ESP and Personality Patterns

By Gertrude Raffel Schmeidler; R. A. McConnell | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 11
Tentative Conclusions, And Further Problems

IF OUR ESP FINDINGS were to be summarized in a single sentence, it would state that differences in ESP scoring level were found in relation to certain independently measured psychological variables, and that in one case these ESP differences attained a high degree of statistical significance.

Though literally true, such a statement might create the false impression that the variables associated with high or low ESP scores in this research should be universally so associated. Any conclusion stated so broadly omits a crucial factor: the social atmosphere set up by subject-experimenter interaction, which we believe to be an important determinant of the way in which the personality patterns will influence the subjects' responses.

As a consequence, it is both difficult and time-consuming to conduct adequate ESP experiments. The investigator who wishes to repeat our work must be willing to take a large enough number of cases so that he can go through both a preliminary and test procedure. He should not necessarily expect to find that all of the personality traits which were associated with poor scores in our research will also be associated with poor scores in his own. He should, instead, examine his subjects' records to find the pattern that seems to differentiate good scorers from poor ones; and then repeat the experiments under as uniform conditions as possible (that is, trying to build up the same kind of rapport that he had previously) to see if the same personality syndrome will again differentiate good scorers from poor. We should expect him to find that this syndrome was different from the one which we found, if his subjects were more intensely interested or more enthusiastic than ours had been; or if they were less aware of the intellectual implications of their responses; or if he, whether deliberately or

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