Follow-Up: Psychic Tweets



Over at NewScientist.com, Richard Wiseman has published the results of his recent Twitter experiment on remote viewing (previously blogged about here). Wiseman traveled to a number of different secret locations. Once there, he directed Twitter participants to "tweet" about any feelings they were receiving about the secret location. Later, he sent them a link to a website that presented participants with images of five different places. They had to choose the location they believed Wiseman to be at. In addition, Wiseman probed participants about their belief in the paranormal and psychic ability.

Not surprisingly, the group (of nearly 1000) failed miserably. Wiseman treated the most frequently selected location as the group's choice in each of four trials. The group failed to choose the correct location on every trial. In addition, those who proclaimed belief in psychic ability performed no better on the task than those who professed no belief. Granted, this is far from being an ideal experimental design, as anyone with genuine psychic ability would get washed away by all the guessing within the group. What this study does accomplish is a demonstration of a possible (and promising) use for social networking sites by the scientific community.

Some folks are getting all bent out of shape about this experiment. I suggest you head over to the comments section on NewScientist.com and enjoy the circus.

2 comments:

Magic Tony said...
9:39 AM

My favorite comment thus far, posted by someone with the screenname "Christimas":

"Just to let you all know their are people with psychic ability some just dont waste their time with silly games - gifts like this are to be used for thoughtful purposes, not carney games. Their are alot of people out their that have the ability that actually dont want you to know."

lasedimotu said...
9:40 AM

Such badly controlled research is doomed to fail...

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