A series of experiments
By: Tricia Robertson and Archie E Roy
We are pleased to announce that our third paper has been published in the January edition of the JSPR.
The authors have, over the past five years, set out to statistically test the sceptical hypothesis that “All mediums’ statements are so general that they could apply to anyone”.
In paper 1, a series of experiments was carried out using 440 participants and 10 mediums. The reduced data showed that the odds against chance that the sceptical hypothesis was correct were millions to one. This experimentation was carried out in a face-to-face manner, which meant that the mediums could see the audiences. Quite correctly, a sceptical view would be that the mediums gathered “clues” from body language and verbal response as they gave the readings. Also, that the audience knew who the recipients were, and may not subsequently fill out the data sheets with any real interest.
Paper 2 describes a strict protocol that would eliminate body language and verbal responses from future experimentation. A randomised seat numbering system is also described which also means that the experimenter who actually numbers the seats cannot possibly know who will sit on any particular seat. Along with this, the experimenter who reduces the initial data does not know which seat numbers have been pre-selected or therefore who are the intended recipients that sat on these seats.
Papers 1 and 2 are published in the JSPR April 2001 and July 2001 and can be found on the SPR web site http://www.spr.ac.uk in the on line library.
Paper 3 describes the results achieved when the strict protocol is applied to a carefully designed set of experiments. The set of experiments is also designed to isolate factors, such as “Will a person accept more statements if they think or know that they are actually the recipient?” “ Will a person accept fewer statements as relevant in their life if they think or know that they are not the intended recipient?” All statements are singular and the response tick is either yes or no.
This third paper covers 13 different experimental sessions carried out throughout the U K, with participants always gathered by a third party. The average number of participants at a session was approximately 25. Usually six experiments were carried out at each session. The authors identified 15 categories of participant. Let the capital letter be the reality, and the lower case letter be the belief e.g. Recipient is R; Non recipient N. A recipient who believes that he/she is the recipient and who is actually the recipient would be designated by the symbols Rr An actual recipient who believes that they are not the recipient is Rn A recipient who does not know whether or not they are a recipient would be Rq
There is also a category P, which is used in the experimental sessions where no actual medium has been used (although the audience think that there is a medium). This allows responses to be analysed where no psychic factor from a medium is at work.
Using statistical analysis the authors were able to evaluate the responses of every category and examine the effects, if any, of psychological factors.
As this is a brief overview, I will just say that even in triple (arguably quadruple) blind conditions the intended recipients’ acceptance levels continued to be higher than non- recipients, the odds against chance being a million to one. We maintain that we have a repeatable experiment, providing the protocol is adhered to and GOOD mediums are used.
Note: Our results incorporate all of the mediums who were used; if we had only given the results from the “superstars” the odds against chance would have been even greater. No amendments were made to any data sheets after the experimental sessions ended, even if someone “remembered” something as being correct after they had given a NO response – it remained as a NO.