Feeling the Future: A Meta-Analysis of 90 Experiments on the Anomalous Anticipation of Random Future Events
Patrizio E. Tressoldi
Università di Padova
University of Nantes
April 11, 2014
In 2011, the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology published a report of nine experiments purporting to demonstrate that an individual’s cognitive and affective responses can be influenced by randomly selected stimulus events that do not occur until after his or her responses have already been made and recorded, a generalized variant of the phenomenon traditionally denoted by the term precognition (Bem, 2011). To encourage replications of the experiments, all materials needed to conduct them were made available on request. We can now report a meta-analysis of 90 experiments from 33 laboratories in 14 different countries which yielded an overall positive effect in excess of 6 sigma with an effect size (Hedges’ g) of 0.09, combined z = 6.40, p = 1.3 × 10^-10. A Bayesian analysis yielded a Bayes Factor of 5.1 × 10^9, greatly exceeding the criterion value of 100 for “decisive evidence” in favor of the experimental hypothesis (Jeffries, 1961). Experimental tasks that required “fast-thinking” responses produced larger and more significant effect sizes than did “slow-thinking” tasks that allowed participants time to implement conscious cognitive strategies (see Kahneman, 2011). The number of potentially unretrieved experiments averaging a null effect that would be required to reduce the overall effect size to a trivial value was conservatively calculated to be 547. An analysis of p values across experiments implies that the results were not a product of “p-hacking,” the selective suppression of statistical analyses that failed to yield significant results (Simonsohn, Nelson, & Simmons, 2013). We discuss the controversial status of precognition and other anomalous effects collectively known as psi.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 48
Keywords: precognition, psi, ESP, retrocausation, retro-priming, parapsychologyworking papers series
Date posted: April 12, 2014 ; Last revised: October 24, 2014
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