Extrasensory Perception: "The 6th Sense"

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Extrasensory Perception (ESP) the reception of information not previously gained from your physical senses. It is also know as the "6th Sense". The three types of ESP are Precognition, Telepathy, and Clairvoyance (132). Precognition is predicting future events, Telepathy is reading other people's minds, and Clairvoyance is knowing where and object is when its hidden from view. Joseph Rhine was the first scientist to actually study ESP in the 1930's. He used the famous Zener cards (as shown below) to test whether this "6th sense" actually existed. When using the cards he would ask the subject to guess which card was going to appear next, what card he was thinking of, and what card was hidden from view. His results were positive with his subjects getting the answers right 7 out of 25 times, which beat the 5 out of 25 a person would normally get with chance performance. However, since then many experiments have been conducted and Rhine's results have yet to be replicated. It is hypothesized that during Rhine's experiments he failed to realize that at times its easy to see the symbol on the back of the card and also that Rhine failed to randomize the cards every time.

Since so many experiments have tested the claims related to ESP and shown negative results, you would think that hardly anyone would believe in such nonsense. However, close to 41% of American adults believe in ESP and over two-thirds of Americans say they have experienced ESP themselves. I have to admit, I am apart of the large two-thirds. Almost 5 years ago, I had a dream that my mom got into a car accident and sure enough, two days later she did get into a pretty bad wreck. I don't think I have any special powers but I do think ESP exists and that it can happen to anyone. It also makes me wonder since so many people have a direct experience with ESP, why can't scientists find any proof for it? Scientists believe the main reason why people believe in ESP is due to illusionary correlation, which is when we tend to only remember the weird coincidences rather than the thousands of times when nothing happened.

Zener ESP cards.gif

If you want to see if you have ESP you should try playing this fun game I found.

Source: Lilienfeld, Scott. Psychology. United States: Pearson Learning Solutions, 2010. Print

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This page contains a single entry by guinn005 published on September 29, 2011 1:56 PM.

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