Discuss General Topics.
Greetings! Myself and IceAges14Aces are teaming up to carry out a study to see whether, in fact, it does seem possible for a person to collect information from afar using non-physical means. The subjects will be free to do this by any means - scrying, remote viewing, astral projecting to the location where the information is etc. We are looking for:
- Volunteers to attempt to view the targets
- Believers AND skeptics for Checking (will explain below)
- Two skeptics to help design and run the experiment to ensure it's reasonable to the skeptical line of thought (these two may NOT also be checkers)
The target will attempt to view pictures placed in the house of one of the runners (one of the skeptics or myself or IA14A - it doesn't matter, but I guess it will give the study more credibility if the skeptic holds the pictures). In order to ensure that there is no subjective "oh yeah, that description sounds like it could fit this picture" - or at least, reduce it - we will have a group of people comprised of both skeptics and psi-believers to read the descriptions and give guesses about what it might represent. Now, these people will probably not be able to give exact descriptions of the pictures as information received in this manner is often rather vague (an example was that a picture of an aircraft carrier with an explosion in the sea beside it would be perceived as "metal, oblong, water below, air above, nearby energetics" or something), but they WILL serve as a kind of check-and-balance, to see how clear the information really is to people who don't know what they're looking for - the final decision on whether a target is accurately described or not will still end up with the experiment runners.
Skype is REQUIRED for this experiment (no need to voice or video, but we will need to type). PM me your Skype contact handle if you wish to be added, and let me know which position you are seeking.
See you in science-land!
I have to commend you for your excellent introduction and a fully-detailed explanation for our study, Suncross74! Well done (I don't believe mines would be better lol!)
For those who are interested in participating in our study, here is a list of the following criteria you might follow and which we might use:
-You are free to decide how many trials you wish to conduct and how many decoys you wish to add in the judging process. Please note that p-values, z-scores, and effect-sizes will be dependent based on your decision of trials/decoys.
-Our experiments will be done under "double-blind" conditions. In other words, neither the experimenter (either me or Suncross) nor the receiver (participant) will know the actual target. The only one who will know the actual target is the one who is not sending two or more possible pictures to the test-subject for the judging process. This is an effective way to ensure no conscious/unconsious bias inflates the hit rates.
-All studies will be done independently by each participant and we will ignore the use of meta-analyses. I (not sure if Suncross agrees) decided that we will conduct the studies where each study consists only 1 test-subject. For example, if Rodney joined our experiment, only his trials/hits will be recorded in that study (even if we tested another subject). The reason why I decided to use this as our standard criteria is to eliminate heterogenity which some skeptics believe is not a legitimate statistical approach.
-Test-subjects must reach at least a 0.05 significance level in their study to show evidence. I, as well as Suncross, decided to reject the null-hypothesis (no psi) if the test-subject can reach at least a 0.05 significance level (where p<0.05 and a 5% chance of Type I error)
-Our study will be two-tailed. Unlike one-tailed testing, a two-tailed testing is a legitimate approach for testing psi abilities since it takes the psi-hitting/psi-missing into consideration.
-p-values, z-scores, and effect-sizes will be reported in each study which are based on my statistical calculations.
-What we consider a hit/miss will be based on your ranking. A rank of 1 indicates a hit while a rank of 2 or greater will indicate a miss. We will try to make each picture less ambiguous as possible compared to the other pictures during the judging process.
Good luck psychics
Last edited by _Ice_Ages_14_Aces_ on 15 Apr 2012, 12:59, edited 2 times in total.
Thanks for the advice Arouet! I believe posting our Remote viewing/astral projection in Skeptiko is a good idea since Maaneli obviously knows more statistics than I do. I don't think he would appreciate the two-tailed testing though, but I will cross post this in that website anyway.
Sorry, but what do you mean by time commitment?
The time for the volunteers to apply is 24/7.
By the way, I already posted this thread on skeptiko http://forum.mind-energy.net/skeptiko-p ... study.html
Saw that. I was asking, if we were to participate in one of your trials: how long would the trial take? 5 min, 30 min, an hour?
I see your point now (I thought you were asking how long does it take for volunteers to apply in our study?)
Anyway, the time it takes for a trial to end will actually vary depending on how many guesses/turns the test-subject(s) wishes to make and his/her decision to start ranking in the judging process.
There will be no time commitment from experiment runners or checkers except to plan and to check the results. The psychic volunteers will need to view the target, which I see no real reason to place any time constraint on (this isn't the Randi challenge, lol). When we're ready, we'll set up the first target, and ask them to come back when they have a description (obviously we'll have some kind of limit so they can't just go away on us - 3 days maybe, after which we'll assume they're no longer interested in doing the experiment and remove them from the roster). The only time commitment needed from runners and checkers is to discuss the setup, find volunteers, agree to the protocol, and then decide if a given volunteer's description of the target is an acceptable match to what the target actually is. The checkers will only need to look at the volunteers' descriptions and then try to guess what it might be (to check how good the description is to people who don't know what is being targeted).
I have a few queries regarding your own procedure:
1) Wouldn't it make more sense to have only one psychic volunteer to write down the description than two or more psychic volunteers? If these psychic volunteers cannot contact each other at all, their descriptions will widely vary by comparison. Given the population of heterogeneous descriptions, there's a good chance one of the descriptions can "match" the actual target. I may be missing something here, but If I am right, I believe we need to think of a better method than this.
2) Will there be any decoys in the judging process? Decoys in a parapsychological research basis are very useful because they give the psychic volunteer to guess which one of these pictures/videos is the actual target. If there aren't any decoys, how are we going to know if the description(s) really attributes to the actual target when the description can be quite ambiguous and apply to almost anything? In the Ganzfeld standard criteria, for example, the receiver in the judging process is given 4 pictures/videos where 1 of these pictures/videos is the actual target. The same concept also applies to remote viewing research.
3) Will a ranking be applied in the judging process? If not, then when will the description either be considered a hit/miss?
So we should only pick ONE psychic to study? That's a very limited scope and puts the psi-theory at an unfair disadvantage. What if the one test subject is a fake? What if they just can't manage it, even if they are for real? We have to be fair to both possibilities - psi and no psi - and I think having only one candidate is definitely unfair to psi.
I don't really see why we need decoys; that seems like a waste and possibly might confuse a reader who is otherwise capable. If the description is way ambiguous and could be almost anything, we throw it out as not psi. If it is reasonably accurate to the actual target, we count it as psi. It seems simple to me.
What is a ranking? As I said, we'll just look at the description we're given, and look at the picture, and decide if it's accurate. As I've said, descriptions received by remote viewers are always "low-level information." It's not going to be an exact description of what's in the picture, like "a rotating Texico sign above a gas station on a hill with a semi-truck next to it," it would be, I dunno, "tall, rotating, air above, ground beneath, elevated, flammable, large box-shaped object to the left, metallic, mobile" or something like that. In that case we can see that it fits the description well enough that, say, if you were searching for a missing person, and had that to go on, and knew where you were looking, and saw this scene, you could realize "okay, this definitely fits." On the other hand, something like "big, metal, rectangular, high" *could* apply to this, but also a lot of things, so we throw it out as no psi.
Exsqueeze me, I had to butt in here. . .
True "clairvoyant" types (the original name for "Remote Viewing" which btw, isn't the same as Astral Travel) can be quite accurate and detailed, the catch is that the ones that volunteer to get tested are typically egotists that want to make a name for themselves . . . at least that seems to be the perception from within psychic circles, in which we've seen exceptionally few, if any of the better renown personalities willingly participate in this sort of silliness. It's simply not part of what they are here for or why they do it.
This is the thing that all the "researchers" either tend to ignore or simply push off to the side; the fact that most psychics of whatever sort, aren't out for publicity and worldly recognition, they believe that their abilities are meant for a higher purpose and I can assure you, it ain't to get rich. Most of these people don't charge for what they do though they often receive gratuities in the form of gifts; which range from home cooked meals to nice crystal and even a tune-up for their car (if they even have one).
So long as "scientists" insist on testing the random volunteer that wouldn't pass a psychological screening when it comes to ego and one's lust for luxury and worldly success, there will never be any sort of accurate and 'true" revelation -- it's impossible to accomplish when using "faux" psychics (in the Psychic culture anyone that chases after fortune & fame is seen as a fake).
I'm reading a book right now by Lisa Barretta entitled "The Street Smart Psychic's Guide to Getting a Good Reading", one of the most ill-informed compositions I think I've ever waded through when it comes to someone inside the Psychic Industry trying to "educate" the consumer. She is totally oblivious as to what a "debunker" is and in massive denial when it comes to the fact that some folks (like me) know the psychological shenanigans that can be exploited in this sort of work as well as the trickery. In short, she wrote the book to get her name out to the public and it shows her naiveté in spades. She's not alone, but she's one glaring example of the type of "psychic" that will participate in a challenge of this sort; one that's out to prove themselves vs. living the more modest and austere path of the "wise ones".
The Clairvoyant can use trance and gazing methods in order to "see" the hidden or unknown, this is what gives us the classic Crystal Ball or Pool of Water type icon when it comes to such work. Native American Shaman to this day, use a technique involving a spider's web and usually a Hazel or Chestnut so they can check in on those they are treating. Then again, you have the Edgar Cayce type who detect things in dreams or "deep trance". But in such instances memory becomes an issue and the best way I can explain this is for you to see a full 90-120 minute film that you've never seen before and know absolutely nothing of in less than 15 seconds and from that "glimpse" describe in full detail the events and message (plot) of the film, who was who, specific names and places, etc. I'm betting no one has that ability and yet cynics would expect a psychic/clairvoyant to be able to do just that. For that matter, I'd love to see anyone relate a dream they've had in precise and accurate detail; typically we will only recall a handful of feelings, issues or articles even if we practice vivid dreaming techniques and recall exercises.
The Bottom Line is Simple. . . so-called researchers are getting inaccurate data because of the lower-level psychics they test and the fact that these psychics are driven more by their audacity and dreams of carnal obtainments than serving the more humanitarian calling such gifts are actually intended to be. Secondly, researchers fail to recognize the fact that they can't even fulfill their own requisites when it comes to recalling exact details when given very simple challenges that parallel the psychic experience, such as the motion picture example I gave above. So again, what they include in their research negates the reality of the situation.
And Before it's Brought Up Again. . . yes, psychics do get paid for doing certain aspects of the work, they must survive in the real world after all. Very few outside those chasing the Brass Ring, see personal incomes that exceed $30k a year with most living at the poverty line. The exceptions are the book writers, lecture circuit speakers, etc. those seeking a higher profile sense of reputation. . . and yes, I fall into that niche given my show biz background. But, I use my legit background alongside the theatrical so as to challenge as well as educate the public, which is quite common when it comes to old school Mentalists.
The Ganzfeld, Remote Viewing, Dream-psi, etc. studies generally use one psychic for each session. In the ganzfeld protocol, for example, only 1 psychic (a.k.a. the receiver) can volunteer per session. If the test-subject is a fake, then the only options he/she has is "guess" or "quit" The probability of a fake test-subject reaching at least a 0.05 significance level by pure guessing is quite frankly 5%. Given the population of independent studies, we would expect 5% of them to reach the 0.05 significance level by dumb luck. For instance, if we conduct a total of 347 independent studies where each study consists only 1 test-subject and total number of sessions/hits, we would expect (by average) about 17 significant studies to be due to chance at the 0.05 significance level.
Look, my hypothesis for this research is to see whether or not, it is possible test-subjects can show evidence of psi at the 0.05 level. If this hypothesis is correct, then we would expect more or less than 5% of the studies in the database to be statistically significant. I know we're having a hard time agreeing with each other, but I guess we just have to agree to disagree.
But how am I supposed to calculate the p-value when it is impossible (if not, virtually impossible) to draw the probability of hit without any decoys? Using the z-score formula wouldn't work either due to the lack of a null-hypothesis which is akin to the probability of hit in this case. Tell you what, how about we just use 1 decoy? This way the psychic has a 1/2 or a 50% percent chance of guessing the actual target. As for the confusion, we can make the decoy and the actual target irrelevant to each other as much as possible. Deal?
A ranking is a judging method where the psychic judges a picture as most likely and others unlikely. 1 indicates most likely, 2 indicates somewhat likely, 3 unlikely, 4 very unlikely.
I hate to say this, but there is a major problem and that problem is known as experimenter bias. Since we already know what the actual target is, our decision of whether or not the description is accurate may consciously or unconsciously bias the study. In order to avoid this flaw, we need to remain completely blind from the actual target (This is why I said all studies should be done under double-blind conditions) I also don't like judges that decide whether or not the description is accurate because the psychic is the one who possessess more first-hand knowledge of his/her psychic impressions than the judges and therefore, should decide whether or not the description fits. Speaking of whether or not the description fits, I highly recommend you to read this: http://www.assap.ac.uk/newsite/articles ... ormal.html
If you think I was being condescending, I apologize. I'm just trying to help you improve our upcoming study and avoid pitfalls as possible.
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