Does Psychophysiological Predictive Anticipatory Activity Predict Real or Future Probable Events?

23 Pages Posted: 26 Dec 2013 Last revised: 30 Aug 2014

See all articles by Patrizio E. Tressoldi

Patrizio E. Tressoldi

Università di Padova

Massimiliano Martinelli

University of Padua - Dipartimento di Psicologia Generale

Luca Semenzato

University of Padua - Dipartimento di Psicologia Generale

Date Written: December 24, 2013

Abstract

The possibility of predicting random future events before any sensory clues by using human physiology as a dependent variable has been supported by the meta-analysis of Mossbridge et al.1 and by recent findings by Tressoldi et al.2,3. Mossbridge et al.4 defined this phenomenon predictive anticipatory activity (PAA).

From a theoretical point of view, one interesting question is whether PAA is related to the effective, real future presentation of these stimuli or whether it is related only to the probability of their presentation.

This hypothesis was tested with four experiments two using heart rate and two using pupil dilation as dependent variables.

In all four experiments, both a neutral and a potentially threatening stimulus were predicted 7 to 10% above chance, independently from whether the predicted threatening stimulus was presented or not.

These findings are discussed with reference to the “grandfather paradox” and some candidate explanations for this phenomena are presented.

Keywords: random events, anticipation, prediction, pupil dilation, heart rate

Suggested Citation

Tressoldi, Patrizio E. and Martinelli, Massimiliano and Semenzato, Luca, Does Psychophysiological Predictive Anticipatory Activity Predict Real or Future Probable Events? (December 24, 2013). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2371577 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2371577

Patrizio E. Tressoldi (Contact Author)

Università di Padova ( email )

via Venezia 8
Padova, 35131
Italy

HOME PAGE: http://www.patriziotressoldi.it

Massimiliano Martinelli

University of Padua - Dipartimento di Psicologia Generale ( email )

Padua
Italy

Luca Semenzato

University of Padua - Dipartimento di Psicologia Generale

Padua
Italy

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