Fun remote viewing experiment

  1. Fun "remote viewing" experiment

    Hi guys! I'm happy to be back in the forums after so long :)
    So here's my story. I personally define "paranormal" as hypothetical "facts" on which we lack info for proving/disapproving/explaining. So I was looking around some "psychic forums" for fun. I'll spare you the backstory, but I opened a thread of a psychic game. In that,
    (1) a participant chose an item and uploaded a photo of it, then
    (2) he/she hid the item somewhere in their house
    (3) the other participants tried to locate it using their "psychic powers". The winner was the next to choose an object.
    The participants were mostly amateurs who were having fun, but there were a lot of interesting moments, like one time we predicted the object and place before even the person uploading the pic. Among a lot of junk readings, of course.
    Now, I was wondering, if I were to study the general accuracy what parameters should I set? I'm not actually trying to prove something to the world, as it was not under any pre-designed research restrictions, but it would be an interesting thing to do anyway (there is a lot of material too, over 1,000 posts of replies). And I am just very, very curious about the results I would find out.
    So, first thoughts:
    -some participants seem to be more accurate than others
    -some guessing rounds have more participants than others
    -some locations have more stuff to guess than others (=more possible to guess details by luck)
    -I could get a "mostly right/mostly wrong" way of deciding about each post or a % percentage of the details that are right
    -I wonder how can I find a way to decide the expected percentage of "correct" answers.
    Any ideas?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 26, 2011
  2. jcsd
  3. Fredrik

    Fredrik 10,251
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Re: Fun "remote viewing" experiment

    The only way to ensure that the results can be evaluated is to design the test so that the contestants are answering multiple-choice questions. The correct answer must be chosen at random. For example, find two (or six) objects you can use, tell the contestants what the objects are, and choose which one to use by flipping a coin (or rolling a die).

    Each contestant can then be assigned a "score" defined as 1 divided by the probability that someone who's just guessing will get at least as many correct answers as this person actually got.

    It's not hard to do these tests correctly, but people always choose to do them wrong because they prefer to get a "fun" result.
     
  4. Ryan_m_b

    Staff: Mentor

    Re: Fun "remote viewing" experiment

    You'd have to do some serious statistical analysis on this, I would advise you consult a statistician if you really want to do it. It should also be important to keep the people as isolated and unaware of what is going on as possible, this is especially important for the experimenters as well.

    If I was going to test someone's ability to "remote view" I would get a series of objects, something like a deck of cards and a sealed box. I'd get someone to place a card in the box and seal it without me knowing what card was taken. Then I would present the box to the psychic and ask them to tell me the number and suit of the card in the box. I would repeat this multiple times with three groups;

    1) Self-confessed psychics trying to remote view
    2) Normal people trying to remote view
    3) A random guess group

    Then I would compare the scores of these three groups and do a test to see if there are any statistically significant differences between the groups. I would be willing to bet that all three show a similar score.
     
  5. Re: Fun "remote viewing" experiment

    If you are looking at testing/debunking "psychic powers", make sure you keep the person who hid it way away, in case they give away the answer with their expression subconsciously and subconsciously pick it up. Unless, of course, that is what you are looking for in the first place.
     
  6. Re: Fun "remote viewing" experiment

    Celeb debunker James Randi has a $1m challenge to any psychic who can demonstrate abilities such as these. On his website you can read test conditions that they used to determine proof of success. They're both interesting and thorough.

    It's also interesting that Randi has a background in both stage magic and science so he knows to watch for a few tricks that mathematicians or physicists don't. He can for example bend spoons by sleight of hand, so there's little chance a prestigiator could fool him.

    http://www.randi.org/site/
     
  7. Ryan_m_b

    Staff: Mentor

    Re: Fun "remote viewing" experiment

    A brilliant example of that is when Randi exposed Uri Geller. In this vid he explains how and shows what he did in the infamous tonight show where Geller suddenly lost all his powers;
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M9w7jHYriFo
     
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