Telephone Telepathy.

From the website:

Many people have experienced the phenomenon of receiving a telephone call from someone shortly after thinking about them -- now a scientist says he has proof of what he calls telephone telepathy.

Rupert Sheldrake, whose research is funded by the respected Trinity College, Cambridge, said on Tuesday he had conducted experiments that proved that such precognition existed for telephone calls and even e-mails.

Each person in the trials was asked to give researchers names and phone numbers of four relatives or friends. These were then called at random and told to ring the subject who had to identify the caller before answering the phone.

"The hit rate was 45 percent, well above the 25 percent you would have expected," he told the annual meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science.

"The odds against this being a chance effect are 1,000 billion to one."

http://www.cnn.com/2006/TECH/science/09/05/telepathy.reut/index.html


Newest 5
Newest 5 Comments

In response to Erik,
A study being double blind has to do with the researcher knowing what condition the participant is going to experience. Although, Sheldrake's experiement seems to have the researcher informed, the random selection of whom is called is most likely not handpicked. Research in remote viewing and telepathy involves random number generators for chooseing levels of a variable, in this case who is called.

In response to Ted,
I would agree this experiment clearly does not prove telepathy, but its purpose is to investigate a specific phenomenon with telephones.

People cannot be proven as "good guessers". Guessing 1 correct answer out of 4 possible should always result in about 25% accuracy. That is probability. Anything statistically significantly higher would mean something is influencing the choice. Is it a telephone telepathy phenomenon? perhaps poor research design? We cannot say for sure without replication.

At any rate take the results with a grain of salt, but don't discredit it the US Government researched remote viewing extensively and so do many scientists today. I myself have worked on the research at Eastern Illinois University and we found some interesting results. Sadly no telepathy or other fun mind powers proven yet. We shall continue to be skeptics.
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I just lost a little respect for the respected Trinity College.

This doen't prove telepathy. It just proves that people are good guessers when it comes to who's calling, especially when you narrow it down to one of four people.

At least they didn't waste their research money on something silly, like a cure for cancer or ways to reduce greenhouse gases.
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Not quite, Marco - the experiment was basically this: you're asked to give the name and number of 4 people that you know.

The researcher will then call one person out of that 4 and tell that guy to call you. You don't know which of the four is called. Then, your phone rings, and you say "ah, it's so-and-so".

So, you'd expect to "guess" right 25% of the time (1 out of 4). But the experiment's result is 45% of the time, the subjects get it right.
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"Each person in the trials was asked to give researchers names and phone numbers of four relatives or friends." This biases the results. Who is most likely to call you? A friend or relative. Who are you most likely to think will call you? A friend or relative. It's not unlikely at all for you to guess correctly. In fact, the odds are good that you will, not billions to one against.

Also, were callers and guessers alike told the purpose of the experiment before participating? If so, they all thought first of their friends who believe in telepathy, both the ones who gave names and phone numbers, and the ones who guessed who was calling.

This isn't experimental proof of telepathy. It's a magic trick dressed up as science, and, sadly, reported as science. But you knew that.
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