Experimental evaluations of a feedback-reinforcement model for dyadic ESP

Stevens, Paul (2004). Experimental evaluations of a feedback-reinforcement model for dyadic ESP. Journal of Parapsychology, 68(1) pp. 65–91.


A model for certain instances of dyadic extrasensory perception (ESP) is proposed wherein a 'psi stimulus' is generated by a sender in response to real-time feedback of target-relevant receiver mentation. This stimulus need act only to reinforce current mentation by momentarily changing physiological arousal, reducing the need for complex information transfer and highlighting the idea that psi may be a blanket term for a variety of information channels utilising different mechanisms rather than a unitary phenomenon. Experimental evaluation of the model involved two extensions to the standard Ganzfeld design: (1) in one condition the sender received false feedback of receiver mentation; (2) receiver skin-conductance was recorded during mentation. No evidence of ESP was found based on target-rank (pi = 0.49) but the predicted skinconductance response to target relevant mentation was observed, with significantly higher arousal for relevant mentation than in baseline periods (p=0.04, 1-t). Arousal was increased in both conditions,
indicating a response to the sender's perception rather than directly to target relevant mentation. The True Feedback condition showed a surprising negative correlation with magnetic variance (p=0.06 but opposite to prediction), and only the False Feedback condition showed the predicted negative correlation with magnetic field intensity (p=0.002, 1-t).

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