Extra Sensory Perception

7 PAGES
1359 WORDS
Read the full essay 1359 words
Extra Sensory Perception

Have you ever had the feeling that youve been in an establishment before
youve actually gone inside? Did you ever feel like youve known that
something was about to happen before there were any signs that it was about to
occur? If youre not a skeptic about the powers of the mind, then there might
just be an explanation for your seemingly coincidental premonitions. Its 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 individuals 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
wasnt used until the early 1930s. During this time an American scientist,
Joseph Banks Rhine first began his ground breaking experiments testing ESPs
validity.(Encarta) His research was conducted at the Parapsychology Laboratory
of North Carolinas, Duke University.(Encarta) Rhines 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 its 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 subjects attitude. Individuals 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 example,