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Interpersonal psi — exploring the role of the experimenter and the experimental climate in a ganzfeld telepathy task

By S J Sherwood, C A Roe, N J Holt and Stuart Wilson


This study examined the relationship between participants' presession perceptions of mood and expectations of success, rapport and the quality of the interactions with the experimenter, and the subsequent outcome of the ganzfeld telepathy sessions. A total of 38 ganzfeld telepathy trials were conducted by three different experimenters using an automated free-response testing system. Participants consisted mainly of volunteers from the local community and the experimenters' friends and acquaintances. Overall psi task performance, based upon ratings of the target relative to the dummy video clips, was slightly and non-significantly below chance (mean z - -.015, SD = .81, one-sample t(37)=-.11, p=.90, two-tailed r=-.002); there were no significant differences between the experimenters. The findings concerning potential links between subsequent psi task performance and participants' and experimenters' ratings of their pre-session personal feelings and expectations and their perceptions of the rapport and quality of interaction between all parties are somewhat unclear and, in some cases, contradictory. More qualitative analyses of, for example, filmed interactions between participants and psi-inhibitory and psi-conducive experimenters might identify more reliable predictors of psi performance. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2009 APA, all rights reserved) (journal abstract

Publisher: European Journal of Parapsychology
Year: 2005
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