Tips for personal experiments?

Discussion in 'Extended Consciousness & Spirituality' started by Alana, Feb 14, 2018.

  1. Alana

    Alana Member

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    Hi, I just joined Skeptiko and I was hoping I could bounce ideas off of some people for testing a medium. I’ve only done one reading so far, but this is my current procedure:

    I showed up without notice on a day where they did mini readings for a $20 donation (to me, it seems reasonable, they need to keep the lights on somehow). I gave them a fake first name and no last name and paid in cash. No person there knew me.

    Then, before the actual reading, I asked if it was okay if I wrote down what was said. If the medium had said no, I would have been suspicious, but she didn’t. She held my hands and said a quick prayer before closing her eyes. She kept them closed the entire time, and I kept my head down as I wrote. It would have been very hard for her to see my reactions and even then I did my best to keep a blank face.

    She asked no questions, there was no information fishing. She let lose a stream of consciousness and did not pause to gauge my reaction once. I wrote 3 pages worth of bullet point notes and offered no explanation as to who she saw.

    Then, when I got home, I categorized the information into three points: correct information, unknown, and false.

    She did not give any names, but the way she described two of the spirits - a couple, both old and similar in stature. The male with glasses, the female with a daydress - fit the image of my grandparents. The medium also said that they were concerned because I have made myself physically ill with worry. This is also true, recent events have made me so stressed my body went into “survival mode” where I didn’t feel hungry and was afraid to sleep.

    As for the unknowns, she listed tree other spirits besides the couple. One was male, and her choice of words was interesting while describing him: tall, thin, and related to me by blood. The medium had no way of knowing that I was adopted, and after checking with my birth mother, I did have an uncle that fit that description, he died in 2005. I cannot think of a way for the medium to have guessed that. For the other unknowns, the spirits said that I’d have an outlook change in 2-3 months, so sometime in April or May. I have no way of finding if that is true or not until those months, and even then I do not know what would cause that kind of outlook change.

    For false information...as of today, February 14, 2018, I have found no information that was wrong.


    Again, I would very much appreciate it if some members could reply and give advice to have tighter controls. I’m no scientist, but I am one of those “see it for yourself” types. I was fully prepared for this to be a fake medium, but the way she acted was genuine and I usually have a good sense of when someone’s trying to trick me.
     
  2. If you want tighter controls you will probably need help from two assistants. Person A goes to the medium and says "I am getting this reading for a friend" (person B). This is called a proxy sitting. Have them do this again for person C. Then persons B and C try to figure out who each of the readings were for. Can each of them pick out the reading that was for them? That is the basic idea. You can do this with two different people to get more data for the same medium (A gets readings for D and E). This way you can measure an objective statistical effect instead of a subjective score for each reading.

    Many mediums will also give readings over the phone. Which could make it easier if you are going to be doing a lot of readings.

    http://www.windbridge.org/for-researchers/

    Beischel, J. (2007). Contemporary methods used in laboratory-based mediumship research. Journal of Parapsychology, 71, 37-68.
    http://windbridge.org/papers/BeischelJP71Methods.pdf


    Peer-Reviewed Research Articles
    http://www.windbridge.org/education/peer-reviewed/
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2018
  3. Alana

    Alana Member

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    Ah, the main issue with that is readings tend to be pricey, and I’m a bit tight on money. I don’t know if a medium would be willing to work for free.
     
  4. Ask the medium if she teaches a class in spirit communication or knows of a class and ask if the advanced students might be interested in participating in a research project. Offer to go to the class so they can practice giving you readings and get to know you first. (They should be happy to have you visit because they probably have been giving each other readings for years and know everything about each other so having a new person should be appreciated.) You can get to know them too, and explain the project while you are there. Have a policy on the ethical treatment of humans in scientific research ready and explain it to them.

    If they agree to participate you can be the person A (since they know you now and seem to trust you) and come back to the class to do proxy sittings for B, C, D, E, etc.

    The best mediums I knew were the advanced students in my class and did not work professionally.
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2018
  5. Alana

    Alana Member

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    That sounds like a great idea, thank you!
     
    Jim_Smith likes this.
  6. I haven't looked at the research methods described at the links I posted to the Windbridge Institute recently so I don't know if this is covered ... but I would consider working into the protocol some way of eventually giving the medium some kind of feedback (if they want it) after the readings are examined by B, and C etc (was the person able to correctly identify a medium's reading?). You can discuss this with the mediums to see how they feel about it. Future feedback might produce better readings and might help the students learn (benefit) from their participation.

    Also, I don't know if I need to say this so I will just in case: don't act superior because you are a researcher and they are ignorant lay people. Treat participating mediums like fellow researchers not lab rats. Try to get their input as much as possible. They could have suggestions that you might not think of, and you want them to feel enthusiastic about the research not as if they are being treated like a piece of lab equipment.
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2018

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