Examining the Role of Neutral versus Personal Experimenter-Participant Interactions: An Eda-Dmils Experiment

By Schneider, Rainer; Binder, Markus et al. | The Journal of Parapsychology, June 2000 | Go to article overview

Examining the Role of Neutral versus Personal Experimenter-Participant Interactions: An Eda-Dmils Experiment


Schneider, Rainer, Binder, Markus, Walach, Harald, The Journal of Parapsychology


HARALD WALACH [1]

ABSTRACT: The aim of this exploratory study was first, to confirm the results found in EDA-DMILS research and, second, to examine the role of experimenter-participant interaction, as this is viewed to play a crucial role in parapsychological experiments. In a total of forty sessions, a pair of participants was each randomly assigned to either a personal or a neutral condition. In the personal condition, the experimenter tried to create a psi-conducive atmosphere. In the neutral condition, participants were given a computerized presentation in order to keep the interaction with the experimenter to a minimum. Our results yielded a nonsignificant effect (Wilcoxon statistic) of ES = .17. Furthermore, the quality of the experimenter-participation interaction was of minor importance for the agent's success in calming or activating the receiver. Interestingly, the effect size obtained from the Wilcoxon statistic for the neutral condition was three times larger than that for the personal condition (ES = .25 vs ES = . 08). The results are discussed with regard to methodological and psychophysiological considerations. First, since we can assume to have properly and successfully implemented the two conditions (by analyzing post-session questionnaires) our findings are hard to reconcile with what is reported about the importance of a psi-conducive atmosphere. Second, it is suggested that for future DMUS experiments the EDA equipment, parametrization, and data-processing be adjusted to psychophysiological standards. For example, in EDA-DMILS research, tonic components of the EDA are of interest (i.e., no stimuli are presented). Therefore, it is necessary to separate the electrodermal level from spontaneously occurring electrodermal fluctuations. In so doing, we will be able to examine any ostensible EDA-DMIIS effect more thoroughly.

There exists an encouraging body of evidence regarding the ability of humans to interact mentally under circumstances that preclude all conventional means of information conveyance (for a summary, see Braud & Schlitz, 1991; Schlitz & Braud, 1997). Specifically, distant intentionality efforts of a physically isolated person (agent) have shown to co-vary with responses of the autonomic nervous system of another person (receiver [2]) - In a typical protocol, an agent tries to influence the receiver according to a randomly assigned sequence of activate and calm periods to which the receiver is kept blind. Together with several peripheral measures (e.g., heart rate or blood volume), electrodermal activity (EDA) has been the most favored one due to its lability and sensitivity (cf. Braud & Schlitz, 1991). Moreover, outcomes from distant intentionality studies (if not of any parapsychological experiment at all) have been conceived as being subject to special characteristics of the experimental setting that contributes to what is called a psi-conducive atmosphere (e.g., Delanoy, 1997; Targ, Braud, Stanford, Schlitz, & Honorton, 1991). Specifically, it has been suggested that a personal, supportive, warm, empathetic, and open interaction between experimenter and participants is more productive to elicit a DMILS or Remote Staring effect than a neutral and objective one.

Studies reporting significant results for samples with different experimenters (Wiseman & Schlitz, 1997, 1999) usually refer to experimenter effects as possible cause after having ruled out alternative (post hoc) explanations. Such experimenter effects are, to some extent, related to the experimenter's attitude towards psi. However, to date there is no DMILS/Remote Staring study which systematically manipulated, let alone assessed, the demeanor of the experimenters involved. Thus, these differences are rather observational than experimental in nature and call for more systematic follow-up studies.

Nonetheless, in EDA-DMILS studies the experimental setting is deemed crucial, and experimenters are thought of having to possess special skills when interacting with participants. …

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

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.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

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

Examining the Role of Neutral versus Personal Experimenter-Participant Interactions: An Eda-Dmils Experiment
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.
    Buy instant access 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.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.