Testing for Telepathy Using an Immersive Virtual Environment

By Murray, Craig D.; Howard, Toby et al. | The Journal of Parapsychology, Spring-Fall 2007 | Go to article overview

Testing for Telepathy Using an Immersive Virtual Environment


Murray, Craig D., Howard, Toby, Wilde, David J., Fox, Jezz, Simmonds-moore, Christine, The Journal of Parapsychology


The ganzfeld has become the most favoured and successful experimental method for the assessment of general ESP performance, such as telepathy, in modern parapsychology (Bem, 1993; Milton, 1999). One reason that it is favoured concerns the development of computers as a central part of its experimental method, enabling the automation of the randomisation and selection of object sets and targets, minimising experimenter errors in recording participants' responses, and creating an electronic record that contributes to safeguards against fraud. Such work has also been argued to provide the most convincing evidence for psi. However, the current climate in parapsychology is one of an interim phase of self-assessment and evaluation regarding the future of the ganzfeld. This is in the wake of the publication by Milton and Wiseman (1997, 1999) of a meta-analysis of the results of ganzfeld experiments that challenge those of several previous meta-analyses undertaken on ganzfeld studies which yielded significant outcomes (Bem & Honorton, 1994; Honorton, 1985; Hyman, 1985; Radin, 1997), to argue that there is not a replicable psi ganzfeld effect (Milton & Wiseman, 2002). However, Bem, Palmer, and Broughton (2001) provide an analysis of those studies that adhere to a "standard" ganzfeld procedure and argue that there is a replicable effect which is diluted by the inclusion of studies which deviate from this procedure in significant ways.

The features of studies employing the ganzfeld technique have varied, with different "hit" rates that have led to discussion of what features of ganzfeld studies may be more or less conducive to higher hit rates (e.g., Bem et al., 2001). Target materials as employed in the ganzfeld have often been purely visual; most researchers have employed pictures or video clips, whereas some researchers have employed objects and geographical locations as targets (Milton, 1991). It has been suggested that psi-conducive targets are more dynamic and multi-sensory and may have a psychological impact on the receiver (Delanoy, 1989). Target pools have been comprised of both dynamic and static stimuli. Honorton et al. (1990) described dynamic targets as comprising films, documentaries, and cartoons, whereas static targets are comprised of art work, photographs, and magazine advertisements.

Attempts to address the nature of a good target have suggested a preference for dynamic target clips compared to static ones (Honorton et al., 1990) and for more complex (colourful) target clips over simple (black-and-white) targets (Watt, 1996). It is of interest that real events and locations were successfully employed as targets in the "remote viewing" experiments conducted by Targ and Puthoff and other researchers in the 1970s (cf. Tart, Puthoff, & Targ, 2000). The dream ESP series at Maimonides (e.g., Ullman, Krippner, & Vaughan, 1973) were also very successful in terms of ESP outcomes (see Sherwood & Roe, 2003, for a review of dream ESP studies conducted since that time). It is of note that here the agent often attempted to act out aspects of the pictorial target material. Such literature suggests a need to develop and employ more realistic target material in future assessments of ESP in the laboratory.

A second issue in such telepathy research is the dislocation of sender and receiver (which, as will be elaborated, until relatively recently was impossible to overcome). In extant research, and for sensible methodological reasons, the sender and receiver are separated by physical space, be they separate rooms or buildings in a research institution or in their own homes several miles apart. The sender is required to try to transmit some information (a name, a picture, an emotion, etc.) and the receiver is required to identify the target from a pool of possible targets.

Much experimental research in psychology involves methodological choices about experimental control and ecological validity. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • A full archive of books and articles related to this one
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Testing for Telepathy Using an Immersive Virtual Environment
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

    Already a member? Log in now.