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Journal of Personality and Social Psychology Feeling the Future: Experimental Evidence for Anomalous Retroactive Influences on Cognition and Affect...

Influences on Cognition and Affect http://caps.ucsf.edu/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/bem2011.pdf


1. Do you think it provides convincing evidence for (or against) ESP?, begin by summarizing the method and results of the study
2.Overall, was this study well designed (e.g., free of obvious confounding variables, causal conclusions from correlations, obvious experimenter biases, etc.)?
3.Did the authors conclude that they had found evidence for ESP? If so, do you think something other than ESP could explain the study's findings? What? If not, do you think something other than absence of ESP could explain the study's findings? What?
4.Do you think this study is likely to meet the appropriate standards of scientific research ? Why or why not?

Journal of Personality and Social Psychology Feeling the Future: Experimental Evidence for Anomalous Retroactive Influences on Cognition and Affect Daryl J. Bem Online First Publication, January 31, 2011. doi: 10.1037/a0021524 CITATION Bem, D. J. (2011, January 31). Feeling the Future: Experimental Evidence for Anomalous Retroactive Influences on Cognition and Affect. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology . Advance online publication. doi: 10.1037/a0021524
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Feeling the Future: Experimental Evidence for Anomalous Retroactive Influences on Cognition and Affect Daryl J. Bem Cornell University The term psi denotes anomalous processes of information or energy transfer that are currently unex- plained in terms of known physical or biological mechanisms. Two variants of psi are precognition (conscious cognitive awareness) and premonition (affective apprehension) of a future event that could not otherwise be anticipated through any known inferential process. Precognition and premonition are themselves special cases of a more general phenomenon: the anomalous retroactive influence of some future event on an individual’s current responses, whether those responses are conscious or noncon- scious, cognitive or affective. This article reports 9 experiments, involving more than 1,000 participants, that test for retroactive influence by “time-reversing” well-established psychological effects so that the individual’s responses are obtained before the putatively causal stimulus events occur. Data are presented for 4 time-reversed effects: precognitive approach to erotic stimuli and precognitive avoidance of negative stimuli; retroactive priming; retroactive habituation; and retroactive facilitation of recall. The mean effect size ( d ) in psi performance across all 9 experiments was 0.22, and all but one of the experiments yielded statistically significant results. The individual-difference variable of stimulus seek- ing, a component of extraversion, was significantly correlated with psi performance in 5 of the experiments, with participants who scored above the midpoint on a scale of stimulus seeking achieving a mean effect size of 0.43. Skepticism about psi, issues of replication, and theories of psi are also discussed. Keywords: psi, parapsychology, ESP, precognition, retrocausation The term psi denotes anomalous processes of information or energy transfer that are currently unexplained in terms of known physical or biological mechanisms. The term is purely descriptive; it neither implies that such phenomena are paranormal nor con- notes anything about their underlying mechanisms. Alleged psi phenomena include telepathy , the apparent transfer of information from one person to another without the mediation of any known channel of sensory communication; clairvoyance (sometimes called remote viewing ), the apparent perception of objects or events that do not provide a stimulus to the known senses; psy- chokinesis , the apparent influence of thoughts or intentions on physical or biological processes; and precognition (conscious cog- nitive awareness) or premonition (affective apprehension) of a future event that could not otherwise be anticipated through any known inferential process. Precognition and premonition are themselves special cases of a more general phenomenon: the anomalous retroactive influence of some future event on an individual’s current responses, whether those responses are conscious or nonconscious, cognitive or affec- tive. This article reports nine experiments designed to test for such retroactive influence by “time-reversing” several well-established psychological effects, so that the individual’s responses are ob- tained before the putatively causal stimulus events occur. Psi is a controversial subject, and most academic psychologists do not believe that psi phenomena are likely to exist. A survey of 1,100 college professors in the United States found that psychol- ogists were much more skeptical about the existence of psi than were their colleagues in the natural sciences, the other social sciences, or the humanities (Wagner & Monnet, 1979). In fact, 34% of the psychologists in the sample declared psi to be impos- sible, a view expressed by only 2% of all other respondents. Although our colleagues in other disciplines would probably agree with the oft-quoted dictum that “extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence,” we psychologists are more likely to be familiar with the methodological and statistical requirements for sustaining such claims and aware of previous claims that failed either to meet those requirements or to survive the test of success- ful replication. Several other reasons for our greater skepticism are discussed by Bem and Honorton (1994, pp. 4–5). There are two major challenges for psi researchers, one empir- ical and one theoretical. The major empirical challenge, of course, is to provide well-controlled demonstrations of psi that can be replicated by independent investigators. That is the major goal in the research program reported in this article. Accordingly, the I am grateful to the students who served as head research assistants and laboratory coordinators for their enthusiasm and dedication to this contro- versial enterprise: Ben Edelman, Rebecca Epstein, Dan Fishman, Jamison Hahn, Eric Hoffman, Kelly Lin, Brianne Mintern, Brittany Terner, and Jade Wu. I am also indebted to the 30 other students who served as friendly and reliable experimenters over the course of this research program. Dean Radin, senior scientist at the Institute of Noetic Sciences (IONS), and David Sherman, professor of psychology at the University of California, Santa Barbara, provided valuable guidance in the preparation of this article. Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Daryl J. Bem, Department of Psychology, Uris Hall, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853. E-mail: [email protected] Journal of Personality and Social Psychology © 2011 American Psychological Association 2011, Vol. ●● , No. , 000–000 0022-3514/11/$12.00 DOI: 10.1037/a0021524 1
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influences on cognition and affect.doc

1. Do you think it provides convincing evidence for (or against) ESP?, begin by summarizing
the method and results of the study
2.Overall, was this study well designed (e.g., free of obvious...

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