[extropy-chat] ESP controls

pjmanney pj at pj-manney.com
Sun Feb 11 19:38:25 UTC 2007

Princeton ESP Lab to Close | 
| from the don't-think-bad-thoughts dept. | 
| posted by Zonk on Saturday February 10, @04:25 (Education) | 
| http://science.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=07/02/10/0820225 | 

[0]Nico M writes " The New York Times reports on the imminent closure of 
one of the most controversial research units at an ivy league School. The 
[1]Princeton Engineering Anomalies Research laboratory is due to close, 
but not because of pressure from the outside. Lab founder Robert G. Jahn 
has declared, in the article, that they've essentially collected all the 
data they're going to. The laboratory has conducted studies on 
extrasensory perception and telekinesis from its cramped quarters in the 
basement of the university's engineering building since 1979. Its 
equipment is aging, its finances dwindling. Jahn points the finger at 
detractors as well: 'If people don't believe us after all the results 
we've produced, then they never will.'" 

Discuss this story at: 

0. mailto:micronicospass at hotmail.com 
1. http://www.nytimes.com/2007/02/10/science/10princeton.html 


>Damien is correct, there have been many psi experiments with adequate 
>I have not studied the topic carefully, but based on the little reading 
>I've done, my  main worry with psi experiments is whether there's a 
>powerful "dataset selection" effect. 
>I.e., if someone does a psi experiment and doesn't get positive results, 
>they won't tell anyone and won't publish the results -- they'll just 
>think their experiment wasn't good enough for some reason.  So what 
>we're seeing in publications is just a subset of the POSITIVE results 
>obtained by various researchers, and we don't know how large a subset 
>this is over the overall set of results obtained.
>I assume that statisticians studying psi experiments have attempted to 
>account for this phenomenon, but I don't know exactly how they have done 
>so....  It does seem difficult to address.
>I really doubt that Jahn and all the other psi researchers showing 
>positive psi results have fabricated their data.  There are just too 
>many researchers with otherwise trustworthy appearance, showing positive 
>results.  It is possible of course that every positive psi result is an 
>intentional fabrication, but this seems not that likely to me.  If psi 
>does not exist, the more likely explanation for the various positive 
>results obtained, I would say, is the dataset-selection effect I 
>mentioned above, or some other peculiarity of statistics and scientific 
>The level of BS in the psi literature is far higher than in the CF 
>literature, making it much harder to penetrate to even a superficial 
>level without expending a large amount of effort.
>-- Ben

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