Extra Sensory Perception Have you ever had the fee Essay

This essay has a total of 1483 words and 7 pages.


ESP





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. Perfect examples of this ignorance are psychologists, Samuel Moss and Donald C.
Butler. Both psychologists are set in denying the existence of ESP despite seemingly
well-founded evidence. Their mutual view is that the widespread belief in extra sensory
perception can be, "attributed to cultural and psychological factors."(Rubenstein,46) For
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