/2000
Belief in the paranormal, cognitive ability and extrasensory perception: The role of experimenter effects
Publication year: 2002
Abstract/Results: ABSTRACT:
It has been claimed that experimenter effects may account for inconsistent findings in the study of cognitive correlates of paranormal belief and in extrasensory perception (ESP) research. Skeptical investigators have generally found a negative correlation between cognitive ability and paranormal belief, but other investigators have failed to confirm these findings. In ESP research, skeptical investigators often find no evidence for ESP, whilst some psi proponents seem consistently to obtain positive evidence for ESP. Perhaps these inconsistent results may be due, in part, to the experimental context influencing participants’ responses during the session. The present study investigates these two strands by having two experimenters with differing attitudes towards the paranormal (RW and CW) each administer to 30 participants a paranormal belief questionnaire, two tests of cognitive ability (a syllogistic reasoning task and Raven’s matrices), and an ESP task. Participants were allocated to RW or CW in a counter-balanced fashion. The experimenter’s initial chat with participants was video-taped, then the experimenter administered the questionnaire and cognitive tasks to participants. Then each participant did the ESP task, which was video-taped. For this, the experimenter interviewed the participant and asked them to give their impressions of a short randomly-selected video clip that they would be shown at the end of the session. A single set of five target possibilities was used throughout the study. The experimenter ranked these according to their similarity with the participant’s impressions, then discovered the identity of the target clip for that session and played it to the participant for feedback. Results: For all 60 participants, a significant negative correlation was found between paranormal belief and syllogisms performance (r = -.28, N = 59, p = .03, 2-t). This correlation was attributable to just one of the experimenters (CW, r = -.45, N = 30, p = .01, 2-t; RW, r = -.08, N = 29, p = .70, 2-t), and the experimenters’ correlations significantly differed on two of the belief sub-scales (traditional religious beliefs, and spiritualism), thus demonstrating an experimenter effect for this measure. No correlation was found between paranormal belief and performance on the Matrices task. Additional post hoc analyses were conducted to clarify the mechanism underlying the belief-cognitive ability correlation. A median split was used to divide participants into believer and disbeliever groups. There was no significant difference between the belief scores of CW’s vs RW’s believers, nor between CW’s vs RW’s disbelievers. Therefore there was no indication that participants were shifting their belief scores during the session. CW’s and RW’s believers differed on their mean syllogisms scores (t[28] = 2.16, p = .04, 2-t), while CW’s and RW’s disbelievers did not differ in their syllogisms scores (t[27] = .47, p = .64, 2-t). This suggests that in this study it was the psi believers who were shifting their performance on the syllogisms task. A similar pattern was found post hoc for the matrices task. No evidence was obtained of ESP, nor was there any evidence of an experimenter effect for the ESP task.
Accessibility: Document does not exist in file
Watt, C.
Secondary author(s):
Wiseman, R.
Document type:
Conference paper
Number of reproductions:
Watt, C., & Wiseman, R. (2002). Belief in the paranormal, cognitive ability and extrasensory perception: The role of experimenter effects. Proceedings of the 45th Annual Convention of the Parapsychological Association (pp. 333-345). Paris, France: Parapsychological Association.
Indexed document: No
Keywords: Paranormal belief / Extrasensory perception (ESP) / Cognitive ability