Thank you for clearing that up. I was afraid I had missed something, because the experiment as it was didn’t make a lot of sense, at least not to me.
This is what unsettles me. I caught myself thinking, “There MUST be something I missed because a reputable scientist wouldn’t spend grant money on an experiment that doesn’t make sense.” And then hot on the heels of that—“Oh no? Isn’t that how J. B. Rhine convinced an entire generation that ESP was a documented fact, because they all assumed that as a reputable scientist he knew what he was doing and used proper controls? You can’t necessarily assume that any more.”
Right, yeah, it wasn’t really well explained, perhaps because the actual experiment was somewhat unexciting except from a purely scientific point of view. The problem, as you note, is that it is liable to confuse people, and those with the predilection to hear what they want to hear about animal ESP might well think that was what was going on.
That said, I think the study of ethology or animal behavior is one of the most interesting routes towards a fully grounded understanding of the mind.