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Title: The assessment of psychic claimants : an application of schema theory to the evaluation of strong psychic claims
Author: Wiseman, Richard
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 1992
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This thesis aims to construct, evaluate and apply a cognitive proto-model which accounts for the trickery involved in the fabrication of just one type of psychic ability namely; macro-PK. This cognitive proto-model describes how an observer analyses a demonstration of ostensible macro-PK. The model accounts for how an observer: construes such phenomena as either a magic trick or a display of genuine psychic ability, develops counter-explanations which account for how the phenomen may be fabricated, enforces measures designed to counter such trickery, and assesses the outcome of the demonstration. The proto-model is then used to categorise the strategems employed by magicians, and pseudo-psychics, to fabricate macro-PK. The thesis discusses how an observer may be deceived into: misconstruing a magic trick as genuine macro-PK, developing incorrect counter-explanations, employing ineffective safeguards against trickery, and incorrectly assessing the outcome of the demonstration. One small part of the model is then experimentally tested via one pilot study and two formal experiments, all concerned with the effect that observers' belief in psi has on the observation, and recall, of pseudo-psychic demonstrations. The proto-model is then used to produce recommendations for researchers wishing to investigate individuals claiming macro-PK ability. These recommendations are designed to help researchers: maximise the development of their counter-explanations, construct counter-deception measures, and accurately assess and report the outcome of a study. Two case studies are presented to explore the application of this model and its recommendations.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available