Voting psi experiment
Posted: 13 June 2013 07:09 AM   [ Ignore ]
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My understanding of psi studies is that the phenomenon if it exists is too weak to rise above the noise.  The results convince some people and don’t convince other people.

Imagine an experiment with 1000 mind readers and 1000 mind readees all linked to the same sequence of zener cards.  If mind reading exists then it seems like a poll of those 1000 teams should very convincingly demonstrate the phenomenon.

I know that some researchers have tried to combine the results from many experiments, but has anybody tried using many psychics to combine their guesses on a shared question?

[ Edited: 13 June 2013 07:12 AM by ufo-buff ]
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Posted: 13 June 2013 08:33 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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I would like to see the results of a well-designed, properly controlled (i.e. properly blinded) experiment along the lines of what you are suggesting.  And if anything surprising came of it, I would lke to see it replicated multiple times.

Then, if the evidence supported the possibility that some humans may have a weak ability to transmit and recieve information, by processes that we don’t yet understand, then there would be something new to explain. 

In the meantime, claims of mind reading, are just another of the many extraordinary claims of the various paranormal topics, which are not accompanied by extraordinary evidence.

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As a fabrication of our own consciousness, our assignations of meaning are no less “real”, but since humans and the fabrications of our consciousness are routinely fraught with error, it makes sense, to me, to, sometimes, question such fabrications.

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Posted: 13 June 2013 09:24 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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When I was in 7th grade our teacher set-up an ESP experiment.  She visualized something in the room and everybody in class tried to guess.  Somehow I knew with certainty what she was visualizing.  I remember waiting my turn to guess and hoping nobody else would beat me to the answer, but I had not doubt that I knew the answer.  Then my turn came and I just confidently told her the answer.  Either the teacher was a good actor or she was very surprised.  So that made me wonder if ESP might exist.  But when I’ve actually read about psi research, it reminds me of the dancing frog from Warner Bros cartoons; Psi refuses to sing and dance during the experiments. smile

[ Edited: 13 June 2013 10:27 AM by ufo-buff ]
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Posted: 13 June 2013 10:59 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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It is commonly accepted that we communicate a great deal with metalanguage, i.e., subtle cues of body language, facial expressions, eye movements, inflections with the words we use, etc.  We can pick up information from others without being aware of doing so.  This would not constitute mind reading, but rather, it would be subconscious processing of subtle cues that we aren’t necessarily aware of.  A well constructed experiment would control for this.  Your teacher’s experiment may not have.  She may have given subtle cues that she was not aware of giving and that you were not aware of processing.

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As a fabrication of our own consciousness, our assignations of meaning are no less “real”, but since humans and the fabrications of our consciousness are routinely fraught with error, it makes sense, to me, to, sometimes, question such fabrications.

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Posted: 13 June 2013 03:27 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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TimB - 13 June 2013 10:59 AM

It is commonly accepted that we communicate a great deal with metalanguage, i.e., subtle cues of body language, facial expressions, eye movements, inflections with the words we use, etc.  We can pick up information from others without being aware of doing so.  This would not constitute mind reading, but rather, it would be subconscious processing of subtle cues that we aren’t necessarily aware of.  A well constructed experiment would control for this.  Your teacher’s experiment may not have.  She may have given subtle cues that she was not aware of giving and that you were not aware of processing.

Thanks, that explanation seems plausible, and it makes me feel better.  I’ve noticed that unexplained loose ends such as recalling that ESP experiment opens the door to my crazy suspicions about reality.  Simply brushing-off unexplained events is no longer enough; I have to actually satisfy myself that the scientific/atheistic model of reality still works.  I don’t have the same instinctual faith in normal reality after experiencing psychosis.

Also, I think responsible parties like governments and media should be more active about debunking.  For example, the UFO field has become more ridiculous after the Air Force walked away from Blue Book.  Society in general seems to be less rational and scientific than it was in the 1950s and 1960s.

[ Edited: 13 June 2013 04:01 PM by ufo-buff ]
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Posted: 13 June 2013 04:13 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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ufo-buff - 13 June 2013 09:24 AM

When I was in 7th grade our teacher set-up an ESP experiment.  She visualized something in the room and everybody in class tried to guess.  Somehow I knew with certainty what she was visualizing.  I remember waiting my turn to guess and hoping nobody else would beat me to the answer, but I had not doubt that I knew the answer.  Then my turn came and I just confidently told her the answer.  Either the teacher was a good actor or she was very surprised.  So that made me wonder if ESP might exist.  But when I’ve actually read about psi research, it reminds me of the dancing frog from Warner Bros cartoons; Psi refuses to sing and dance during the experiments. smile

What had she visualized? Was it something clearly visible and fairly easy to guess or something small and obscure, an object known only to her?

Body language is definitely something that a proper experiment would control for and the results of the experiment would have to be reproducible.

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Posted: 13 June 2013 05:54 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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daedroth - 13 June 2013 04:13 PM

What had she visualized? Was it something clearly visible and fairly easy to guess or something small and obscure, an object known only to her?

Body language is definitely something that a proper experiment would control for and the results of the experiment would have to be reproducible.

It was just one of the posters on the bulletin board.  I was the last person to guess.  The odd part was how I knew with such certainty as opposed to guessing.  But probably I picked up a subconscious cue.  At the time I didn’t care about UFOs or ESP, but I enjoyed telling the story.  I’m sure the memory has morphed slightly with time too. smile

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