October 2013 precognition research


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From "Introduction to the Scientific Study of Psychic Phenomena" on http://www.wiziq.com. Three more live classes this month, four more in January, eight recordings available from April and July. Join us!

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October 2013 precognition research

  1. 1. Precognition Research in Scientific Parapsychology Nancy L. Zingrone, PhD www.theazire.org The AZIRE Learning Center in Second Life SLURL: http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Madhupak/153/89/60
  2. 2. Today’s Class Topics • Precognition Cases and Case Collections • Precognition Experiments
  3. 3. Extrasensory Perception (ESP) Telepathy Clairvoyance Precognition
  4. 4. Precognition A form of ESP in which the target is some future event that cannot be deduced from normally known data in the present. M. A. Thalbourne, A Glossary of Terms Used in Parapsychology (2003)
  5. 5. Precognition O An undefined sense that something terrible is going to happen (or something wonderful) O A uncharacteristic change in behavior that seems to avoid some danger O A realistic vision or dream that brings details of something on the horizon O A sudden sense of knowing that moves you to do something altogether different — to save yourself, or others
  6. 6. Larry Dossey, The Science of Premonitions (2010) “The non-sensory, non-inferred foreknowledge of a future event is precognition or premonition.” Larry Dossey
  7. 7. Cases “Precognitive experiences are probably nearly as common as acorns under oak trees.” Louisa E. Rhine ESP in Life and Lab, 1967
  8. 8. Form of Experience Dreams (literal, symbolic) Intuition / Impressions Bad Feelings / Anxiety Hallucinations (visual, auditory, other) Motor Automatisms
  9. 9. Herodotus on King Croesus (reigned c. 560–546) Croesus sent delegates to the oracle of Delphi asking if he should attack the Persians. According to Herodotus they were told “that if he should march against the Persians he should destroy a great empire” (I: 53).
  10. 10. Abraham Lincoln’s Dream W. H. Lamon, Recollections of Abraham Lincoln (1895) “I heard subdued sobs, as if a number of people were weeping. I thought I left my bed and wandered downstairs . . . What could be the meaning of all this? . . . I kept on until I arrived at the East Room, which I entered . . . Before me was a catafalque, on which rested a corpse wrapped in funeral vestments . . . 'Who is dead in the White House?' I demanded of one of the soldiers. 'The President,' was his answer; 'he was killed by an assassin!„ ”
  11. 11. Butler-Dwyer Dream Case: 1959 Rita Dwyer: Research chemist. Edward M. Butler: Rita‟s co-worker. Rocket fuel exploded in Dwyer's lab, she was badly burned. Butler rescued her from the fire. Rita Dwyer Butler had a recurring dream about saving Dwyer from a fire. He saved Dwyer‟s life doing exactly what he had "rehearsed" in the dream.
  12. 12. Some Pre-Rhine Research O Publication of individual cases in the SPR proceedings (first one by Dr. William Barrett, in 1884) O Publication of case collections (first one by Eleanor Sidgwick, 250 cases considered, in 1888; then Myers, 85 cases considered, in 1895 and Saltmarsh, 50 years worth of published cases considered, in 1934) O Dream experiment conducted with volunteers (first one by Theodore Besterman, 3 series, 43 subjects, 430 dreams, 45 of which were precognitive, in 1932)
  13. 13. Eleanor M. Sidgwick’s 1889 Study of Cases Sidgwick, E. (1889). On the evidence for premonitions. Proceedings of the Society for Psychical Research. Evidence from dreams suggestive, but not conclusive for premonitions Eleanor M. Sidgwick (1845-1936) Dreams about: Death, Accidents, Winners of races, Trivial Incidents, Symbolic Dreams
  14. 14. Pre-Rhine research approaches: O Emphasized analytical treatment of cases for the purpose of uncovering features, patterns, types, possible conventional explanations O Experimental work focused on single individuals, or groups of individuals engaged in a free response task such as dream telepathy, drawing experiments O Advantages: Closer to “life” O Disadvantages: Difficult to establish as evidence
  15. 15. Saltmarsh’s “Perfect Precognitive Case”: O Case must have been told or recorded prior to O O O O O the event precognized Include details so that chance foreknowledge is precluded Narrow limits of time for fulfillment, and narrow description of place or event Not inferable from knowledge gathered by conventional senses No one else has knowledge of the event, so that telepathy could be ruled out Excluded hyperesthesia
  16. 16. Enter the Rhines …
  17. 17. The remit: O To take the spontaneous phenomena of experience and mediumship and operationalize it for laboratory testing: O Variations on a card-guessing regime: O Telepathy: One sender concentrating on a card, one receiver guessing the card, a statistically analyzable matching of “call” to “card O Clairvoyance: One perceiver guessing at hidden cards O Precognition: Calls recorded before cards were prepared for guessing
  18. 18. Research problems peculiar to precognition: O If precognition exists, how do we know a clairvoyance test measures clairvoyance and not precognition? O What if an experimental participant is seeing the next target or something else? O Do experimental results really tell us something about spontaneous experiences?
  19. 19. Still, the results were very good … O Strong evidence in the Rhine team‟s data for positive scoring in experiments with a precognitive set-up over life of the lab, with unselected subjects O Meta-analysis from 1935-1987, still strong evidence: O 309 studies O 42 investigators O 2 millions trials O 50,000 subjects O Overall z = 11.41, wildly significant
  20. 20. Stanley Krippner & Montague Ullman (1960s)
  21. 21. “The Descent From the Cross” Max Beckmann, 1917, Oil on Canvas Target for a Successful Dream Telepathy Session
  22. 22. From recent Parapsychological Association conventions … O Prof Chris Roe, Andrew Hodrien & Laurrie Kirkwood (England) at the 2012 Convention (Durham, NC) O Tested 40 participants on Precognitive Remote O O O O Viewing and Precognition Ganzfeld Target pool = 40 target sites using Google‟s interactive maps (10 sets of 4) chosen for distinctiveness, aesthetics and interest 30% hit rate for the RV trials 35% hit rate for the Ganzfeld trials No correlations with personality, experience, but participants who were more absorbed in the task, less physiologically aroused and had less internal dialogue did better
  23. 23. Results of free-response precognition tests overall … O Dream studies since Maimonides significant but less strong than Maimonides O At-home dream studies show strong effects, less costs, less logistical complications O Meta-analysis from 1935-1997 showed a stronger significance for precognitive experiments than clairvoyance, but similar effect sizes
  24. 24. From recent Parapsychological Association conventions … O Jon Taylor (Spain): The Nature of Precognition (presented at the 2013 conference in Viterbo, Italy) O Precognition is the fundamental form of psychic functioning. O Precognition is more likely to occur when the future event produces a strong emotional impact. O Precognition is more likely to occur when the time interval between “now” and “then” is shorter. O Belief in precognition has an impact on results in laboratory tests.
  25. 25. Main presentiment researchers … Dean Radin, IONs Julia Mossbridge, Northwestern Dick Bierman, Amsterdam/Utrecht Patrizio Tressoldi, Padova
  26. 26. More basic elements … O Standardized Target Pool of 600-700 photos O Emotional (sometimes violent or erotic) targets O Calm targets O Task presentation: O Target selected and shown for 3 seconds O 10 second inter-trial period O Repeat 30-40 trials in one sitting, about 15 minutes O Continuous recording of physiology detection variable
  27. 27. Common hypotheses and analysis … O That prior to the appearance of the target picture, the participant‟s physiological activity changes O Changes to higher arousal in advance of seeing an emotional photo O No changes in arousal in advance of seeing a calm photo O Analysis focuses on: O Continuous recording of the physiology shows a statistically significant increase in arousal levels 3-4 seconds prior to the target picture appearance
  28. 28. Meta-analysis results from Mossbridge, Tressoldi & Utts … O 26 studies from 1978 through 2010 O Results provide strong evidence for a presentiment effect O Studies show consistency across experimenters, laboratories, language groups, detection methods O Effect Size is small O More work needs to be done on alternative explanations O More work needs to be done on the presentiment process
  29. 29. But What Else Could It Be? Coincidence Failures to Predict ignored Subconscious use of currently available information (sensory / via ESP) Psychokinesis
  30. 30. Implications Expansion of Perception Can the Future Be Changed? The Nature of Time Implications for Free Will
  31. 31. Thanks for your Attention! email: nancy@theazire.org www.theazire.org The AZIRE Learning Center in Second Life SLURL: http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Madhupak/153/89/60