Telepathy, and the Proof That It Really Is All in the Mind
Byline: DAVID DERBYSHIRE
BELIEVERS in telepathy are simply indulging in wishful thinking, scientists say.
A major new study into hundreds of mind reading experiments carried out over the past ten years has found no evidence that extra sensory perception really exists.
While many people experience strange and baffling goings on in their lives, almost all can be explained by coincidence, the researchers claim.
Psychologists Dr Richard Wiseman and Dr Julie Milton came to their conclusion after looking at published scientific investigations into telepathy from all over the world.
All 1,200 experiments followed a set of carefully laid down rules, designed to make sure the tests were fair and comparable. After ploughing through the results, they found they were what you would expect from pure chance alone.
Most serious research into telepathy follows a set of rules called the 'Ganzfeld procedure'.
Under these rules volunteers sit on their own in a room listening to neutral white noise through headphones to cut off distracting sounds. Half ping pong balls placed over their eyes and a strong red light stop visual distractions.
In another room a second volunteer is given a picture and told to concentrate. After 20 minutes the first volunteer is shown four pictures and asked to nominate the correct one.
Dr Wiseman, an expert in the paranormal from the University of Hertfordshire found that only 27 per cent of the pictures were correctly identified.
Although this is slightly more than the 25 per cent you would expect from chance, the difference was not statistically significant. …