Testing to see whether participants with high levels of belief in psi can precall highly emotive images
Vernon, D. 2017. Testing to see whether participants with high levels of belief in psi can precall highly emotive images.
Precall refers to the explicit recall of target material, such as words or images, which incorporates the unusual notion that practice sessions occurring after the recall test will influence previous recall performance (see Bem et al., 2015). However, a recent attempt to elicit such an effect using arousing images was unsuccessful (Vernon, 2017). Nevertheless, it was noted that the failure to elicit a potential precall effect may have been due to the lower than average levels of belief in psi exhibited by the participants and that the images used were not sufficiently arousing. Such a view would be consistent with research showing that belief can be an important predictor of success in psi type experiments (see, Parker, 2000) and highly emotive images may be more effective at eliciting precognitive effects (see, Radin, 2004). Hence, the current study addressed these points by selectively recruiting participants from the College of Psychic Studies, London, with high levels of belief in psi, and utilising both positive and negative images that with higher ratings of arousal.
The prediction was that post-recall practise would lead to greater precall of those items practised compared to items not practised.
The design utilised an on-line precall study to present the emotive images and was completed by 107 participants classified as having high levels of belief in psi.
Comparison of recall accuracy between images that were subsequently repeated and those that were not showed no evidence of a precall effect. Nevertheless, post recall practise did improve recall performance. The failure to find any evidence of a precall effect is consistent with the claims and findings of others who take a more sceptical approach to psi based effects. Nevertheless, reflection on the methodology of the current experiment offers some speculative possibilities as to why no precall effect was elicited in this instance.
|Conference||41st SPR International Annual Conference|
|Funder||Society for Psychical Research|
|Publication process dates|
|Deposited||06 Sep 2017|
|03 Sep 2017|
|Accepted author manuscript|
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