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Straight Talk: The Ganzfeld (Advocates & Skeptics only) : Psychic Phenomena / ESP / Telepathy • SCEPCOP Forum








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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.

Straight Talk: The Ganzfeld (Advocates & Skeptics only)

Postby _Ice_Ages_14_Aces_ » 04 Sep 2011, 06:59

Image

"Ganzfeld" is a German word meaning, "whole field" It's a mild form of sensory stimulation originally developed by Gestalt psychologists to study the nature of visual imagery. The Ganzfeld Effect is an effect where an individual sees vivid mental images after the individual's brain has been stimulated. The Ganzfeld Experiments have been conducted or statistically analyzed or both in the field of parapsychology by parapsychologists, skeptics and statisticans, such as Charles Honorton & Darryl Bem, Robert Rosenthal, Ray Hyman, Richard Wiseman & Milton, etc.

While the accumulated Ganzfeld data, a.k.a. meta-analysis, since 1974-2010 are indeed highly statistically significant and therefore, strong evidence of Telepathy, the question as to whether or not the evidence is valid should be of some importance to both the believers and skeptics who frequent this board. I believe a detailed discussion of these experiments is needed.

I am looking forward to an informed, fair debate between believers and skeptics......
Last edited by _Ice_Ages_14_Aces_ on 12 Sep 2011, 10:58, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Straight Talk: The Ganzfeld (Advocates & Skeptics only)

Postby craig weiler » 04 Sep 2011, 08:04

A ship in harbor is safe, but that's not what ships are for.
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Re: Straight Talk: The Ganzfeld (Advocates & Skeptics only)

Postby Arouet » 04 Sep 2011, 12:54

There are some pretty detailed threads discussing Ganzfeld on the JREF forum.
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Re: Straight Talk: The Ganzfeld (Advocates & Skeptics only)

Postby Twain Shakespeare » 04 Sep 2011, 13:50

As I said today on the thread"Prove esp doesn't exist, "One thing I "know" tho, is our minds confirm our conceptions of what is more than they notice contrary facts."

And thanyou Craig Weiler. Another thing I have confirmed, having studied both rhetoric and statistics, is that "There are liars. There are damned liars. Then there are statisticians". and "figures don't lie, but liars figure."
"What's so Funny about Peace, Love, and Understanding?"
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Re: Straight Talk: The Ganzfeld (Advocates & Skeptics only)

Postby craig weiler » 05 Sep 2011, 00:17

Yup. The ganzfeld studies are a done deal.

Rigorous science to exclude sensory leakage? Check
Replication by a variety of respectable sources? Check
Straightforward statistics to do meta analyses? Check
Meta analyses checked by PhD statisticians? Check
Peer reviewed? Check
Positive results? Check

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

Postby Arouet » 05 Sep 2011, 00:27

Well, there are people who disagree with some of your checks...
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Re: Straight Talk: The Ganzfeld (Advocates & Skeptics only)

Postby craig weiler » 05 Sep 2011, 01:32

Of course there are people who disagree. However that doesn't change the fact that the scientific debate is over.

No one can prove that the existing data is invalid. They've tried countless times and failed.
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Re: Straight Talk: The Ganzfeld (Advocates & Skeptics only)

Postby Arouet » 05 Sep 2011, 03:59

Someone on skeptiko recently reported a stat that the entirety of parapsychological studies over the last 100 yrs is the equivalent of about 2 months work in any other field.

Parapsychology has raised some interesting questions. But the debate is far from over. It's just beginning. The field is in relative infancy.

The absolute best that you have with ganzfeld is a statistical anomaly. There is no understanding about what exactly is going on, if there is indeed something interesting going on.

There is no scientific consensus about ganzfeld, and quite a lot of debate about the stats used, the meta-studies (including the validity of meta-studies), the techniques used, etc.

Why discuss these things in such absolute terms when clearly there is a ton of debate going on right now!
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Re: Straight Talk: The Ganzfeld (Advocates & Skeptics only)

Postby _Ice_Ages_14_Aces_ » 05 Sep 2011, 06:50

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

Postby _Ice_Ages_14_Aces_ » 05 Sep 2011, 07:25

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

Postby craig weiler » 05 Sep 2011, 07:44

The test here is simple. Would this evidence be accepted if this were any other type of science without all the hoopla? The answer is: immediately.

The skeptics need to take a step back and realize that these studies meet any sane scientific standard.

Wiseman's study was more flawed than I indicated because I limited the size of the quote. He also bundled an experimental study in the group, which should never have been used in a meta analysis along with the replication studies. It adversely affected the results in Wiseman's favor, of course.
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Re: Straight Talk: The Ganzfeld (Advocates & Skeptics only)

Postby Arouet » 05 Sep 2011, 14:48

What does "any other type of science" mean? All you have shown - at best - in Ganzfeld is a small deviation from chance. The effect size is at best small. That's always worrying in any science. Are you familiar with the Ioannidis study which showed that most scientific studies are indeed wrong, and that small biases creep into almost all research. We must be very careful with small effect sizes as they are most succeptible to the small biases. Ioannidis found that even when there is no effect we expect to find a small effect due to experimenter bias. His research did not involve parapychology by the way.

Add into that the great debate over the methodologies used and you don't have a very reliable paradigm. Not yet anyway. Every time they tightened the protocols the effect size decreased.

I'm not saying there might not be something interesting going on, but the Ganzfeld research seems to be pretty muddy right now.

The question is not: would this evidence be accepted in any other science - we should be looking at those sciences too much more closely. Look at the problems being found now with anti-depressant research, and vitamin research! Many studies that seemed good in the past get subsequently thrown out and rethought.

This is a complex issue and we are not well-served by trying to fast-track it. And when the results of the experiment could be considered revolutionary we need to take even greater care. We need as mud-free research as possible.
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Re: Straight Talk: The Ganzfeld (Advocates & Skeptics only)

Postby Arouet » 05 Sep 2011, 14:48

What does "any other type of science" mean? All you have shown - at best - in Ganzfeld is a small deviation from chance. The effect size is at best small. That's always worrying in any science. Are you familiar with the Ioannidis study which showed that most scientific studies are indeed wrong, and that small biases creep into almost all research. We must be very careful with small effect sizes as they are most succeptible to the small biases. Ioannidis found that even when there is no effect we expect to find a small effect due to experimenter bias. His research did not involve parapychology by the way.

Add into that the great debate over the methodologies used and you don't have a very reliable paradigm. Not yet anyway. Every time they tightened the protocols the effect size decreased.

I'm not saying there might not be something interesting going on, but the Ganzfeld research seems to be pretty muddy right now.

The question is not: would this evidence be accepted in any other science - we should be looking at those sciences too much more closely. Look at the problems being found now with anti-depressant research, and vitamin research! Many studies that seemed good in the past get subsequently thrown out and rethought.

This is a complex issue and we are not well-served by trying to fast-track it. And when the results of the experiment could be considered revolutionary we need to take even greater care. We need as mud-free research as possible.
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Re: Straight Talk: The Ganzfeld (Advocates & Skeptics only)

Postby craig weiler » 06 Sep 2011, 00:54

A ship in harbor is safe, but that's not what ships are for.
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Re: Straight Talk: The Ganzfeld (Advocates & Skeptics only)

Postby Arouet » 06 Sep 2011, 05:14

It's been awhile since I've gone through the ganzfeld stuff but Craig the debate is more complex than you're making it out. Have you seen Ersby's work on the mata-studies (he has thread's on JREF and Skeptiko.).

Those numbers by Radin include studies that should not have been included in the meta analysis.

Anyhow, I'll have to brush up on it since the details are not in my head right now. There are talking points on all sides.
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