Activity 4  

Dr. R.G.Tonks

  In this week's activity you will be performing an experiment on Extra Sensory Perception (ESP). You will need to find a partner or helper for this task as well as a set of playing cards. There are three types of ESP that you will be testing in this study (Telepathy, Clairvoyance, and Precognition). Telepathy is communication between minds while clairvoyance is seeing what is not visible or present. Precognition is knowing the future.

As a researcher you will need to find another person to help you with this study. Each person should have an opportunity to perform each of these tasks at least once and you will record the correct and incorrect responses (hits & misses). Take a regular deck of playing cards and remove the Ace, King, Queen, Jack & 10 from each of the four suits. Be sure to show the participants these twenty playing cards and indicate that the denomination (Ace, King, Queen, Jack & 10) is the important feature, not the suit (clubs, diamonds, hearts and spades) .

Telepathy testing involves having one person in the pair look at a card and concentrate on the design for about 15 seconds and have another person try to "read their mind." Record the responses in the first table below; later indicate hits (correct) or misses (incorrect). After each trial return the card and shuffle.  (If you perform well on this task, or on any of the other tasks, try to get both the denomination and the suit together.)

Clairvoyance testing involves having the shuffled deck of cards placed one by one face down on the table. The reader is to identify the cards without anyone looking at them. Record the symbols (denomination) that are 'perceived' in the second table below as in the first experiment, then score them after the entire set has been revealed. In other words, mark down what the "reader" perceived each card to be before any cards are looked at. Alternatively this can be done one by one "with replacement and shuffling" before the next card is placed face down on the table.

Precognition testing involves the prediction of cards before they are shuffled and placed on the table. Be sure to record the denomination in the third table below and score the set for hits and misses

Repeat the three types of ESP studies in order that each person has an opportunity to do each one. If you find that someone shows special abilities, make the task more difficult by trying to get both the suit and the denomination (name) of the card.
1   11   1   11   1   11  
2   12   2   12   2   12  
3   13   3   13   3   13  
4   14   4   14   4   14  
5   15   5   15   5   15  
6   16   6   16   6   16  
7   17   7   17   7   17  
8   18   8   18   8   18  
9   19   9   19   9   19  
10   20   10   20   10   20  
H   M   H   M   H   M  

To complete the activity make a file to drop in the drop box for Activity 5 with answers to the following questions:

What is the probability of getting a hit if one simply guesses?

How many hits and misses did you (& your partner) get on each task?

What was the average rate of hits and misses?

Did anyone exhibit ESP?

Can you prove the existence of ESP?

Why or Why not?

Hint: If a person scores a statistically significant larger number of hits than misses (than is expected by pure chance) then we can be confident that something improbable is happening but we still don't know why. Aside from real ESP ability what else might influence the results of a study like this? Critical Thinking Guidlines