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Extrasensory Perception

Extrasensory Perception

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Extrasensory Perception

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  1. Extrasensory Perception By: Bairn Krueger

  2. What is Extrasensory Perception? • Extrasensory perception is a perception of information that is not gained through the recognition of the normal 5 sense and is to be thought of as sensing with the mind • Some categories of extrasensory perception include telepathy, clairaudience, clairvoyance, precognition and retro-cognition • The most studied of these categories of these are telepathy, clairvoyance and precognition

  3. What is telepathy, clairvoyance and precognition? • Telepathy: is commonly thought of as mind to mind communication • Clairvoyance: paranormal acquisition of information concerning an object or contemporary physical event (Storm, Tressoldi, & Di Risio, 2012) • Precognition: perceiving future events

  4. A Brief History • The idea of extrasensory perception has been around for a very long time but the beginning of the study of the phenomena didn’t come around until the 1930’s • J.B. Rhine was one of the first researches to begin to investigate the phenomena • He used a method known as forced choice • In forced choice studies a randomized set of target objects is generated of which the elements of the set are known to the participant. The participant is to guess the order of the set. • There have been mixed results using forced choice studies

  5. Zener Cards • Zener cards were a set of cards that J.B. Rhine would use in his forced choice studies • Named after Karl Zener, a perceptual psychologist who’s main contributions were the identification of aspects of visual processing and comprehension • These cards consisted of common shapes such as squiggly lines, a square, a plus sign, a star, and a circle • The deck would consist of 5 of each shape

  6. Other Methods From Zener Cards • Some studies have used erotic images, letters, words, non-erotic pictures • It is suggested by Storm and colleagues (2012) that the trivialness of the target set can have influence on the effect size of experiments of extrasensory perception and more everyday target variables have a greater chance to illicit extrasensory perception phenomena

  7. Storm, Tressoldi, and Di Risio Meta-Analysis • Storm, Tressoldi and Di Risio did a meta-analysis study of 91 forced choice studies from 1987-2010 • The study found significant effect sizes showing that participants performed above chance levels among which telepathy had the biggest effect size • Using file drawer analysis they showed that there would need to be 557 unpublished studies with non-significant results in order to show participants results were at chance levels • Significance above chance is small but still significant nonetheless

  8. Rouder and Morey Bayes Factor Meta-Analysis and Comments on Storm and Colleagues (2013) • Rouder and Morey undertook a similar meta-analysis as Storm and colleagues this time using Bayes factor • They were able to obtain similar results as the study presented by Storm and colleagues presenting strong statistical evidence for extrasensory perception • They did show however that experiments undertaken with computer randomization had significantly lower effect sizes than those of manual randomization • Despite their significant results, Rouder and Morey remain sceptical because there is no imaginable mechanism that could underlie such a phenomena

  9. Storm’s Suggestions For Improved Results • Storm suggests a number of changes that should be made to forced choice studies in order to improve the results and some considerations that have not been taken when performing studies • These potential inhibiting factors include: • Use of non-interesting or meaningless targets • Recruitment of convenient samples • Use of normal environment rather than one lacking in cognitive noise • Potential mediating factors: • Low neuroticism • Extraversion • Good social adjustment

  10. Playing Devils Advocate • Although the past two studies discussed have very interesting implications it is important to remain sceptical • About half of the American population believe that extrasensory perception exists (Myers, 2013) • However, in a study of police departments in 50 of the largest cities of America it was found that 65% have never used psychic help and of the ones that had found it to be of no help (Myers, 2013) • Another problem with extrasensory perception predictions is that vague predictions can later be manipulated to look as though the prediction was correct • In some cases psychics throw out so many guesses that one is bound to be close to true…after all a broken clock is right twice a day

  11. Conclusion • It is important to remain sceptical of extrasensory perception because it has the potential to completely change our whole understanding of the mind • Significant results are very interesting and have amazing implications but further experimentation is necessary • Studies trying to identify a possible mechanism could potentially lay the argument to rest on whether there is extrasensory perception or not

  12. Works Cited • Myers, David G. (2013). Psychology 10th Edition. Chapter 6. Worth Publishers. • Rouder, Jefferey N., Morey, Richard D. (2013) A bayes factor meta-analysis of recent extrasensory perception experiment: comment on Storm, Tressoldi, and Di Risio (2010). American Psychological Association. Doi: 10.1037/a0029008 • Storm, Lance, Tressoldi, Patrizio E., & Di Risio, Lorenzo. (2012). Meta-analysis of ESP studies, 1987-2010: assessing the success of the forced-choice design in parapsychology