Academic journal article The Journal of Parapsychology

Response to "Experiment One of the SAIC Remote Viewing Program: A Critical Re-Evaluation."

Academic journal article The Journal of Parapsychology

Response to "Experiment One of the SAIC Remote Viewing Program: A Critical Re-Evaluation."

Article excerpt

In 1992 and 1993, Lantz, Luke, and May (1994) conducted two experiments that eventually led to two publications (May et al., 1994a and May et al., 1994b). The first experiment was designed to assess the effect of two conditions: the presence of a sender and the type of target in an anomalous cognition experiment using a 2 x 2 factorial design. This experiment is hereafter referred to as Experiment One. based on the results of this study, the second experiment dropped the sender/no-sender condition in favor of using no sender and made a number of technical and methodological improvements.

In Experiment One, each of five receivers were asked to contribute 10 trials in each of four conditions: static target/no-sender, static target/sender, dynamic target/no-sender, and dynamic target/sender. The methodological details can be found in Lantz et al. (1994) and Wiseman and Milton (1998).

A 2 x 2 ANOVA revealed no significant interaction between sender condition and target type (F = 0.133, df1 = 1, df2 = 16, p = .720). Thus, under the generally accepted rules of ANOVA (Keppel, 1982) we examined the main effects separately. We found a significant effect due to target type (t = 1.75, df = 198, p = .041) in favor of static targets and no significant effect due to sender condition (t = 1.05, df = 198, p = .147), slightly favoring no-sender. The second experiment produced much stronger overall effects and found no difference between static and dynamic targets. There were significant methodological changes in the second study, and the interpretation of the results can be found in May et al, (1994a). Since we found significant differences in target type, we were prevented from combining the data across all conditions in our 2 x 2 factorial design.

Wiseman and Milton (1998) proposed that four leakage paths might exist in Experiment One. They incorrectly combined Experiment One's results across all conditions and concluded that the resulting smaller effect size might be explained by their hypothesized leakage paths. We shall demonstrate that the proposed leakage paths did not occur and that, even if they had, they would not have contributed to the result. A further indication that the results were not artifactual was that the experimental protocol was consistent across all conditions; therefore, any proposed artifact would have been equally operative in all of them. But, in fact, the results significantly favored only one of the conditions: static targets.


The full details of the experiment can be found in Lantz et al. (1994), but we provide a brief outline of the protocol here.

Experiment Preparation

Each receiver participated in 40 trials, 10 in each of the 4 conditions. Twenty targets of the 40 were static photographs and 20 were video clips on separate videotapes. The targets were chosen randomly with replacement from the appropriate pools and tape and color copies were made of the selected targets. The selected target was sealed in an inner container for each trial for each receiver, and the trial type - which was also determined randomly but counterbalanced - was sealed in an outer larger envelope and labeled with the receiver's name and trial number. Two hundred such envelopes were constructed and mailed to Lantz. As we shall describe below, personnel who would not be in contact with the responses carried out all this activity.

Trial Protocol

At an agreed-upon time, Lantz opened the appropriate envelope for the trial. If the trial was under a no-sender condition and a static target, the photograph remained in its sealed envelope during the 15-minute trial time. If the static-target trial was in the sender condition, he opened the target envelope and "sent" the information during the trial period. The same was true for a dynamic-target, sender trial. In the dynamic-target, no-sender trial, however, the unlabeled videotape was played in such a manner that Lantz was blind to its audio and video content. …

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