PSI or illusion?

Discussion in 'Consciousness & Science' started by Funkysoul78, Jan 5, 2018.

  1. Funkysoul78

    Funkysoul78 Member

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2017
    Messages:
    2
    Hello all,

    To clarify, I'm not a skeptic (in the militant sense) but I do have concern about their criticisms of parapsychology sometimes. Such as here: https://www.gu.se/english/research/publication?publicationId=105460

    This is only a test related to a single area of psychical studies, the Ganzfeld experiments, I understand, and there are a lot of other significant studies into other psi related abilities outside of it. And I had a conversation (last night) with Dean Radin over email about the relevance of the paper, and he made some clarifications for me, but I'm still stomped what to think of it. Also waiting for a response to it by Chris Carter (he takes a day or two)

    I mean, to think that one of the most replicated and debated studies in the world of parapsychology is just the effect of cognitive illusion is pretty alarming to me as a possibility.

    I don't know if she's still around but a certain female skeptic and long time poster around these parts saw some kind of significance in it. And it's a paper I don't see debated here at all, so I'd love to see what you all think? Especially psi proponents.

    Edit: It occurs to me now that this paper was written in 2004 and presented at a convention of some kind. So it would seem parapsychologists are not naive to this paper, yet have been carrying on with Ganzfeld experiments since. Didn't one of the authors (Westerlund) since have a hand in improving the experiments, so maybe this paper isn't even relevant?
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2018
  2. Laird

    Laird Member

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2015
    Messages:
    1,355
    G'day Billy,

    I came across your by-now months old question and thought I'd offer a view seeing that nobody else has offered one in the meantime. It comes with a big caveat though: I've read only the study's abstract and nothing else about it - neither the comments of proponents nor those of skeptics.

    Assuming I understand the paper correctly (please somebody correct me if not), I'd say that even taking a worst-case scenario (from the point of view of proponents) - that perceived apparently-remarkable correspondences between the receiver's stream-of-consciousness and the Ganzfeld target are merely cognitive illusions rather than based in psi - this would have no bearing on the implications (for the existence of some sort of psi effect in Ganzfeld experiments) of the statistically significant anomalous results of the correct choices of target in these experiments.

    That is to say that even in the worst case, this paper has no meaningful bearing on the fact that when choosing between the (typically four) potential targets in Ganzfeld experiments, the correct target is chosen at a greater rate than can reasonably be explained by "chance" (the "chance" rate being, typically, one in four, or 25%, and the actual rate being, typically, around 34%).

    Again, I have to emphasise the caveat, and I hope somebody will correct me if I've misread the paper/situation.
     

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