This paper reports the findings of a pilot study in which a novel experimental protocol employing a combination of visual and auditory noise was used. The exploratory nature of the investigation also allowed for two other issues to be considered, these being the relationship between schizotypal personality and ESP performance, and a comparison of methods of rating during the judging period (similarity between mentation and the target, confidence of target identity and experimenter rating of target identity).
For both types of participant judging, there was no psi hitting effect. For similarity, the hit rate was 10% compared to the 25% that would be expected by chance. A sum of ranks analysis revealed a significant psi missing effect: z =2.4, p < .016 (2-tailed). For confidence, the hit rate was 20% and a sum of ranks analysis revealed a trend toward a psi missing effect, z = 1.8, p = .072 (2-tailed). For experimenter rating, the hit rate was 35%; the sum of ranks analysis resulted in a value of z = -1.0, p= .317 (2-tailed). By performing correlations between the amount that people liked the clips and the similarity and confidence ratings awarded to the target, it was found to be the case that people did not select targets based on their subjective liking of that clip (for similarity, r= -0.06 p > .8, for confidence, r = 0.135 p >.6). With regard to personality, correlations were examined between 2 of the rating measures (confidence and similarity) and the following personality variables: Unusual experiences, Cognitive disorganisation, Introvertive anhedonia, Impulsive nonconformity, and Temporal lobe lability. Of these, one significant correlation was demonstrated, this being between impulsive nonconformity and ESP (confidence), r = -0.59, (p<.01). The implications of the findings are discussed, particularly in relation to state/trait preference for psi performance and Palmer’s (e.g. 1997) magnitude-direction theory.
In terms of the use of the visual noise paradigm, the authors maintain that despite the psi-missing observed from the present implementation, it is a technique that merits further attention. From the study, both authors are under the impression that the mentation provided by receivers is similar, and possibly indistinguishable, in nature from ganzfeld mentation and therefore that this approach may be of use in the investigation of ESP. Also, casual observations in relation to the protocol, such as the need for a relaxation period to help in the transition between ‘every-day alertness’ and an ‘ESP mentality’ have provided pointers that may assist in the development of a protocol that is psi-conducive rather than one that results in psi-missing.
|Simmonds-Moore, C., & Fox, J. (2002). A pilot investigation into sensory noise, schizotypy, and extrasensory perception. In C. Watt (Ed.), Proceedings of presented papers of the Parapsychological Association 45th Annual Convention (pp. 235-246). Paris, France: Parapsychological Association.|