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Straight Talk: The Ganzfeld (Advocates & Skeptics only)

Discussions about Psychics and Psychic Phenomena, Extra Sensory Perception, Telepathy, Psi, Clairvoyancy, 6th Sense, Psychokinesis, etc.

Re: Straight Talk: The Ganzfeld (Advocates & Skeptics only)

Postby Craig Browning » 09 Sep 2011, 04:20

ProfWag. . . I'm a bit lost as to your comment above, I'm certain it has to do with my refusal to play fetch for folks given how you worded it. While I fully understand what you're saying and why, it's just not my nature to collect so much data on such things. Ironically, I used to but it became too much a job and I simply got sick and tired of having to say the same things, post the same links, quote the same quotes over and over for people that refused to look for/at information that would at minimum "challenge" their points of view when it came to this particular issue. There's just so much "dumb redneck" styled feedback a person can take when it is repetitive. Interestingly though the few years I endured within said frame allowed me to become aware of a standard pattern of attack & denial tactics from within the Skeptic's community, which likewise became a reason for me to break their rhythm by insisting that they do the foot work instead of me. When a person is given something freely they tend to look at it and treat it much differently than when they have to do the footwork for themselves, I've found that the few (very few) that did go out and locate certain bits and pieces came back with a stronger sense of understanding; this was especially true for those that accepted my other challenges tied to doing work as a Reader -- discarding all the junk they've been told to believe about it, learn how to use the oracles based on tradition and then actually do straight Readings relying on nothing but what the "book" says. Anyone that can do that for a solid year or more, doing at least 5 or six Readings a day, cannot come back to me and say that it's "just Cold Reading". If they can turn off their analytical mind and trust in what the symbols represent, they will know the contrary, it's that simple.

Remember, I am quite the skeptic. I question everything that comes to me when it involves magickle thinking, I have to, it's the essence of what my spiritual perspective encourages. But at the same time, I have to be honest about what I discover, what I encounter, feel and KNOW. I can't simply write things off as coincidence or explain them away via some kind of abstract formulary of pseudo-logic.

KUDOS HOWEVER to everyone when it comes to this conversation. Though I can't understand all the long-haired mathematical crapola I can get the gist of things and what I find is one of the better, most civil conversations I've seen in over a decade, when it comes to this topic. So kudos to one and all! :mrgreen:
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Re: Straight Talk: The Ganzfeld (Advocates & Skeptics only)

Postby Arouet » 09 Sep 2011, 04:37

I think you're focussing on a pretty small part of this (the trials that focussed on artists which I believe was a pretty small percentage of the whole, please correct me if I'm wrong). The outlier studies weren't those ones, right? I don't think he did exclude the ones with artists, anyway so its kind of moot.

You know I agree with you that we should focus on people like artists, you've seen me suggest on this site (I think even ITT). But that doesn't change the fact that a meta-study should be homogeneous in order to be combined. You've declared that it doesn't, but I think it does. They discussed the baseball analogy in the thread by the way.

My understanding is we need to homgenize in order to ensure that we're comparing apples to apples.
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Re: Straight Talk: The Ganzfeld (Advocates & Skeptics only)

Postby craig weiler » 09 Sep 2011, 07:59

The largest study was an artistically gifted sample: *Dalton (1997) 128 trials 5.20 z-score 0.46 ES 46.9 Hit rate % 7.00 Study quality
The score is so high that it would qualify as an outlier.

Take them out and you're going to skew the results.

There are two types of studies: Replication and experimental. Experimental studies generally don't belong in this sort of meta analysis whether they are outliers or not because this is the apples and oranges problem you're talking about. (This was a mistake that Milton and Wiseman made.) A ganzfeld study where they use sound or video instead of pictures is experimental for example.

Using talented people is standard procedure on Ganzfeld studies:

Analogously, we instructed our raters to treat as standard
the pre-selection of participants who were artistic or
creative, who reported previous psi experiences, or who
practiced a mental discipline such as meditation. Even
though these participant variables were not discussed in
the particular methodological excerpts read by our raters,
they were explicitly identified elsewhere in Bem and
Honorton (1994, p 13) as potentially psi-conducive on the
basis of the previous meta-analyses. And, in fact, several
of the 40 replications listed in Table 1 pre-selected their
participants on some or all of these criteria specifically to
enhance the probability of successful replication. Accordingly,
it was our judgment that it would be nonsensical to
have our raters treat the use of such pre-selection criteria
as a departure from the standard procedure.

So whoever Linda is, she doesn't understand how this works.

Because most studies done by skeptics have been complete clusterfucks, (or at least partial) full of shenanigans and deception, whenever I see a skeptic study my BS detection meter goes to 11. Automatic. I suspect that if I went through his meta analysis very carefully, I would find a pattern of excluding as many positive findings as he thought he could get away using whatever rationale sounded good to him so that it was just good enough to avoid getting his study tossed out. Of course, the results still came out positive, which should tell you something important.
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Re: Straight Talk: The Ganzfeld (Advocates & Skeptics only)

Postby _Ice_Ages_14_Aces_ » 09 Sep 2011, 10:05

Arouet wrote:This is part of the problem: these things are so dependant on statistics and statistical manipulation that its hard to have confidence in the results. And this is where bias can easily sneak in. Again: its a problem of small effect sizes. If the effect size was bigger, it would come out in the wash - the result would be staggering. It also goes to my point that NO ONE should be saying case closed on Ganzfeld right now. It is simply too muddy. It might be pithy to go down a list and snappily say "check!" but from what I've seen its not nearly so cut and dried.

Image

Incorrect, the magnitude of the effect-size is irrelevant to the confidence in the results. In fact, there is a statistical method that helps researchers to know just how realiable/accurate the results in their studies are. This statistical method is know as confidence interval and its interval estimates (depending on the percentage of confidence) where the true-parameter is.

As you can see above, the horizontal lines are known as confidence intervals and it tells you (with a 95% confidence/chance) that the true-parameter of the population is in the interval. If the 95% confidence interval touches/passes the solid vertical line, then you cannot reject the null-hypothesis and If it didn't, you can reject the null-hypothesis with a 95% confidence.

If you look at the overall confdience interval of the combined studies, you can clearly reject the null-hypothesis with a 95% confidence/chance of the true-parameter being in the interval.

The C.I. is dependent on the % of confidence and sample-size. The larger the % of confidence the more bigger the interval become; however, the more larger the sample-size, the more smaller the interval become.

Instead, think of it as trying to remove sources of heterogeneity. One possibility is to add to your exclusion criteria. Remove studies which did not include a sender, consider only studies where participants were drawn from a more general population rather than subgroups (like artists or siblings), stick to a narrow methodology, etc. If you can identify a homogeneous group of studies, then it would be reasonable to perform a meta-analysis on that group.


I agree with her that you need to combine homogeneous studies in order to conduct a proper meta-analysis. Anyway, I just have one big question...... where on earth did she got the idea of nonsenders in the ganzfeld??????

Nonsenders in the ganzfeld is not a standard criteria. The ganzfeld is a telepathy experiment where senders try to mentally send the target to the receiver; otherwise, it's a clairvoyant experiment akin to remote viewing.....
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Re: Straight Talk: The Ganzfeld (Advocates & Skeptics only)

Postby Arouet » 09 Sep 2011, 10:19

Pretty sure some of the experiments had no senders.

As for the rest: remember: I'm not arguing that small effect sizes are simply variance from chance. I'm saying its hard to tell when the effect size is due to subtle bias or a real effect. Both mean the results will not be chance. Do you see what I mean?

When the effect size is bigger we can be more confident that its not simply small biases that lead to an apparent effect.

And like I said: if artists do better at ganzfeld: let's only use artists from now on. Maybe we'll get some consistent high values!
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Re: Straight Talk: The Ganzfeld (Advocates & Skeptics only)

Postby Arouet » 09 Sep 2011, 10:32

Craig: a few posts down Linda wrote:

Is there someway to remove those outliers (or any others that are appropriate) based on descriptions rather than results?


So you see: she is not recommending removing studies based on results but based on descriptions (ie: making sure the study is homogeneous)
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Re: Straight Talk: The Ganzfeld (Advocates & Skeptics only)

Postby _Ice_Ages_14_Aces_ » 09 Sep 2011, 10:42

craig weiler,

Actually, the pictures/videos are a standard criteria in the ganzfeld. The nonstandard ones (which Wiseman and Milton use) are the ones that used targets as music, sound, etc.
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Re: Straight Talk: The Ganzfeld (Advocates & Skeptics only)

Postby _Ice_Ages_14_Aces_ » 09 Sep 2011, 10:54

Arouet wrote:Pretty sure some of the experiments had no senders.


Evidence????

As for the rest: remember: I'm not arguing that small effect sizes are simply variance from chance. I'm saying its hard to tell when the effect size is due to subtle bias or a real effect. Both mean the results will not be chance. Do you see what I mean?


When you say subtle bias, do you mean experimenter bias????? If so, then I had already addressed this...

And like I said: if artists do better at ganzfeld: let's only use artists from now on. Maybe we'll get some consistent high values!


I wonder what Beethoven's hit rate will be if he were in the ganzfeld 8-) ......
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Re: Straight Talk: The Ganzfeld (Advocates & Skeptics only)

Postby Arouet » 09 Sep 2011, 11:00

_Ice_Ages_14_Aces_ wrote:
Arouet wrote:Pretty sure some of the experiments had no senders.


Evidence????


Well, they talk about it in the thread we've been discussing. But I've seen it or heard it more than once over on skeptiko. You might be able to find it with google. I don't have a reference on hand. If I come across it I'll post.
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Re: Straight Talk: The Ganzfeld (Advocates & Skeptics only)

Postby Arouet » 09 Sep 2011, 11:04

Quick google search led me to this study, sited in a Bem's Updating the Ganzfeld Database: A Victim of It's own success paper:

Morris, R. L., Dalton, K., Delanoy, D. L., & Watt, C.
(1995). Comparison of the sender/no sender condition in
the ganzfeld. In The Parapsychological Association 38
th
Annual Convention: Proceedings of Presented Papers
(pp. 244-259). Durham, NC: Parapsychological Association

MIght have something in there...
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Re: Straight Talk: The Ganzfeld (Advocates & Skeptics only)

Postby craig weiler » 09 Sep 2011, 11:51

I found the study here:
http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m ... in;content
They were using the no sender condition as a control, so it really doesn't affect anything. They were just trying to differentiate between telepathy and clairvoyance. It's not always clear which one is in play.

We're at the point in this discussion where it might be a good idea to question whether it's worth it to continue. The path you're going down, one of making sure that the studies are homogenous, is not a particularly interesting path and neither I nor Ice Ages is going to find it convincing. It's just another way of playing with the data and if it were that important, it probably would have been done already. The PA has a long history of addressing relevant skeptical criticisms and if this one hasn't been addressed, it's because not even Hyman found it necessary. And no skeptic understands the ganzfeld studies better than him. I'm not saying that you've lost or that you don't have a point, it's just that the point you're trying to make is too weak to be convincing to people who disagree with you. If you don't feel that the evidence is convincing, that's fine, but this sort of argument is really only good for a purely skeptical forum.
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Re: Straight Talk: The Ganzfeld (Advocates & Skeptics only)

Postby Arouet » 09 Sep 2011, 12:30

Hyman certainly talks about the heterogenity issue and the appropriateness of combining some of these studies. He points out that they mixed up the video ones with the static ones and noted that the static ones were not replicated in some of the later trials but only the video ones were. But everything was included.

If you don't think its worth looking into this then I guess I can't do anything about that.

I'm curious as to your reluctance to even examine this issue. I'm just a lay person with no science background trying to make my way through these issues. And I'm not really making points myself, I'm trying to understand and work my way through arguments advanced by other people with far more expertise in this area than myself.

It's hard to see that we've reached an impasse when our conversation has barely begun!
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Re: Straight Talk: The Ganzfeld (Advocates & Skeptics only)

Postby ProfWag » 09 Sep 2011, 18:53

Craig Browning wrote:ProfWag. . . I'm a bit lost as to your comment above, I'm certain it has to do with my refusal to play fetch for folks given how you worded it. While I fully understand what you're saying and why, it's just not my nature to collect so much data on such things. Ironically, I used to but it became too much a job and I simply got sick and tired of having to say the same things, post the same links, quote the same quotes over and over for people that refused to look for/at information that would at minimum "challenge" their points of view when it came to this particular issue. There's just so much "dumb redneck" styled feedback a person can take when it is repetitive. Interestingly though the few years I endured within said frame allowed me to become aware of a standard pattern of attack & denial tactics from within the Skeptic's community, which likewise became a reason for me to break their rhythm by insisting that they do the foot work instead of me. When a person is given something freely they tend to look at it and treat it much differently than when they have to do the footwork for themselves, I've found that the few (very few) that did go out and locate certain bits and pieces came back with a stronger sense of understanding; this was especially true for those that accepted my other challenges tied to doing work as a Reader -- discarding all the junk they've been told to believe about it, learn how to use the oracles based on tradition and then actually do straight Readings relying on nothing but what the "book" says. Anyone that can do that for a solid year or more, doing at least 5 or six Readings a day, cannot come back to me and say that it's "just Cold Reading". If they can turn off their analytical mind and trust in what the symbols represent, they will know the contrary, it's that simple.

Remember, I am quite the skeptic. I question everything that comes to me when it involves magickle thinking, I have to, it's the essence of what my spiritual perspective encourages. But at the same time, I have to be honest about what I discover, what I encounter, feel and KNOW. I can't simply write things off as coincidence or explain them away via some kind of abstract formulary of pseudo-logic.

KUDOS HOWEVER to everyone when it comes to this conversation. Though I can't understand all the long-haired mathematical crapola I can get the gist of things and what I find is one of the better, most civil conversations I've seen in over a decade, when it comes to this topic. So kudos to one and all! :mrgreen:

I'm not sure why I lost you in my comment. If we're to have a discussion where we learn things (the reason I'm on this board), then I simply want to know the source of material. If you are quoting things from memory rather than sourceful information, I would like to know that as the credibility of memory is much less than the credibility of cited material. We all know how memory gets muddled up over time. So, if you're going to post comments such as "if my memory serves me" it's good for me to know that as I'll usually just skip right over it. Please, no offense to your memory, I just can't put stock in anyone's memory, including mine. If you don't want to spend time researching and being able to verify your comments, that's fine and dandy with me. I just can't believe it .
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Re: Straight Talk: The Ganzfeld (Advocates & Skeptics only)

Postby craig weiler » 09 Sep 2011, 23:54

Arouet,

I'm not reluctant at all. I just see where you're going and I know the outcome already. This heterogeneity thing is just skeptics frantically trying to escape the reality of a successful ganzfeld test. Everyone else but skeptics can see this. That's why the science is moving forward past the idea of proving that psi exists. It's a done deal. You keep saying that it isn't, but your viewpoint only comes from a narrow skeptical base of two non scientific organizations with rather extreme views and that's just not good enough.

So I'm moving on to more fruitful areas. I'm sure we'll be discussing other topics and I look forward to it. Toodles.
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Re: Straight Talk: The Ganzfeld (Advocates & Skeptics only)

Postby Arouet » 10 Sep 2011, 04:33

Ok, I guess. Can't force you to look at issue you don't want to look at.

As for parapsychology moving on: I'm all for it! let's get beyond small stastical edges and start explaining what's going on! You may even make a proponent out of me!
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