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Title: A comparative examination of ganzfeld and dream reports in free response ESP studies
Author: Eppinger, Ricardo
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2001
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In studying altered states of consciousness in relation to psi, parapsychology researchers have achieved interesting results. It seems that altered states of consciousness could facilitate somehow psi-manifestation, however, further research is needed to verify that. This thesis presents two experiments aimed to explore participants reports of their experiences in two altered states of consciousness conditions, the dream and the ganzfeld. The ESP dream condition is used in one of this experiments. The ESP dream condition involves a clairvoyance technique. The experimental ESP dream research is reviewed with emphasis on those experiments which are relevant to the method used in this thesis. Problems with some methods of dream ESP research are approached and discussed as well as difficulties of doing such research. The ganzfeld condition with clairvoyance technique is used in the second experiment of this thesis. The ganzfeld is know as one of the most successful methods for the achievement of ESP results. The experimental ganzfeld research is reviewed emphasising studies which are relevant to the method used in this thesis, and difficulties with methods of conducing ganzfeld research are presented and discussed. A general review is made of the content analysis method which is used in this thesis as a tool to analyse the content of dream and ganzfeld experiment reports. The results obtained of the dream and ganzfeld reports' content analysis showed patterns within the participants' reports data. All the results concerning the content analysis are presented within specific chapters of this thesis. Both studies in this thesis were conducted by the author in Curitiba, a southern city of Brazil. A total of 50 Brazilian participants took part in 100 experiments, 50 dream experiments, and 50 ganzfeld experiments. The main question of this thesis was: "What do people report about their dream and ganzfeld experiences measured in relation to content analysis categories, and what can that tell us about the ESP process itself, and are these categories related to actual success and failure?". The main findings of this thesis were that overall results for the dream condition were at chance, and overall results for the ganzfeld condition were suggestive of psi-missing, thus the null-hypothesis was confirmed. That suggests that perhaps psi just do not exist. In addition, a sheep-goat effect was found in both dream and ganzfeld conditions, and clarity of hearing and clarity of imagery correlated negatively with ganzfeld ESP scores. A pattern was found in content analysis of participants' reports for female participants' dream, ganzfeld mentation, and ganzfeld written reports successful trials, all three having more references of content to torso/anatomy category. In addition, female participants' dream, ganzfeld mentation, and ganzfeld written reports unsuccessful trials presented a pattern with more references of content to male/female characters category. Finally, further research is needed, such as in countries like Brazil, to further parapsychological knowledge about the psi process as a whole.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available