Do Humans Have the Ability of Precognition?

26 September, 2011 at 20:07 | Posted in Body & Mind, Science, Spirituality | Leave a comment
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By Ginger Chan
Epoch Times Staff

Social psychologist Daryl Bem of Cornell University created quite a buzz in the field of parapsychology last year when he claimed he had evidence that future events can reach back in time to affect a person’s behavior.

The final version of his study was published online on Jan. 31, 2011 in the leading social psychology publication, The Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. Even before the official print, believers and cynics had already been fussing over his findings and debating the general existence of psi, the umbrella term for any process of information or energy transfer that is inexplicable with currently known physical or biological principles.

In the paper, Bem details nine experiments that he led, all involving well-established procedures utilized in the field of social psychology. The critical point, however, was that Bem “time-reversed” the procedures, meaning that instead of exposing participants to a stimulus (usually considered the cause of a person’s behavior) and then measuring the reaction (the effect), Bem recorded participants’ behaviors first and then supplied the stimuli.

In Bem’s first experiment, the major focus point of mass media, participants were presented with an image of two curtains on a computer screen and asked to guess which curtain was concealing a picture. In actuality, the image and its position were only determined by the computer’s randomization program after the participant made his decision.

“From the participants’ point of view, this procedure appears to test for clairvoyance,” according to the article. “In fact, however, neither the picture itself nor its left/right position was determined until after the participant recorded his or her guess, making the procedure a test of detecting a future event (i.e., a test of precognition).”

Bem found that in cases where the computer had later generated an erotic image, participants had guessed the correct position 53.1 percent of the time. Although small, the difference between his finding and 50 percent (the expected percentage of correct guesses based purely on chance), is statistically significant, argued Bem, which suggested that, overall, participants’ correct guesses were at least partially due to something other than chance.

Read more: Do Humans Have the Ability of Precognition? | Science | Epoch Times


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