The Psychology of the Psychic

The Psychology of the Psychic

The Psychology of the Psychic

The Psychology of the Psychic

Excerpt

ESP is just around the next corner. When you get there, it is just around the next corner. Having now turned over one hundred of these corners, we decided to call it quits and report our findings for public review.

We report our investigation of three of the boldest claims of psychic power in the 1970s. The first is a laboratory study of remote viewing" as conducted at Stanford Research Institute in California. In this case, poor methodology is responsible for the false alarm. The next two cases are concerned with psychic superstars, Kreskin and Uri Geller who, we conclude, use magicians' tricks to create psychic illusions. We are not the first to charge Geller with deception, but we hope we have laid out the most comprehensive review of all the evidence. Our results confirm the pattern of experimental errors and probable deceptions that Professor C.E.M. Hansel has documented for the best available ESP experiments reported in the four preceding decades in his book, ESP: A Scientific Evaluation (Scribner's, 1966).

In chapter eleven we take up two more traditional kinds of ESP demonstrations: one, an unconvincing psychic experiment conducted by Professor Alister Hardy in England; and the other, the case history approach provided by the writings of Arthur Koestler, the well-known author and scientific gadfly.

In the last three chapters, we try to answer the question, "Why do so many people believe so deeply in phenomena that, as far as we can tell, do not exist?" Our brief study of natural biases and errors in human perception and judgment suggests that the entire spectrum of psychism, occultism, and pseudoscience are products of these illusions. We have tried to provide the reader with some tools for recognizing these fallacies . . .

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