ESP and Personality Patterns

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

APPENDIX B
Statistical Procedures

THE METHOD of analysis of variance has been used where possible in this book. Certain assumptions in the application of this method to our data will be discussed here. Beyond that, the reader might wish a statement concerning the statistical philosophy guiding the work, the policies adopted for exceptional data, the rules governing the presentation of results, and precautions employed against manipulational error.

Three questions may be raised concerning the application of analysis of variance to these data. The first concerns the assumptions of continuity and normality for what are presumably binomial enumeration data. The second concerns the extent to which the frequency distributions depart from the binomial (regarded as an approximation to the normal) owing to the occurrence of ESP. The third relates to the use of a common target sequence for all subjects in a single classroom, and is discussed on pages 45 and 122 and in Appendix C.

The distinction between the first two questions is important for the following reason. A logically complete answer cannot be given to the second question, but this question does not arise until one accepts the nonchance nature of the data, i.e. until one assumes that ESP or some other experimental factor is operating.1 Hence, any reservations the mathematician may have with regard to the second question are, in their implications, not reservations

____________________
1
Of course it is possible to suppose that chance data do not conform to the accepted statistical models, e.g. that there is something fundamentally wrong with binomial theory even when applied to a simulated ESP experiment using digital coincidences from a random number table. This kind of speculation [ Brown, 1953] is not likely to have much appeal for professional statisticians. It would destroy the statistical underpinnings of all of the biosciences--a far greater revolution than the acceptance of ESP as a new phenomenon that had somehow been overlooked in existing theories in physics and psychology. The impotence of this mathematical speculation against the experimental evidence for ESP has been discussed elsewhere by RAM [ 1956].

-116-

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