Extra Sensory Perception

This essay has a total of 1481 words and 7 pages.

Extra Sensory Perception



Extra Sensory Perception
Have you ever had the feeling that you’ve been in an establishment before you’ve actually gone inside? Did you ever feel like you’ve known that something was about to happen before there were any signs that it was about to occur? If you’re not a skeptic about the powers of the mind, then there might just be an explanation for your seemingly coincidental premonitions. It’s a phenomenon called extra sensory perception, better known as ESP. The textbook definition of this classification of parapsychology is "sensing" anything beyond the normal.(www.paranormalatoz.com) Most scientists do not believe that this phenomenon exists. Nevertheless, controversial evidence can be used to sway the incredulous. By viewing and researching evidence of ESP and/or having a personal experience, the truth lies within the eye of the beholder. The man who said it best was C.G. Jung during a lecture given to the Society for Psychical Research in 1919. He quotes,
"I shall not commit the fashionable stupidity of regarding everything I cannot explain as a fraud." (http://moebius.psy)
ESP includes telepathy, precognition or premonition, and clairvoyance or "remote viewing".(www.paranormalatoz.com) Telepathy is the direct response to another individual’s thoughts.(Schmeidler,805) Premonition is a direct response to a future event.(Schmeidler,805) Clairvoyance is the direct response to a future event.(Schmeidler,805)
These types of ESP and other forms of parapsychology were not even studied until 1882.(Schmeidler,806) In 1882, the Society for Psychical Research was established in London , England by a extraordinary group of Cambridge scholars. Its purpose was to examine allegedly paranormal phenomena in a scientific and unbiased way. It was the first society of its kind in the world. (http://moebius.psy) This society is still in full operation today, 117 years later.
The actual term extra sensory perception wasn’t used until the early 1930’s. During this time an American scientist, Joseph Banks Rhine first began his ground breaking experiments testing ESP’s validity.(Encarta) His research was conducted at the Parapsychology Laboratory of North Carolina’s, Duke University.(Encarta) Rhine’s most well-known experiment involved a deck of twenty-five cards. On the cards, written in heavy black ink, each card had a different design on them. The designs included a star, a cross, a square, or wavy lines.(Encarta) The concealed deck of twenty-five cards was shuffled. One random card was drawn from the deck at a time and the test subject was asked to identify the hidden marking on the flip-side of the card. If the test subject correctly identified five out of twenty five cards correctly, it was considered pure chance.(Encarta) Rhine and his
associates concluded that if the individual named six out of ten of the cards correctly, then indeed the test subject possessed extra sensory perception.(Encarta) From his experimentally proved evidence, it can easily be seen which stand Rhine took on the controversial existence of ESP. However, not all scientists had acknowledged the authenticity of his trials and the legitimacy of this branch of pseudo-science called parapsychology.
Certain scientists do not believe in the reality of extrasensory perception due to their lack of faith in the experiments that test it’s existence. These scientists claim that the ESP experiments are hard to if not impossible to repeat.(Encarta) In researching, scientists also observed that test results differ according to the subject’s attitude. Individual’s that had biased opinions of the ESP testing did not score nearly as high as those who were open-minded toward the experiment. (Schmeidler 805) Psychologists analyzing the testing methods concluded that the subjects who doubted the credibility of extrasensory perception were consciously trying to succeed in the testing, but could have been unconsciously wanting to fail.(Schmeidler 805) This is an example of what scientists call the "file drawer" effect. This is better explained by stating that the "…results that the experimenter likes are published, but other results stay buried in the files." This makes it hard to know if information given is accurate or falsely misinterpreted.(Schmeidler 806) This main recognition of possible false data is why the majority of
conventional scientists disregard the findings made in the field of parapsychology. The discoveries are labeled unscientific or at best inconclusive. However, even if the most solid evidence is found to conclude that ESP does in fact exist, there will always be the skeptical scientist who will feel that the entire basis on which parapsychology is grounded is nothing but a fraud.
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