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My own little piece of research

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  • My own little piece of research

    This is my senior thesis. I conducted a replication attempt of Bem's Retroactive Priming experiment. I found bupkis. No retro, and no control effect either, which is interesting. I think it's a good reminder that null results in psi research doesn't immediately mean more evidence that psi doesn't exist.

    Feeling the Future: Difficulty in Replication of a Retroactive Priming Effect

    Michael Machina

    ABSTRACT: The question of the existence of anomalous processes of information or energy transfer, known as psi, has been a topic of hot debate since the middle of the 20th century. One aspect of psi is the anomalous retroactive influence on an individual’s present-time responses. Bem (2011) used a series of experiments to test for retroactive influence and found significant results. This paper describes an attempt at replicating one of these experiments, Retroactive Priming. No effect was found for either the retroactive condition (p = 0.5, ns) or the control priming condition (p = 0.63, ns). Discussed issues include potential reasons why results different than the original paper were obtained, including the failure of effect in the control group, and potential improvements.

    http://dl.dropbox.com/u/5607085/MACH...-5_10_2011.pdf

    And yes, it's under my pen name I'm not ready to release the final version to the public quite yet. Still have to run some things by Bem. But I thought I'd give you guys a bit of a taste ^_^.
    Last edited by MikeMachina; May 10th, 2011, 03:19 PM.

  • #2
    cool! I'll give it a read!

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    • #3
      Me, too.

      Did you register this replication?

      Richard Wiseman

      If not, you should consider doing so.

      ~~ Paul

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by MikeMachina View Post

        Feeling the Future: Difficulty in Replication of a Retroactive Priming Effect

        Michael Machina
        Nice

        If want someone to do a bit of nitpicking send a PM

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        • #5
          A couple of observations:

          I think you should tone down the blatant dig at skeptics (and the implication that parapsychologists aren't scientists):
          On the other hand, proponents of parapsychology research, and even scientists with an open mind, suggest ...
          There are various references to errors made by the subjects. I suggest you include an example of an error, because I can't figure out what they could be. Perhaps you mean the case where the subject does not assign the assumed valence.

          ~~ Paul

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          • #6
            Working my way through it.

            Noted a grammatical error you might want to fix:

            "
            As such, it is unlikely that Bayesian
            analysis will not help resolve the parapsychology debate
            in the near future (Radin 2006)."

            I assume you mean either likely/not or unlikely/(delete not)

            Comment


            • #7
              Good work!

              Originally posted by Paul C. Anagnostopoulos View Post
              I think you should tone down the blatant dig at skeptics (and the implication that parapsychologists aren't scientists):
              I agree, I would focus less on the people, their titles, and what labels they may have (skeptic, parapsychologist, open-minded scientist) and more on their arguments, research and so on and so forth. Perhaps it is relevant that Bem published in a mainstream journal, but is it really relevant that he is a professor eremitus? And sometimes you can read between the lines an implication that skeptics are not open-minded. Be aware of these labels because they can turn into ad-hominems quite easily.

              A problem with these labels is that the groups are so heteregeneous. G.Schwartz, Radin and Bierman are all parapsychologists, but I think their opinions are extremely different on a number of central points. Bierman may even fit the label of a skeptic.
              Last edited by Yield_Sign; May 12th, 2011, 05:21 AM.

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              • #8
                Yeah, I have to work at it a little bit. I do have to fix that "not" and a few other grammar things as I run into them. The issue of the "titles" and "positions" definitely needs re-vamping, I did not like the tone of those parts, even as I was writing them. It was more about getting the paper for school done at this point. If I decide to pursue it for my own research's sake over the summer, that'll be a different issue.

                I did not register with Wiseman and Watt because I didn't know about that particular site until I was almost completely done with the paper. I might still notify them, if I decided to take another stab at Retro Prime with better conditions, I'll definitely let them know.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by MikeMachina
                  I did not register with Wiseman and Watt because I didn't know about that particular site until I was almost completely done with the paper. I might still notify them, if I decided to take another stab at Retro Prime with better conditions, I'll definitely let them know.
                  I'd register this study. We don't want any hollering about file drawers.

                  ~~ Paul

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                  • #10
                    This is true. I'll send an email their way.

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