Ganzfeld Studies

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Ganzfeld Studies by Mind Map: Ganzfeld Studies

1. Sargent et al (1979) - Ganzfeld methodology - the sender randomly selected one of 28 images - 50% success rate which is 25% higher than by chance alone

1.1. Opportunities for cheating were not minimised

1.2. Sargent is unwilling to explain errors found, suggests that these results should be viewed with caution

1.3. Issues with randomisation

2. Ganzfeld studies are a means of testing ESP

2.1. ESP is a term relating to the ability to perceive outside the known sensory system, it includes skills such as telepathy, clairvoyance and precognition

2.2. The academic need to prove its existence often means psychologists may manipulate their experiment

3. Ganzfeld Methodology

3.1. Sender

3.1.1. Will attempt to telepathically communicate a randomly selected image with the receiver who is in a separate room

3.2. Receiver

3.2.1. Aims to ensure that signals received by the P were coming from their own mind, not an audible or visual stimulus To achieve this, the 'receiver' is isolated in the ganzfeld chamber with their eyes covered by half ping bong balls and headphones are worn which play white noise In earlier studies there were issues with 'sensory leakage'

3.2.2. They will free recall for 15 to 30 minutes and at the end of the session, the P is shown 4 images and asked to what degree they think each was the target image If the highest rating is awarded to the target image it is classed as a success

3.3. Autoganzfeld

3.3.1. A computer is used to select the target image Reduces the experimenter's ability to commit scientific fraud Hyman - autoganzfeld is no better methodologically than ganzfeld

4. Evaluation

4.1. Meta -analysis

4.1.1. Hyman (1980s) Insufficient evidence to prove the existence of psi because of the flaws in ESP research Security Statistical analysis Procedure

4.1.2. Harris and Rosenthal (1988) - 28% success on average which is higher than chance - for every study showing a significant result, there is at least one critical commentary of it It was also noted that the expectations and attitudes of the experimenters influenced the results - in a welcoming atmosphere, ESP scores were higher than in a cold environment

4.1.3. Bem et al (2001) - meta analysis - the average 'hit rate' for all ganzfeld experiments is 30% which is higher than chance

4.1.4. Milton and Wiseman (1999) - meta analysis - ganzfeld is methodologically flawed because replication is practically impossible

4.1.5. We should be sceptical about meta analysis because they seem to disregard studies which show no ESP effect

4.2. Validity could be compromised due to the sheep-goat effect: those who believe in ESP are more likely to score higher on ESP tasks than 'goats' who are sceptical