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Title: Individual lability, perceived stress, participant/researcher interaction, goal-intention and PK-RNG effects
Author: Drennan, Sophie Louise
ISNI:       0000 0004 5988 9246
Awarding Body: University of Northampton
Current Institution: University of Northampton
Date of Award: 2015
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The research within this thesis has been concerned with the concept of individual lability and how this may impact the occurrence of psychokinetic (PK) effects. Although frequently used as a descriptor within the fields of psychology, parapsychology has attempted to explore individual lability as a construct in its own right. Defined as an 'ease of change', within parapsychological research individual lability has been afforded the ability to either act as a contributing or mediating factor in the production of PK effects. To that effect, a major concern for this thesis was to operationalize the construct of individual lability via the development of a psychometric measure - an initial Lability Scale and then a further Revised Lability Scale. In order to make sense of the theoretical assumptions about individual lability this thesis explores the background of the production of PK effects in both real-world and experimental environments. It identifies shared individual elements in the reports of PK effects relating to heightened arousal, neurological activity, personality traits, emotional states and creativity that may help to identify multiple dimensions of individual lability. Drawing on the perspectives of lability models which emphasize an interaction between differing lability levels of random systems as a predictor of PK effects, it is suggested that successful outcomes are more likely between high levels of one system and low levels of another system. For the purposes of the three empirical studies a Random Number Generator (RNG) with different levels of Table, Pseudo and Live were employed to explore this interaction. An initial online survey consisting of measures of creative, neurological, state and Openness to Experience enabled the creation of the 71-item, 5 factor Lability Scale (LS) using factor analysis. Factors were defined as: Intuitive Cognition, Conceptual Cognition, Ego-Orientated Cognition, Emotional Interpretation and Analytical Cognition. The LS had good internal reliability and did not correlate with additional measures of anomalous experience and PK experiences, thus demonstrating face-value validity. The LS was subsequently employed in a series of three PK-RNG experiments exploring the lability interaction which incorporated a standardised design of a computerised I Ching task measured using the Q-sort method and separate group samples (N = 50). Study One included the impact of perceived stress, Study Two included the impact of the participant/research interaction, Study Three included the impact of goal-orientated striving. The primary hypothesis that levels of individual lability (Low, Medium, High) would significantly interact with Q-sort ratings of RNG system lability was not supported for all three experiments. In addition, the impact of the additional variables was non-significant. However, significant correlations were found between all of the LS factors apart from Analytical Cognition. It was also observed that there was a significant difference between lability levels between genders, with males on average having lower lability levels. In addition, a final analysis combining the individual and RNG lability data from all three studies was conducted, although there was also no significant interaction effect found between levels of individual and RNG lability. However, following the consistent lack of response from the Analytical Cognition factor it was deemed necessary to psychometrically refine the Lability Scale further. Therefore, a second factor analysis was conducted on the combined experimental data (N = 147) and the 32-item, 3 factor Revised Lability Scale was developed. Three identified factors were defined as: Creative Expression, Emotional Interpretation and Spiritual Interpretation. It was noted that the factor structure was somewhat reversed to that of the initial LS but the majority of items remained consistent. However, analysis showed that there was no interaction found between levels of individual lability and RNG lability. There were significant relationships between Creative Expression and Table RNG and Pseudo RNG lability levels. In addition, consistent difference between the genders in relation to the three factors were found with large effect sizes, with males having significantly lower levels overall. The final Discussion questioned the lack of significant findings for the lability PK-RNG interaction in relation to the complexity of the methodology and the multiple variables introduced in the empirical studies.
Supervisor: Roe, Chris ; Broughton, Richard Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: BF1001 Parapsychology. Psychic research. Psychology of the conscious ; BF1371 Psychokinesis