I Can Read Your Mind...I Think

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I can see the future. I can read your mind. And I can view hidden objects. In other words, I believe in ESP. Extrasensory perception, the perception of events outside the known channels of sensation, is a phenomenon believed by humans since the early 1930s, courtesy of Joseph B. Rhine and his card study magnifying how random people could predict cards (precognition), which card another person had in mind (telepathy), and which card could not be seen (clairvoyance). And by some sort of miracle, Rhine's study spread like wild fire, with people buying into the idea left and right. But for some reason, humans love to fall prisoner of the moment and blatantly disregard logic. In Rhine's study regarding ESP, which challenged conventional wisdom, seven correct cards out of 25 were predicted on average. For those keeping track at home, remember, extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. Is seven out of 25 extraordinary?! Logic would say no. But being the typical "prisoner of the moment" us homosapiens tend to be, studies such as these lead us to believe we can read minds and predict the future. The bottom line comes down to this: before you dedicate yourself to ESP and soothsaying, make sure you have undoubting evidence (greater than a card game) supporting your allegiance to such wild claims.

ESP Institute.jpg


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Is 7/25 higher than you would predict by chance? Do you think that makes it extraordinary? For future posts, you might want to include a link to further reading on the topic.

It's hard to believe any type of study that results in it working 7 out of 25 times, but yet, somehow, people still firmly believe in ESP. Although ESP isn't quite as prevalent as it once was, its practice can still be seen quite often. ESP is certainly an extraordinary claim, therefore requiring some very extraordinary evidence, which is something we haven't seen much of.

In my childhood, I hoped to have such a miracle power that I could read people's mind and take an advantage action in any situations. I learned that ESP has been popular in 1930s, but people of no logic still believe this power, even though any concrete evidence has not yet been made to support this idea. However, I wish one day I am able to use such a power to have some fun!!!!

What do you think about the possibility of people who can read body language so well that their subjects feel as if their minds are indeed being read? Kind of an abstract idea, I know. But some studies have proven that ESP should technically exist. I personally don't believe this to be true, but those who can perform "ESP" may just start broad enough and poke around enough to get down to a more solid idea, so that the subjects believe their thoughts have been broadcast.

The idea of ESP is something that is hard to wrap our minds around. While most people say they don't believe in it, I think there are still people who will believe someone who says they have ESP, even if the event that they claim happened and that supposedly supports ESP was just a coincidence. I do agree, however, that we have not discovered enough extraordinary evidence, or much evidence at all, to support the idea of extrasensory perception.

ESP seems to be something that we may never understand as humans. While we can test and hypothesize all we want, maybe there are some sorts of phenomena we will never be able to understand. However, I do believe that as humans, we want to just imagine that we have powers or another sense beyond what we can comprehend which would explain a pair of best friends saying exactly the same thing at the same time simply because of how well they know each other yet claim it to be "ESP." Personally, there is not nearly enough evidence to make a sound conclusion but I think there will always be some sort of extrasensory perception we will never understand.

How come dogs or many animals can detect an earthquake before it happens? Do you think that the animals could have ESP?

I think that ESP is a very interesting concept. I agree with the statement above that I think this may be a phenomena that will never fully be understood. However, I think that those that truly believe in it and research it, need to come up with some sort of concrete evidence to support their claims.

By simple taking this test while knowing the likelihood of each of the cards in the deck might influence the results. If 5-out-of-25 is the statistical average and a taker is truly skeptical of the test, then they might be aiming to get 5-out-of-25. For the sake of argument, a true skeptic that has the ability to gain unavailable information would unintentionally use the gained information to get a 5-out-of-25.

I would like to see a study that compares skeptics and believes in terms of proportions of 5-out-of-25s, not that I believe such ideas.

Guessing 7/25 doesn't seem like a very high number. Personally, I don't believe in ESP and psychics etc. I read in the book about their process of giving a reading to someone. They start by a base reading, using very broad questions that could point to possible scenarios experienced by the client. The questions they ask are left open for interpretation by the client. Therefore, someone may be tricked into believing that they person can read their mind. Doesn't seem to extraordinary to me, but just my opinion.

Even though it goes against logic, there was a point in time that the idea of ESP fascinated me. In 6th grade I did my own "esp" study. Now looking back, I know it was merely chance that other students were getting any correct, but it was very cool at the time.

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This page contains a single entry by rezax012 published on February 5, 2012 11:56 PM.

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