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InvisibleRebelSteve33
Amateur Mycologist
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Registered: 05/28/02
Posts: 3,774
Loc: Arizona
The Autoganzfeld Studies
    #1655016 - 06/23/03 01:29 AM (13 years, 5 months ago)

I dunno if this has been posted before, but I found it very interesting.  It is a report of certain scientific studies done on the existence of ESP.  The information below was taken from  this site, which has a lot more interesting information on this topic.

Here is the report on the Autoganzfeld Studies, which I found to be particularly interesting because of the method in which they were implemented and the findings that came from them:

(This report is quite lengthy, so continue only if you have the time to read it thoroughly)

The Autoganzfeld Studies

In 1983, Honorton and his colleagues initiated a new series of ganzfeld studies designed to avoid the methodological problems he and others had identified in earlier studies (Honorton, 1979; Kennedy, 1979). These studies complied with all of the detailed guidelines that he and Hyman were to publish later in their joint communique. The program continued until September 1989, when a loss of funding forced the laboratory to close. The major innovations of the new studies were the computer control of the experimental protocol-hence the name autoganzfeld-and the introduction of videotaped film clips as target stimuli.

Method

The basic design of the autoganzfeld studies was the same as that described earlier [Footnote 4]: A receiver and sender were sequestered in separate, acoustically-isolated chambers. After a 14-minute period of progressive relaxation, the receiver underwent ganzfeld stimulation while describing his or her thoughts and images aloud for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, the sender concentrated on a randomly selected target. At the end of the ganzfeld period, the receiver was shown four stimuli and, without knowing which of the four had been the target, rated each stimulus for its similarity to his or her mentation during the ganzfeld.
The targets consisted of 80 still pictures (static targets) and 80 short video segments complete with soundtracks (dynamic targets), all recorded on videocassette. The static targets included art prints, photographs, and magazine advertisements; the dynamic targets included excerpts of approximately one minute duration from motion pictures, TV shows, and cartoons. The 160 targets were arranged in judging sets of four static or four dynamic targets each, constructed to minimize similarities among targets within a set.


TARGET SELECTION AND PRESENTATION

The VCR containing the taped targets was interfaced to the controlling computer, which selected the target and controlled its repeated presentation to the sender during the ganzfeld period, thus eliminating the need for a second experimenter to accompany the sender. After the ganzfeld period, the computer randomly sequenced the four-clip judging set and presented it to the receiver on a TV monitor for judging. The receiver used a computer game paddle to make his or her ratings on a 40-point scale that appeared on the TV monitor after each clip was shown. The receiver was permitted to see each clip and to change the ratings repeatedly until he or she was satisfied. The computer then wrote these and other data from the session into a file on a floppy disk. At that point, the sender moved to the receiver's chamber and revealed the identity of the target to both the receiver and the experimenter. Note that the experimenter did not even know the identity of the four-clip judging set until it was displayed to the receiver for judging.

RANDOMIZATION

The random selection of the target and sequencing of the judging set were controlled by a noise-based random number generator interfaced to the computer. Extensive testing confirmed that the generator was providing a uniform distribution of values throughout the full target range (1-160). Tests on the actual frequencies observed during the experiments confirmed that targets were, on average, selected uniformly from among the 4 clips within each judging set and that the 4 judging sequences used were uniformly distributed across sessions.

ADDITIONAL CONTROL FEATURES

The receiver's and sender's rooms were sound-isolated, electrically shielded chambers with single- door access that could be continuously monitored by the experimenter. There was two-way intercom communication between the experimenter and the receiver but only one-way communication into the sender's room; thus, neither the experimenter nor the receiver could monitor events inside the sender's room. The archival record for each session includes an audiotape containing the receiver's mentation during the ganzfeld period and all verbal exchanges between the experimenter and the receiver throughout the experiment.
The automated ganzfeld protocol has been examined by several dozen parapsychologists and behavioral researchers from other fields, including well-known critics of parapsychology. Many have participated as subjects or observers. All have expressed satisfaction with the handling of security issues and controls.

Parapsychologists have often been urged to employ magicians as consultants to ensure that the experimental protocols are not vulnerable either to inadvertent sensory leakage or to deliberate cheating. Two "mentalists," magicians who specialize in the simulation of psi, have examined the autoganzfeld system and protocol. Ford Kross, a professional mentalist and officer of the mentalist's professional organization, the Psychic Entertainers Association, provided the following written statement "In my professional capacity as a mentalist, I have reviewed Psychophysical Research Laboratories' automated ganzfeld system and found it to provide excellent security against deception by subjects" (personal communication, May, 1989).

Daryl J. Bem has also performed as a mentalist for many years and is a member of the Psychic Entertainers Association. As mentioned in the author note, this article had its origins in a 1983 visit he made to Honorton's laboratory, where he was asked to critically examine the research protocol from the perspective of a mentalist, a research psychologist, and a subject. Needless to say, this article would not exist if he did not concur with Ford Kross's assessment of the security procedures.


Experimental Studies

Altogether, 100 men and 140 women participated as receivers in 354 sessions during the research program.[Footnote 5] The participants ranged in age from 17 to 74 years (m = 37.3, SD = 11.8), with a mean formal education of 15.6 years (SD = 2.0). Eight separate experimenters, including Honorton, conducted the studies.
The experimental program included three pilot and eight formal studies. Five of the formal studies employed novice (first-time) participants who served as the receiver in one session each. The remaining three formal studies used experienced participants.


PILOT STUDIES

Sample sizes were not preset in the three pilot studies. Study 1 comprised 22 sessions and was conducted during the initial development and testing of the autoganzfeld system. Study 2 comprised 9 sessions testing a procedure in which the experimenter, rather than the receiver, served as the judge at the end of the session. Study 3 comprised 35 sessions and served as practice for participants who had completed the allotted number of sessions in the ongoing formal studies but who wanted additional ganzfeld experience. This study also included several demonstration sessions when TV film crews were present.

NOVICE STUDIES

Studies 101-104 were each designed to test 50 participants who had had no prior ganzfeld experience; each participant served as the receiver in a single ganzfeld session. Study 104 included 16 of 20 students recruited from the Juilliard School in New York City to test an artistically gifted sample. Study 105 was initiated to accommodate the overflow of participants who had been recruited for Study 104, including the 4 remaining Juilliard students. The sample size for this study was set to 25, but only 6 sessions had been completed when the laboratory closed. For purposes of exposition, we divided the 56 sessions from Studies 104 and 105 into two parts: Study 104/105(a) comprises the 36 non-Juilliard participants, and Study 104/105(b) comprises the 20 Juilliard students.

STUDY 201

This study was designed to retest the most promising participants from the previous studies. The number of trials was set to 20, but only 7 sessions with 3 participants had been completed when the laboratory closed.

STUDY 301

This study was designed to compare static and dynamic targets. The sample size was set to 50 sessions. Twenty-five experienced participants each served as the receiver in 2 sessions. Unknown to the participants, the computer control program was modified to ensure that they would each have 1 session with a static target and 1 session with a dynamic target.

STUDY 302

This study was designed to examine a dynamic target set that had yielded a particularly high hit rate in the previous studies. The study involved experienced participants who had had no prior experience with this particular target set and who were unaware that only one target set was being sampled. Each served as the receiver in a single session. The design called for the study to continue until 15 sessions were completed with each of the targets, but only 25 sessions had been completed when the laboratory closed.
The 11 studies just described comprise all sessions conducted during the 6.5 years of the program. There is no "file drawer" of unreported sessions.


Results

OVERALL HIT RATE

As in the earlier meta-analysis, receivers' ratings were analyzed by tallying the proportion of hits achieved and calculating the exact binomial probability for the observed number of hits compared with the chance expectation of .25. As noted earlier, 240 participants contributed 354 sessions. For reasons discussed later, Study 302 is analyzed separately, reducing the number of sessions in the primary analysis to 329.
As Table 1 shows, there were 106 hits in the 329 sessions, a hit rate of 32% (z = 2.89, p = .002, one-tailed), with a 95% confidence interval from 30% to 35%. This corresponds to an effect size (*pi*) of .59, with a 95% confidence interval from .53 to .64.

Table 1 also shows that when Studies 104 and 105 are combined and re-divided into Studies 104/105(a) and 104/105(b), 9 of the 10 studies yield positive effect sizes, with a mean effect size (*pi*) of .61, t(9) = 4.44, p = .0008, one-tailed. This effect size is equivalent to a four-alternative hit rate of 34%. Alternatively, if Studies 104 and 105 are retained as separate studies, 9 of the 10 studies again yield positive effect sizes, with a mean effect size (*pi*) of .62, (9) = 3.73, p = .002, one- tailed. This effect size is equivalent to a four-alternative hit rate of 35% and is identical to that found across the 28 studies of the earlier meta-analysis.[Footnote 6]

Considered together, sessions with novice participants (Studies 101-105) yielded a statistically significant hit rate of 32.5% (p = .009), which is not significantly different from the 31.6% hit rate achieved by experienced participants in Studies 201 and 301. And finally, each of the eight experimenters also achieved a positive effect size, with a mean *pi* of .60, t(7) = 3.44, p = .005, one-tailed.

(See website for actual table)

Swami, I'm particularly interested in what you have to say about this, as you are always looking for scientific proof of paranormal phenomena.  I hope you haven't seen this before, and you found it interesting! :smile:

Peace,

RebelSteve


 


--------------------
Namaste.


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InvisibleSwami
Eggshell Walker

Registered: 01/19/00
Posts: 15,413
Loc: In the hen house
Re: The Autoganzfeld Studies [Re: RebelSteve33]
    #1655195 - 06/23/03 03:17 AM (13 years, 5 months ago)

This would take too long to fully refute, but here are some key points:

1. Believers of PSI have long maintained that some people are clearly superior in ability than others. These tests do not support that. Can't have it both ways.

2. Many studies have been done where PSI was lower than chance. For obvious reasons, these studies either were not published or are not flaunted by the believers as equally meaningful.

3. There are a great many questions as to potential flaws in methodology and scoring.

4. Statistical anomoly in the short and even medium run means very little. Playing backgammon for 25 years, I can attest to amazing hot & cold dice runs that could easily be misinterpreted. I lost a major championship on a 10,000,000 to 1 combination of 14 rolls. Was the PK adept able to repeat his performance? No, because his play was weak and on one particular day, he got "lucky".

5. The bottom line always is that Las Vegas exists and the casinos are fabulously wealthy.

If one could control the dice or ball on the roulette wheel or "know" what was coming next on the poker slot machines, the city would shut down.

What about pure telepathy? World class poker players can "read" another by body language or "tells", but not their minds directly. Not one claims this ability. It takes a long study of mathematics, odds, psychology and table time to become an expert. A gifted telepath would need none of those skills if he/she could "see" the other's cards.

Would anyone care to put up BIG MONEY in match with a world class poker player with no psi ability against a novice with second-sight?


--------------------



The proof is in the pudding.


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InvisibleRebelSteve33
Amateur Mycologist
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Registered: 05/28/02
Posts: 3,774
Loc: Arizona
Re: The Autoganzfeld Studies [Re: Swami]
    #1655254 - 06/23/03 03:55 AM (13 years, 5 months ago)

all very good points!

and here i thought you might let me down...

you rock, swamster! :laugh:


--------------------
Namaste.


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OfflineRhizoid
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Registered: 01/23/00
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Re: The Autoganzfeld Studies [Re: RebelSteve33]
    #1655536 - 06/23/03 06:25 AM (13 years, 5 months ago)

Here is an article that points out a couple of possible flaws in the autoganzfeld experiments. Two quotes:

Quote:

The experimenter, who was not so well shielded from the sender as the subject, interacted with the subject during the judging process. Indeed, during half of the trials the experimenter deliberately prompted the subject during the judging procedure. This means that the judgments from trial to trial were not strictly independent.




Quote:

All of the significant hitting was done on the second or later appearance of a target. If we examined the guesses against just the first occurrences of targets, the result is consistent with chance. Moreover, the hit rate rose systematically with each additional occurrence of a target. This suggests to me a possible flaw.





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Offlinegnrm23
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Registered: 08/30/99
Posts: 6,481
Loc: n. e. OH, USSA
Last seen: 2 months, 28 days
Re: The Autoganzfeld Studies [Re: Rhizoid]
    #1655657 - 06/23/03 09:05 AM (13 years, 5 months ago)

goats & sheep...


--------------------
old enough to know better
not old enough to care


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Offlinejohnnyfive
Burning withCircles!
Registered: 07/02/02
Posts: 886
Loc: Hell
Last seen: 12 years, 6 months
Re: The Autoganzfeld Studies [Re: Swami]
    #1655786 - 06/23/03 02:35 PM (13 years, 5 months ago)

1. Wrong, i for one believe that everyone can do anything, that noone is stronger than another, however there are those that learn/evolve fast which may make some difference. Currently most don't know that all is possible with all people. There is no limits for anyone!

2. You haven't researched enough.

3. Sure, just watch variables

4. Even working with psi, sometimes one can't do shit. Even if he is expierenced

5. Understand most of this stuff, is "underground"

With telepathy if the person in question doesn't want his mind read then he can simply block the psi (telepathy). It's called psionic shielding.


--------------------
And the gameshow host rings the buzzer (brrnnntt) oh and now you get a face full of face!


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InvisibleSwami
Eggshell Walker

Registered: 01/19/00
Posts: 15,413
Loc: In the hen house
Re: The Autoganzfeld Studies [Re: johnnyfive]
    #1655930 - 06/23/03 03:34 PM (13 years, 5 months ago)

There is no limits for anyone!

With telepathy if the person in question doesn't want his mind read then he can simply block the psi (telepathy). It's called psionic shielding.


Sounds like a limitation to me.


--------------------



The proof is in the pudding.


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InvisibletrendalM
point of inflection
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Folding@home Statistics
Registered: 04/17/01
Posts: 19,378
Loc: Ontario, Canada
Re: The Autoganzfeld Studies [Re: Swami]
    #1656008 - 06/23/03 04:11 PM (13 years, 5 months ago)

And you know that's not what he was talking about. Two different points!


--------------------
You're here because you know something.
What you know you can't explain,
But you feel it;
You've felt it your entire life.
That there's something wrong with the world.
You don't know what it is, but it's there....
Like a splinter in your mind...
Driving you mad.


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InvisibleSwami
Eggshell Walker

Registered: 01/19/00
Posts: 15,413
Loc: In the hen house
Re: The Autoganzfeld Studies [Re: trendal]
    #1656017 - 06/23/03 04:14 PM (13 years, 5 months ago)

How is an easily deflected "power" not a limitation?


--------------------



The proof is in the pudding.


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InvisibletrendalM
point of inflection
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Folding@home Statistics
Registered: 04/17/01
Posts: 19,378
Loc: Ontario, Canada
Re: The Autoganzfeld Studies [Re: Swami]
    #1656020 - 06/23/03 04:16 PM (13 years, 5 months ago)

Well seeing as how johnnyfive's original statement had to do with the ability to learn, and was not a statement as to specific limitations in the system...


--------------------
You're here because you know something.
What you know you can't explain,
But you feel it;
You've felt it your entire life.
That there's something wrong with the world.
You don't know what it is, but it's there....
Like a splinter in your mind...
Driving you mad.


Edited by trendal (06/23/03 04:17 PM)


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Offlinejohnnyfive
Burning withCircles!
Registered: 07/02/02
Posts: 886
Loc: Hell
Last seen: 12 years, 6 months
Re: The Autoganzfeld Studies [Re: Swami]
    #1658438 - 06/24/03 02:12 PM (13 years, 5 months ago)

lol, no swami, its like this

From what ive read that psionic shielding is a MUST, for psions/physics. That how does one function a normal day without being bombarded with others thoughts? How does an empath (emotional telepathy) get through there days with out being bombarded with others emotions?

Psionics who be the study of gaining additional information about one's enviroment, and or altering reality. Through the gaining of additional information about the enviroment, one must learn to filter unwanted info.

If you were telepathic would you want just anyone reading your thoughts or you absorbing every thought with in a radius around you. From what i hear that alot of telepathy is noise (not actually mind to mind communication, just random thoughts) one must focus with the help of filters to actually "get the message". (this is if one is experienced i guess)


--------------------
And the gameshow host rings the buzzer (brrnnntt) oh and now you get a face full of face!


Edited by johnnyfive (06/24/03 02:16 PM)


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