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Title: Psychokinetic attempts on a random event based microcomputer test using imagery strategies
Author: Gissurarson, Loftur Reimar
ISNI:       0000 0001 3500 5766
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 1989
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This dissertation reports three pilot psychokinesis (PK) experiments and two imagery-based "training" PK experiments. The two imagery experiments attempted to increase PK scores (as measured by a computer test called "Synthia") of Ss through the practice of three visual-imagery strategies. In Synthia a trial is initiated by pressing the space-bar upon which the computer selects randomly one number. If this number corresponds to a target number randomly generated by the computer the trial is counted as a hit. A blue star appears on the computer screen and a beep sounds each time a hit is made in a feedback version of Synthia. In a nonfeedback version no such feedback is provided. The three strategies were process-oriented imagery (PO), goal-oriented imagery (GO), and end-oriented imagery (EO). In PO, Ss visualized energy building up inside their bodies and then sent it into the computer screen. In GO, Ss imagined the feedback (the beep and the star) provided for hits on the computer test. In EO, Ss visualized the final number of hits they wanted to achieve in each run on Synthia, and as shown on a display at the end of a 40-trial run. The three pilot studies were by and large conducted to test and refine the experimentation environment and the computer test. In the first imagery training study 24 selected Ss participated. Ss were divided into three groups of 8 Ss each. Each group practised one of the three imagery strategies on Synthia on six sessions. In the second imagery training study 52 selected Ss participated. Ss were divided into four groups of 13 Ss each. Three groups each practised one of the three imagery strategies on Synthia on four sessions. The fourth group was a control group which also did four sessions. Altogether 76 Ss participated in the two imagery experiments contributing to 352 "training" sessions. In both experiments the three imagery strategies resulted in neither significant PK scoring nor in an increase in PK scores over a period of time as had been predicted. The conclusion is drawn that PO, GO and EO do not work as a "training" method in a multi-session experimental set-up with a computer test such as the one employed. As predicted, Ss using PO spent significantly longer time on the PK task when they obtained feedback on their performance than in the absence of such feedback. Also as predicted, Ss using GO spent significantly longer time on the PK task in the presence of feedback than in the absence of feedback. This time effect was interpreted in terms of different degree of concentration. Three post-hoc findings were of interest: (1) In the latter imagery study, the control group increased marginally significantly (p=.051, 2-T) in total PK scores across sessions whereas the three imagery groups decreased nonsignificantly. Whilst acknowledging that this observation could be due to chance given the number of analyses conducted, a possible psi-based explanation discussed is that the experimenter psi-missed precognitively in deciding when to initiate the computer test. (2) In the second imagery experiment, the 27 "sheep" (those who believe in the existence of psi) showed a nonsignificant incline in PK scores between first and second half of the experiment, whereas the 12 "goats" (those who do not believe in the existence of psi) declined significantly (p=.009, 2-T). The difference between incline with sheep and decline with goats was significant (p=.007, 2-T). (3) Finally, an examination of 170 pilot / screening sessions indicated that the more Ss reported having had a PK experience the higher their PK scores tended to be on the computer test (an outcome of meta-analysis yielded z = 3.03, p=.001, 1-T). Three possible lines of research are suggested as a direct continuation of present experimentation.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Parapsychology][Mental imagery