The Influence of a Belief in ESP on the Prediction of Coi Tosses THE INFLUENCE OF A BELIEF IN ESP ON THE PREDICTION OF COINTOSSESABSTRACTThis study examined the effects of belief in Extrasensory Perception(ESP) on precognition accuracy in 850 undergraduate students.
The 520?believers? and 330 ?non-believers?, defined by a single questionnaire itemwere asked to predict the outcomes of 50 coin tosses. For both groups,the percentage of correct predictions did not differ from that expected bychance (50%). Thus, no effect of ESP belief on precognition wasdemonstrated. Indeed, the results showed no evidence of precognition.
Discussion focused on problems of group definition.Anecdotal reports of ?mind reading? and clairvoyance have persistedthroughout history. It was not until the late 1920s, however, that anattempt was made to examine the existence of such paranormal abilitiesin the laboratory using proper objective methods (Rhine, J.B., 1935).Rhine referred to these abilities collectively as Extrasensory Perception(ESP) because they supposedly occurred independently of the knownsenses.
Rhine used naive participants in his experiments, asking them to guessthe symbols contained in a special deck of cards. Three types of ESPwere examined in this way: (1) Telepathy, where the participantattempted to read the experimenter?s mind in order to perceive the identityof the card; (2) Clairvoyance, where the participant sought to identify thecard which was unknown to the experimenter; and esp, participants, believers, study, chance, non-believers, belief, rhine, performed, research, level, coin, better, toss, thus, performance, perform, perception, nonbelievers, group, experiments, criticism, correct, below, two, subjects, scores, response, question, present, precognition, possible, out, one, mean, made