Monday, July 9, 2018   7:00 PM

Convention Spotlight: Exploring the Luminosity and Numinosity of Remote Viewing Targets

Stanley Krippner and Angel Morgan from Saybrook University, California, David Saunders from The Unviersity of Northampton, Northampton, UK, and Alan Quan from California State University in Long Beach, California explored the differential effect of darkness/light on purported remote viewing ability alongside the effect of time and their potential interaction. Seven remote viewers contributed data, and although the usable data gave the edge to dark condition performance, the difference was not statistically significant. Other participants had left the study early because they reported that they did not find the target pictures “engaging,” “interesting,” or “emotionally involving.” This led to exploratory post-hoc analyses concerning the numinosity of target images to determine if this characteristic was associated with success. While Krippner et al found no significant difference for the target’s numinosity ratings between independent judge “hit” and “miss” sessions, the findings suggest a response bias with participants inclined to select more numinous targets regardless if it’s the target or decoy. Krippner et al believe their analysis was the first attempt to directly evaluate the degree of target numinosity’s effect on attempted remote viewing success. The researchers deduced that psychological mechanisms may lead to an increased subjective experience of psi in participants which then leads them to judge correspondences in a way not conducive to correct target selection. These findings may have implications for the use of participant judgement in future remote viewing research. Join us at the 61st Annual Convention of the Parapsychological Association to hear more about this study.

Sunday, July 8, 2018   7:15 PM

Convention Spotlight: Saddam Hussein Remote Viewing Experiment

On November 3, 2003, a precognitive, double-blind applied remote viewing experiment designed by Stephan A. Schwartz, a Fellow of the William James Center for Consciousness Studies at Sofia University and a Distinguished Consulting Faculty at Saybrook University, was conducted in which viewers were asked to describe the location, circumstances, and conditions of Saddam Hussein, who was then in hiding, including his appearance and state of mind at the time of his capture by U.S. or allied forces. Schwartz used the multi-viewer concept analysis methodology employed in his archaeological research. Forty-seven participants, included military and intelligence personnel participated. The session data from viewers was analyzed concept-by-concept allowing consensual and low a priori patterns across viewers to emerge, which created a set of hypotheses designed to guide subsequent fieldwork. To create an unimpeachable chronology, the originals of the data and Schwartz’ analysis were turned over to a third party, notarized and archived.

Over a month later Saddam Hussein was in fact apprehended which allowed Schwartz to compare the precognitive data and the subsequent reality. We’re curious and intrigued to see the datasets, the notations, and correlations with the reported facts of the event themselves. Join us at the 61st Annual Convention of the Parapsychological Association to hear Schwartz share his findings!

Thursday, July 5, 2018   4:37 PM

Convention Spotlight: Ability of Alleged Mediums to Assess Mortality from Facial Photographs

Can a person discern if someone is dead or alive simply from looking at a photograph? A research team at the Institute of Noetic Sciences devised an experiment to test whether twelve subjects could intuitively gauge mortality based upon a quick glance at photographs. The participants were selected from the San Francisco Bay Area and were required to have been performing professional “readings” for clients. Half of the people in the 404 photos were deceased and half were alive at the time of the experiment. The photographs were transformed into a uniform gray scale and counterbalanced across eight categories: gender, age, gaze direction, glasses, head position, smile, hair color and image resolution. A series of photos were used: very old photos originally taken 75 years prior to the experiment, old photographs taken about 50 years prior and more recent taken 10-20 years prior. Upon viewing each image, participants had a choice between: alive, deceased and don’t know.

The researchers also collected 32-channel electrocortical recordings, and used a random forest and logistic regression machine to compare the participants’ data against machine learning techniques. How did the participants fare?

Come to the 61st Annual Convention of the Parapsychological Association to hear the researchers share their findings!

Monday, June 18, 2018   9:00 PM

Convention Spotlight: Rebecca O’Connell on Scopaesthesia

At the PA conference, Rebecca O’Connell from Canterbury Christ Church University, Kent, UK will present her research entitled: “Are people conscious of scopaesthesia? Do the number of starers and the introduction of acoustathesia affect hit rates? A pilot investigation.” O’Connell explores scopaethesia: the sense that someone is staring at you; and acoustathesia: the idea that people are able to sense when they are being spoken about. This research links previous studies about the sense that you are being stared at with the sense that you are being spoken about. O’Connell will discuss the evolutionary advantages to this human skill and the correlations regarding the depth and strength of each experience. With 20 participants in total, this experiment used a one-way mirror, and during the stare trials, every time the participant was a subject to the gaze of the starers, their name was repeated over. Conversely, when they were not being stared at, their name was not repeated. Follow-up included the Participant Experimenter Questionnaire, assessing mood and confidence, amongst other things. How did the participants react to a group of starers saying their name in front of a one-way mirror? All will be revealed at the PA conference. Reserve your space now - registration closes on July 27th!

Saturday, June 9, 2018   8:42 PM

Join the PA and Download the Latest Issue of the Journal of Parapsychology

Not yet a member of the PA? Join today and get immediate electronic access to the latest issue of the Journal of Parapsychology as well as other benefits including Mindfield: The Bulletin of the Parapsychological Association, discounts at annual PA conventions and online access to an electronic archive of selected convention papers and videos.

Journal of Parapsychology Volume 82
Number 1 Spring 2018

EDITORIAL
Keeping Up Is Hard to Do
Etzel Cardeña

ARTICLES
A Test of Reward Contingent Recall
David J. Vernon

Belief in the Paranormal: A State, or a Trait?
Harvey J. Irwin, Anthony D. G. Marks, and Christian Geiser

Creation and Validation of the Belief in the Supernatural Scale
Malcolm B. Schofield, Ian S. Baker, Paul Staples, and David Sheffield

Open Data in Parapsychology: Introducing Psi Open Data
Adrian Ryan

BOOK REVIEWS
Varieties of Anomalous Experience: Examining the Scientific Evidence (2nd ed.)
By Etzel Cardeña, Steven Jay Lynn, and Stanley Krippner (Eds.)
Chris A. Roe

Reincarnation in America: An Esoteric History
By Lee Irwin
James G. Matlock

Surviving Death: A Journalist Investigates Evidence for an Afterlife
By Leslie Kean
Etzel Cardeña

ΑΓΓΕΛΟΣ ΤΑΝΑΓΡΑΣ: ΤΟ ΧΑΜΕΝΟ ΗΜΕΡΟΛΟΓΙΟ [Angelo Tanagras:
The Lost Diary].
Research and comments by Nikolaos Koumartzis.
Mario Varvoglis

CORRESPONDENCE
Marco Zdrenka

Join the PA for and download your electronic issue today

Tuesday, June 5, 2018   7:52 PM

Convention Spotlight: Dean Radin Tricks the Trickster

Are there reasons why psi experiments are difficult to reproduce? Or is a trickster at work, cleverly masking or obscuring the results? Dean Radin (Chief Scientist, Institute of Noetic Sciences) explored these questions in data collected in two psi tasks launched online in 2000. As of October 2017, those tests had accumulated over 100 million trials from an estimated 200,000 individuals. The two tests included an ESP card test and a simple, forced-choice remote viewing test. While the data in these tests did not show a significant overall hit rate when calculated in the ordinary way, Radin predicted and found highly significant sequential patterns in the data that were not due to optional stopping or to other mundane explanations. This suggested that a forced-choice psi test can result in a null effect via direct hit measures, but at the same time it can produce a highly significant effect when examined for certain kinds of sequential measures. This implies that sometimes the trickster may be tricked into revealing its methods.

Learn more about the current developments in the field of parapsychology by attending the 61st Annual Convention of the Parapsychological Association. Be sure to book before registration closes on July 27th

Friday, June 1, 2018   7:45 PM

Convention Spotlight: Caroline Watt on Precognition, ASCs, and the Ganzfeld

Experiences with psi are reported more often by people who are self-reported creative and artistic, who have a mental discipline practice, as well as those who have prior psi experience or belief. Additionally, mild isolation (ganzfeld) and induced relaxation techniques have been documented to help people access these experiences—but are these variables reliable in relation to ESP induction? Caroline Watt, Emily Dawson, Alisdair Tullo, Abby Pooley, and Holly Rice at University of Edinburgh, Scotland, UK, predicted overall high scoring on a ganzfeld precognition task, based on the careful selection of participants with these psi-conducive characteristics. One experimenter, per trial, oversaw the time-stamped collection of data during the study that was designed for simplicity and security; three experimenters oversaw twenty trials each during the entire course of the study. Watt et al. found that moderator variables can optimize the results and be mapped on to common features of spontaneously reported paranormal experiences. Additionally, this was the first study to be submitted to a registration-based meta-analysis, and the review protocol will help to eliminate biases from methodological decisions after the study results are known. It will also allow for the adaptation of data relative to the unique characteristics of a study, thereby encouraging more programmatic research efforts.

Learn more about the current developments in the field of parapsychology by attending the 61st Annual Convention of the Parapsychological Association. Be sure to book before registration closes on July 27th

Friday, May 25, 2018   6:24 PM

Convention Spotlight: Charley Tart to Give Invited Talk

The line-up for the 61st PA Annual Convention at IONS, CA, just keeps getting better! Invited speaker Charley Tart, PhD., will present his lecture entitled: “Parapsychology as an Essential Component of an Expanded Science of Mind: Promises and Challenges.” Dr. Tart is internationally known for his psychological work on the nature of consciousness, particularly altered states. He was one of the founders of the field of transpersonal psychology, and is a legend in parapsychology. Of note, two of his many books, Altered States of Consciousness (1969) and Transpersonal Psychologies (1975), were paramount in ushering these ideas into modern psychology. An incredible resume includes highlights such as: Professor Emeritus of Psychology at the University of California, Davis, Professor Emeritus of the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology, Palo Alto, California. He was the first holder of the Bigelow Chair of Consciousness Studies at the University of Nevada in Las Vegas and has served as an Instructor in Psychiatry at the School of Medicine of the University of Virginia, and a consultant on government-funded parapsychological research at SRI International. He also holds a black belt in Aikido! We’re absolutely delighted Charley will address the PA convention in August 2018 and bestow decades of his parapsychological experience and wisdom.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018   5:58 PM

Convention Spotlight: Parapsychology and Transpersonal Psychology in Dialogue

The integration of transpersonal psychology and parapsychology shows great promise for explaining extraordinary experiences and events better than can either approach alone. How do these two branches of thought differ and converge, and how do they complement each other? At the 61st Annual Convention of the Parapsychological Association, Harris Friedman (University of Florida), Dean Radin (Director of Research at The Institute of Noetic Sciences), and Stanley Krippner (Saybrook University) will be in dialogue to develop ways to bring these approaches into better alignment. Radin views the main focus of parapsychology as being research using mostly quantitative experimental, but also allowing for qualitative, methods designed to explore the nature of both extraordinary events and experiences, determining what they are and how they work. Friedman views transpersonal psychology as being more focused on extraordinary experiences, and differentiates the two approaches in terms of preferred research methods with transpersonal psychology using mostly qualitative, human-science approaches, but also allowing for quantitative methods. In addition, transpersonal psychology focuses on applied work, such as using psychotherapies to work with individuals and groups having or seeking extraordinary experiences. The discussion will be chaired by Stanley Krippner, a pioneer in consciousness research whose work straddles both areas.

 

Tuesday, May 15, 2018   8:18 PM

Convention Spotlight: Skeptics’ Experiences of the Exceptional

How do skeptics describe induced exceptional experiences? Christine Simmonds-Moore, Donadrian Rice (University of West Georgia, GA, USA), and Chase O’Gwin (Northwest Missouri State University, MI, USA) performed a study that explored how disbelievers in paranormal phenomena described exceptional experiences (ExEs) that occurred in the context of a laboratory experiment. The experiments were intentionally designed to encourage ExEs through suggestion and sensory deprivation. Thirty-three strong disbelievers took part in 3x30 minute sessions where they were asked to relax in a reclining chair, whilst wearing ear plugs and an eye mask. On two out of three of these occasions, they wore a sham head device that resembled a device that was previously associated with ExEs. Verbal descriptions of ExEs reported by a subset of skeptics were analyzed using thematic analysis.

Which experiences did the skeptics have and how did they describe them? Come to the 61st Annual Convention of the Parapsychological Association and find out!

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