Thursday, January 06, 2011

ESP exists (possibly)!

. . . or "strong evidence" in favour of the existence of extrasensory perception. The New York Times supplies the details here. Expect this to dominate dinner conversations over the next days and weeks . . . . . Readers may be interested in the journal article here at the centre of this story.

Now I knew a story like this might happen . . . .

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

This looks like more reasons to wonder skeptically about the scientific bona fides of social psych, which is more reason to wonder what X-phi really is.


But, hey I bet the X-phi people knew I was going to say this before I even said it.

ESP! ESP!

Neil said...

Readers should also note the failed attempts at replication
http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1699970
and the Bayesian reanalysis that makes the effect go away
http://www.ruudwetzels.com/articles/Wagenmakersetal_subm.pdf

Anonymous said...

There may be problems with the research methods of social psych, but since those are the research methods used in psychology and social science in general, people suspecting some fault in these methods should be suspicious of huge amount of results in these sciences, rather than expressing their skepticism towards this particular result in such a sweeping way.

Anonymous said...

Re Neil: the Bayesian reanalysis is intersting, and should be taken seriously, despite the silliness of footnote 2:

"Some argue that modern theories of physics are consistent with precognition. (...) But even if the claim were correct, the fact that an assertion is consistent with modern physics does not make it true. The assertion that the CIA bombed the twin towers is consistent with modern physics, but this fact alone does not make the assertion true."

Nobody argues that precognition is true because it is consistent with physics. It is a common objection to precognition that it is inconsistent with physics. In response to that, some people claim that it isn't in conflict with physics. It's ridiculous to pretend that this statement is intended as a direct argument for the truth of precognition.