Anomalistic Psychology (Part 1)

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  • Created by: Natalie
  • Created on: 08-06-14 17:50
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  • Anomalistic Psychology (1)
    • Fraud
      • Soal-Goldney (1941-43)
        • Suggesting precognitive ability of a single participant
        • Were long regarded as some of the best in the field because they relied on independent checking and witnesses
        • Participant was asked to guess cards
        • Hit rate was much above chance and highly significant
        • Years later, statistical evidence uncovered that Dr. Soal had altered some of the raw data
      • Walter J. Levy (1974)
        • Levy reported on some successful ESP studies involving computer-controlled manipulation of non-human subjects
        • His studies showed very high positive results
        • Levy had interfered with data-recording equipment and manually created fraudulent stings of positive results
    • Ganzfeld studies
      • Technique
        • Used to test for telepathy
        • Sender transmits mentally the identity of a randomly selected target to a receiver who is perceptually deprived
        • P's eyes are covered with half table tennis balls and wear head phones playing white noise
        • The receiver verbally describes their imagery
        • Afterwards, the receiver judges which of the possible images was being transmitted to them
        • statistically there is a 25% chance of achieving a hit
      • Meta-Analyses
        • Milton and Wiseman (1999)
          • Published a meta-analysis of 30 ganzfeld studies carried out in 7 independent labs against strict guidelines
          • It was found that scores were not significant
          • Cut off date for studies to be completed was Feb 1997. A large-scale study with positive results was therefore not included in the meta-analysis. If it had been included, the results of the meta-analysis would have been significant.
        • Honorton et al. (1990)
          • Reviewed 11 studies
          • Reported 34% hit rate - significant result
      • Criticisms
        • Sheep / Goats
          • Sheep = those who believe in ESP. Goats = those who don't believe in ESP
          • Above average hit rate for sheep and below average for goats
          • Belief of the paranormal shapes our experiences of it
          • Believers will try to encourage more detail about the image than non-believers and are more generous in deciding what constitutes a hit
        • Bem and Honorton (1994)
          • Guidelines for ganzfeld experiments
            • Strict security against sensory leakage
            • Proper randomization of subjects
            • Statistical correction for multiple analysis
            • Advance specification of status of experiment
            • Full documentation of experimental procedures
            • Full description of statistical tests
          • Reduced human bias and creates more valid, replicable studies
          • Avoids experimenter effects, bias, extraneous variables and reduces fraud
    • Psychokinesis
      • Macro-PK
        • Clearly observable effects
      • Micro-PK
        • Weaker effects unnoticeable to the naked eye - require statistical evaluation
      • Methods of investigating
        • J.B. Rhine investigated throwing dice when a participant would have to state the number that would be on the upward face before it landed
        • True random number generator (RNG) makes a data stream that is recorded and analysed by computer software
          • Subject tries to mentally change the distribution of random numbers
      • Research into PK
        • Hansel (1989)
          • Well-controlled trials produce no support for PK
          • 13/30 studies he examined produced positive results - none of these were well-controlled
          • Flawed methodology = positive findings
        • Radin and Nelson (2003)
          • Reviewed 500 studies of micro-PK (1959-2000)
          • Found no significant relationship between methodological quality and outcome
          • Suggests quality is not a factor in producing significant effects
        • Bierman (2000)
          • Analysed PK studies since J.B. Rhine and found effect size has been getting smaller
          • Usually effect size gets bigger as scientists figure out what is happening and can control variables
          • Increasing control has opposite effect in paranormal research
          • Suggests phenomena are not real

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