The Telepathy Lab
The Telepathy Lab
The problem or the mission in this lab is to find out if humans really possess an extrasensory perception, or in other words, telepathy. The hypothesis in the beginning of the lab is that, humans are incapable of possessing this sixth sense. In the lab, a group of high school students whose ages were between sixteen and eighteen, that consist of eleven males and eight females, were tested. The main apparatus used in this lab are ten index cards, with ten distinct symbols on them, and a book. The experimenter held a card and the subjects were asked to jot down which “symbolled” card he/she was holding. In the end, findings proved that participants did not posses this sixth sense.
This lab was done to clarify any doubts about humans possessing the inexplicable sixth sense, or in other words telepathy. The hypothesis formulated in the beginning of the lab was: No, humans do not have this extraordinary ability. The research strategy that was planned to use during this lab was survey. The experimenter was to survey the participants after the test to see if the hypothesis is correct. In the U.S., one of the earliest groups to become active in parapsychology was the Parapsychology Laboratory of North Carolina’s Duke University, which began publishing literature in the 1930s. There, under the direction of the American psychologist Joseph Banks Rhine, methods were developed that advanced psychical investigations from the correlations of isolated and often vague anecdotal reports to a mathematical study based on statistics and the laws of probability. In the experiments dealing with ESP, Rhine and his associates used mainly a deck of 25 cards, somewhat similar to ordinary playing cards but bearing on their faces only five designs: star, circle, cross, square, and wavy lines. If a subject correctly named 5 out of the shuffled deck of 25 concealed cards, that was considered pure chance. Certain subjects, however, consistently named 6 out of 10 cards correctly; so, Rhine and his associates concluded that this demonstrated the existence of ESP. In their experiments on psycho kinesis, the group used ordinary dice that were thrown from a cup against a wall or tumbled in mechanically driven cages. In these tests, an apparent relationship was found between the mental effort of subjects to “will” particular faces of the dice to appear upward and the percentage of times the faces actually did so. The results obtained in many individual experiments and in the research as a whole, Rhine and his workers decided, could not reasonably be attributed to the fluctuations of chance. Thus, previous held experiments in labs prove that humans do not posses this sixth sense.
In the lab, a group of high school student whose age was between 16 and 18 was tested. Ten cards with ten distinct symbols and a book were used in the experiment. The experimenter was seated in front of the room. He used a book to act as a barrier between the subjects and the cards to discourage cheating. Then he held up a card and said, “begin” and after five seconds he said to, “stop”. By this time, the subjects must have received the ‘signals’ of what type of card the experimenter was holding up. Then they are asked to write down what the symbol is. The experimenter does the same thing ten times for one trial. Another nine trials were also held. Then the subjects were to tally up their scores and report it. And out of this report, it can be proved whether the concept of telepathy really exists.
The majority of scores fell in the ten to fourteen interval (58.8%). The data of two participants were eliminated due to incomplete trails, thus only seventeen people participated. Refer to chart and to the graph.
The hypothesis formulated in the beginning of this lab was that human beings do not possess the ability to extrasensory perception. The data obtained in the lab support this hypothesis. According to A.P.A., the subjects must get a score that is between an interval of thirty and thirty five in order to prove that humans posses mental telepathy. Out of hundred chances, four of the scores fell between the five to nine interval; ten of the scores fell between ten to fourteen interval; and three of the scores fell between fifteen to nineteen interval. No body scored more than twenty. Thus, the hypothesis formulated in the beginning was correct; humans do not possess mental telepathy. However, there were some factors that interfered with the validity of the results. Maybe some subjects were dishonest and wrote down what their peers had as an answer. Maybe they were just did not care enough and put down any ‘old’ answer that came to their head. Since this was a simple experiment, there were no anomalies or glitches. It was just plain and simple, nothing complex. All the pieces of data are perfect. Thus, human do not have a sixth sense.
Worchel, S., Shebilske, W. (1992). PSYCHOLOGY principles and application (4th ed.). Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Simon & Schuster Co.
Microsoft Encarta Encyclopedia (1997 Version) [CD ROM]. (1993-1996).