Precognitionprecognition, precognition meaning
Precognition from the Latin præ-, "before" and cognitio, "acquiring knowledge", also called prescience, future vision, future sight is an alleged psychic ability to see events in the future1234
As with other forms of extrasensory perception, there is no evidence that precognition is a real ability possessed by anyone and precognition is widely considered pseudoscience5678 However, it still appears within movies, books, and discussion within the parapsychology community, with claimed precognition of earthquakes sometimes covered by the newsmedia9
Scientific investigation of extrasensory perception is complicated by the definition which implies that the phenomena go against established principles of science10 Specifically, precognition would violate the principle that an effect cannot occur before its cause10 There are established biases affecting human memory and judgment of probability that sometimes create convincing but false impressions of precognition11
- 1 Belief
- 2 Experiments
- 21 "Feeling the Future" controversy
- 3 Scientific reception
- 4 In dreams
- 5 See also
- 6 References
- 7 Further reading
Belief in precognition has been related to superstition12 A 1978 Gallup poll found that 37% of Americans surveyed believed in precognition13 According to psychologists Tobacyk and Milford, belief in precognition was greater in college women than in men, and a 2007 Gallup poll found that women were more prone to superstitious beliefs in general12
A 2013 study discovered that greater belief in precognition was held by those who feel low in control, and the belief can act as a psychological coping mechanism14
In the early 20th century J W Dunne, a British aeronautics engineer, experienced several dreams which he regarded as precognitive He developed techniques to record and analyse them, identifying any correspondences between his future experiences and his recorded dreams He reported his findings in his 1927 book An Experiment with Time In it he alleges that 10% of his dreams appeared to represent some future experience He also persuaded some friends to try the experiment on themselves, with mixed results Dunne concluded that precognitive dreams are common and that many people unknowingly have them15 The book went on to develop an explanatory theory of time and consciousness which he called Serialism16 In 1932 he helped the Society for Psychical Research to conduct a more formal experiment, but he and the Society's lead researcher failed to agree on the significance of the results1718 Dunne's work was nevertheless widely read and "undoubtedly helped to form something of the imaginative climate of those interwar years"1920
The first ongoing and organized research program on precognition was instituted by Joseph Banks Rhine in the 1930s at Duke University's Parapsychology Laboratory Rhine used a method of forced-choice matching in which participants guessed the order of a deck of 25 cards, each five of which bore one of five geometrical symbols The experiment was not blinded, so participants were able to read the symbols through the back of the cards, and were able to see and hear the experimenters throughout the experiment This sensory leakage contributed to Rhine's experiments being discredited212223
Experiments by Samuel G Soal ran forced-choice ESP experiments in which someone attempted to identify which of five animal pictures a subject in another room was looking at Their performance on this task was at chance, but when the scores were matched with the card that came after the target card, three of the thirteen subjects showed a very high hit rate24 Rhine described Soal's work as "a milestone in the field"24 George Price reviewed the experiment in Science in 1955,25 and concluded that the positive results not attributable to error were more likely the result of deliberate fraud25 This prompted several replies that Price's criticism was unfair24 In 1978, the experiments were exposed as fraudulent The statistician and paragnost Betty Markwick, while seeking to vindicate Soal, discovered that he had altered his data to create all the extra hits and give the study its statistical significance25 The untainted experimental results showed no evidence of precognition in the hits or the ratios2426
Following these experiments, a more automated technique of experimentation was introduced that did not rely on hand-scoring of equivalence between targets and guesses, and in which the targets could be more reliably and readily tested at random This involved testing for precognition with the use of high-speed random event generators REG, as introduced by Helmut Schmidt in 1969, and at the Princeton Engineering Anomalies Research Lab27 The psychologist C E M Hansel found flaws in all of Schmidt's experiments into precognition Hansel found that necessary precautions were not taken, there was no presence of an observer or second-experimenter in any of the experiments, no counterchecking of the records and no separate machines used for high and low score attempts28
"Feeling the Future" controversyedit
In 2011, the psychologist Daryl Bem, a Professor Emeritus at Cornell University, published the article "Feeling the Future: Experimental Evidence for Anomalous Retroactive Influences on Cognition and Affect" in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, offering statistical evidence for precognition29 The article's findings challenged modern scientific conceptions about the unidirectional nature of time Its presentation by a respected researcher and its publication by an upper tier journal engendered much controversy In addition to criticism of the paper itself,30 the paper's publication prompted a wider debate on the validity of peer review process for allowing such a paper to be published31 Bem appeared on MSNBC32 and The Colbert Report33 to discuss the experiment
Jeffrey Rouder and Richard Morey applied a meta-analytical Bayes factor to Bem's data and concluded that, "We remain unconvinced of the viability of ESP There is no plausible mechanism for it, and it seems contradicted by well-substantiated theories in both physics and biology Against this background, a change in odds of 40 is negligible3435
After evaluating Bem's nine experiments, psychologist James Alcock said that he found serious methodological flaws metaphorical "dirty test tubes" such as changing the procedures part way through the experiments and combining results of tests with different chances of significance It is unknown how many tests were actually performed, nor is there an explanation of how it was determined that participants shown erotic images had "settled down" afterwards Alcock concludes that almost everything that could go wrong with Bem's experiments did go wrong Bem's response to Alcock's critique appeared online at the Skeptical Inquirer website36 and Alcock replied to these comments in a third article at the same website37
In 2012, the same journal that published Bem's original experiments, the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology Vol 103, No 6, published “Correcting the Past: Failures to Replicate Psi” by Jeff Galek of Carnegie Mellon University, Robyn A LeBoeuf of the University of Florida, Leif D Nelson of the University of California at Berkeley, and Joseph P Simmons of the University of Pennsylvania The paper reported seven experiments testing for precognition that "found no evidence supporting its existence”3839
There is no known mechanism for precognition40 Precognition would violate the principle of antecedence causality, that an effect does not happen before its cause41
The physicist John Taylor has written "since only positive energies are possible, particles going backward in time cannot exist Any claim that they do is purely a fantasy in the mind of the parapsychologist There is therefore no direct justification for precognition from physics experimental evidence from high energy physics is strongly against it"42
Neuroscientist Samuel Schwarzkopf has written that precognition contradicts "most of the neuroscience and psychology literature, from electrophysiology and neuroimaging to temporal effects found in psychophysical research"43
Various psychological processes have been offered to explain experiences of apparent precognition These include:
- Selection bias where people remember the "hits" and forget the "misses", remember coincidences more often than other non-coincidences, or when they were correct about a future event rather than instances when they were wrong Examples include thinking of a specific person before that person calls on the phone Human memory, it is argued, has a tendency to record instances when the guess was correct, and to dismiss instances when the guess was incorrect
- Unconscious perception by which people unconsciously infer, from data they have unconsciously learned, that a certain event will probably happen in a certain context As with cryptomnesia, when the event occurs, the former knowledge appears to have been acquired without the aid of recognized channels of information
- Self-fulfilling prophecy and Unconscious enactment in which people bring events that they have precognized to pass, but without their conscious knowledge
Some psychologists have explained the apparent prevalence of precognitive dreams in terms of memory biases, namely a selective memory for accurate predictions and distorted memory so that dreams are retrospectively fitted onto subsequent events11 In one experiment, subjects were asked to write down their dreams in a diary This prevented the selective memory effect, and the dreams no longer seemed accurate about the future44 Another experiment gave subjects a fake diary of a student with apparently precognitive dreams This diary described events from the person's life, as well as some predictive dreams and some non-predictive dreams When subjects were asked to recall the dreams they had read, they remembered more of the successful predictions than unsuccessful ones45
In dreamseditMain article: List of dreams § Explanations
An early inquiry into allegedly prophetic dreams was done by Aristotle in his On Divination in Sleep His criticism of these claims appeals to the fact that "the sender of such dreams should be God", and "the fact that those to whom he sends them are not the best and wisest, but merely commonplace persons" Thus: "Most so-called prophetic dreams are, however, to be classed as mere coincidences", here "coincidence" being defined by Aristotle as that which does not take "place according to a universal or general rule" and referring to things which are not of themselves by necessity causally connected His example being taking a walk during an eclipse, neither the walk nor the eclipse being apparently causally connected and so only by "coincidence" do they occur simultaneously46
In 1932 Charles Lindbergh's infant son was kidnapped, murdered and buried among trees The psychologists Henry Murray and D R Wheeler tested precognitive dreams by inviting the public to report any dreams of the child A total of 1,300 dreams were reported Only five percent envisioned the child dead and only 4 of the 1,300 envisioned the location of the grave as amongst trees This number was no better than chance47
J W Dunne believed that dream precognition did not reference any kind of future event, but specifically the future experiences of the dreamer He was led to this idea when he found that a dream of a volcanic eruption appeared to foresee not the disaster itself but his subsequent misreading of an inaccurate account in a newspaper4815 In 1963 the BBC television programme Monitor broadcast an appeal by the writer JB Priestley for experiences which challenged our understanding of Time He received hundreds of letters in reply and believed that many of them described genuine precognitive dreams4950 In 2014 the BBC Radio 4 broadcaster Francis Spufford revisited Priestley's work and its relation to the ideas of JW Dunne51
David Ryback, a psychologist in Atlanta, used a questionnaire survey approach to investigate precognitive dreaming in college students His survey of over 433 participants showed that 290 or 669 percent reported some form of paranormal dream He rejected many of these reports, but claimed that 88 percent of the population was having actual precognitive dreams52
Dreams which appear to be precognitive may in fact be the result of the Law of large numbers53 The psychologist Stuart Sutherland has written:
Suppose that you can remember ten incidents from a night's dreaming, at least when prompted by a similar incident occurring a day Now consider how many incidents occur during a day, including those you read about in the paper, watch on television or hear from your friends There are a vast number and it is highly probable that from time to time one of them will, at least to some extent, resemble one of those from your dreams When one or more of these coincidences occur, people are likely to conclude that dreams foretell the future54
Robert Todd Carroll, author of The Skeptic's Dictionary put it this way: "Say the odds are a million to one that when a person has a dream of an airplane crash, there is an airplane crash the next day With 6 billion people having an average of 250 dream themes each per night, there should be about 15 million people a day who have dreams that seem clairvoyant"55
- Déjà vu
- Precognition Scots law
- Premonition film
- Premonitions novel
- Second sight
- Veridical dream
- List of topics characterized as pseudoscience
- ^ Alcock, James 1981 Parapsychology-Science Or Magic: A Psychological Perspective Pergamon Press pp 3-6 ISBN 978-0080257730
- ^ Zusne, Leonard; Jones, Warren H 1989 Anomalistic Psychology: A Study of Magical Thinking Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc p 151 ISBN 978-0-805-80507-9
- ^ Carroll, Robert Todd 2003 "Precognition" In The Skeptic's Dictionary: A Collection of Strange Beliefs, Amusing Deceptions, and Dangerous Delusions Wiley ISBN 0-471-27242-6
- ^ Ciccarelli, Saundra E; Meyer, Glenn E Psychology 2007 Prentice Hall Higher Education p 118 ISBN 978-0136030638 "Precognition is the supposed ability to know something in advance of its occurrence or to predict a future event"
- ^ Bunge, Mario 1983 Treatise on Basic Philosophy: Volume 6: Epistemology & Methodology II: Understanding the World Springer p 226 "Despite being several thousand years old, and having attracted a large number of researchers over the past hundred years, we owe no single firm finding to parapsychology: no hard data on telepathy, clairvoyance, precognition, or psychokinesis"
- ^ Stenger, Victor 1990 Physics and Psychics: The Search for a World Beyond the Senses Prometheus Books p 166 ISBN 0-87975-575-X "The bottom line is simple: science is based on consensus, and at present a scientific consensus that psychic phenomena exist is still not established"
- ^ Zechmeister, Eugene; Johnson, James 1992 Critical Thinking: A Functional Approach Brooks/Cole Pub Co p 115 ISBN 0534165966 "There exists no good scientific evidence for the existence of paranormal phenomena such as ESP To be acceptable to the scientific community, evidence must be both valid and reliable"
- ^ Myers, David 2004 Intuition: Its Powers and Perils Yale University Press p 233 ISBN 0-300-09531-7 "After thousands of experiments, no reproducible ESP phenomenon has ever been discovered, nor has any researcher produced any individual who can convincingly demonstrate psychic ability"
- ^ Walsh, Jim October 16, 2009 "Loma Prieta predictor Jim Berkland still picking quake dates" Santa Cruz Sentinel Retrieved May 31, 2011
- ^ a b Hyman, Ray 2007 "Evaluating Parapsychological Claims" In Robert J Sternberg; Henry J Roediger III; Diane F Halpern Critical Thinking in Psychology Cambridge University Press p 217 ISBN 0-521-60834-1
- ^ a b Hines, Terence 2003 Pseudoscience and the Paranormal Prometheus Books pp 78–81 ISBN 978-1-57392-979-0
- ^ a b Stuart A Vyse 1 September 2013, Believing in Magic: The Psychology of Superstition - Updated Edition, Oxford University Press, USA, pp 45–, ISBN 978-0-19-999693-3
- ^ American Bar Association December 1978, ABA Journal, American Bar Association, pp 1847–, ISSN 0747-0088
- ^ Greenaway, KH; Louis, WR; Hornsey, MJ 2013 "Loss of Control Increases Belief in Precognition and Belief in Precognition Increases Control" PLoS ONE 8 8: e71327 doi:101371/journalpone0071327 PMC 3737190 PMID 23951136
- ^ a b Dunne, J W 1927 An Experiment With Time Hampton Roads Publishing Co ISBN 978-1-57174-234-6
- ^ Flew, Antony; "The Sources of Serialism, in Shivesh Thakur Ed Philosophy and Psychical Research, George Allen & Unwin Ltd 1976, pp 81-96 ISBN 0-04-100041-2
- ^ Brian Inglis; The Paranormal: An Encyclopedia of Psychic Phenomena Paladin Grafton, 1986, p92
- ^ Dunne, JW; An Experiment with Time, 3rd Edition, Faber, 1934, Appendix III: The new experiment
- ^ Stewart, V; "J W Dunne and literary culture in the 1930s and 1940s", Literature and History, Volume 17, Number 2, Autumn 2008, pp 62-81, Manchester University Press
- ^ Anon,; "Obituary: Mr J W Dunne, Philosopher and Airman", The Times, August 27, 1949, Page 7
- ^ Harold Gulliksen 1938 Extra-Sensory Perception: What Is It American Journal of Sociology Vol 43, No 4 pp 623-634 "Investigating Rhine's methods, we find that his mathematical methods are wrong and that the effect of this error would in some cases be negligible and in others very marked We find that many of his experiments were set up in a manner which would tend to increase, instead of to diminish, the possibility of systematic clerical errors; and lastly, that the ESP cards can be read from the back"
- ^ Charles M Wynn, Arthur W Wiggins 2001 Quantum Leaps in the Wrong Direction: Where Real Science Endsand Pseudoscience Begins Joseph Henry Press p 156 ISBN 978-0-309-07309-7 "In 1940, Rhine coauthored a book, Extrasensory Perception After Sixty Years in which he suggested that something more than mere guess work was involved in his experiments He was right! It is now known that the experiments conducted in his laboratory contained serious methodological flaws Tests often took place with minimal or no screening between the subject and the person administering the test Subjects could see the backs of cards that were later discovered to be so cheaply printed that a faint outline of the symbol could be seen Furthermore, in face-to-face tests, subjects could see card faces reflected in the tester’s eyeglasses or cornea They were even able to consciously or unconsciously pick up clues from the tester’s facial expression and voice inflection In addition, an observant subject could identify the cards by certain irregularities like warped edges, spots on the backs, or design imperfections"
- ^ Terence Hines 2003 Pseudoscience and the Paranormal Prometheus Books p 122 ISBN 1-57392-979-4 "The procedural errors in the Rhine experiments have been extremely damaging to his claims to have demonstrated the existence of ESP Equally damaging has been the fact that the results have not replicated when the experiments have been conducted in other laboratories"
- ^ a b c d Colman, Andrew M 1988 Facts, Fallacies and Frauds in Psychology Unwin Hyman pp 175–180 ISBN 0-04-445289-6
- ^ a b c Hyman, Ray 2007 "Evaluating Parapsychological Claims" In Robert J Sternberg; Henry L Roediger; Diane F Halpern Critical Thinking in Psychology Cambridge University Press pp 219–223 ISBN 0-521-60834-1
- ^ Betty Markwick 1985 The establishment of data manipulation in the Soal-Shackleton experiments In Paul Kurtz A Skeptic’s Handbook of Parapsychology Prometheus Books pp 287-312 ISBN 0-87975-300-5
- ^ Odling-Smee, Lucy March 1, 2007 "The lab that asked the wrong questions" Nature 446 7131: 10–11 doi:101038/446010a PMID 17330012 Retrieved 2007-06-29
- ^ C E M Hansel 1980 ESP and Parapsychology: A Critical Re-Evaluation Prometheus Books pp 222-232
- ^ Bem, DJ March 2011 "Feeling the future: experimental evidence for anomalous retroactive influences on cognition and affect" PDF Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 100 3: 407–25 doi:101037/a0021524 PMID 21280961
- ^ James Alcock, Back from the Future: Parapsychology and the Bem Affair, March/April 2011 Skeptical Inquirer, January 6, 2011
- ^ "Room for Debate: When Peer Review Falters" The New York Times January 7, 2011
- ^ "Professor: Strong evidence ESP is real" MSNBC 2008-01-23 Retrieved Jan 30, 2011
- ^ "The Colbert Report: January 27, 2011 - Brian Greene" Comedy Central 2008-01-23 Retrieved Jan 30, 2011
- ^ Rouder, J; Morey, R 2011 "A Bayes factor meta-analysis of Bem's ESP claim" Psychonomic Bulletin & Review 18: 682–689 doi:103758/s13423-011-0088-7
- ^ "Odds are against ESP: New statistical approach doesn't support claims that extra-sensory perception exists" Science Daily
- ^ Bem, Daryl 6 January 2011 "Response to Alcock's "Back from the Future: Comments on Bem"" Retrieved 31 January 2012
- ^ Alcock, James 6 January 2011 "Response to Bem's Comments" Retrieved 31 January 2012
- ^ Galak, J; LeBoeuf, R A; Nelson, L D; Simmons, J P 2012 "Correcting the past: Failures to replicate psi" Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 103: 933–948 doi:101037/a0029709 PMID 22924750
- ^ Frazier, Kendrick 2013 "Failure to Replicate Results of Bem Parapsychology Experiments Published by Same Journal" csicoporg Retrieved 7 August 2013
- ^ Wynn, Charles; Wiggins, Arthur 2001 Quantum Leaps in the Wrong Direction: Where Real Science Endsand Pseudoscience Begins Joseph Henry Press p 165 ISBN 978-0309073097 "One of the reasons scientists have difficulty believing that psi effects are real is that there is no known mechanism by which they could occur PK action-at-a-distance would presumably employ an action-at-a-distance force that is as yet unknown to science Similarly, there is no known sense stimulation and receptor by which thoughts could travel from one person to another by which the mind could project itself elsewhere in the present, future, or past"
- ^ Bunge, Mario 1983 Treatise on Basic Philosophy: Volume 6: Epistemology & Methodology II: Understanding the World Springer pp 225-226 ISBN 978-9027716347
- ^ Taylor, John 1980 Science and the Supernatural: An Investigation of Paranormal Phenomena Including Psychic Healing, Clairvoyance, Telepathy, and Precognition by a Distinguished Physicist and Mathematician Temple Smith p 83 ISBN 0-85117-191-5
- ^ Schwarzkopf, Samuel 2014 "We Should Have Seen This Coming" Frontiers in Human Neuroscience 8: 332 doi:103389/fnhum201400332 PMC 4034337 PMID 24904372
- ^ Alcock, James E 1981 Parapsychology: Science or Magic: a psychological perspective Oxford: Pergamon Press ISBN 0-08-025773-9 via Hines, Terence 2003 Pseudoscience and the Paranormal Prometheus Books pp 78–81 ISBN 978-1-57392-979-0
- ^ Madey, Scott; Thomas Gilovich 1993 "Effects of Temporal Focus on the Recall of Expectancy-Consistent and Expectancy-Inconsistent Information" Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 65 3: 458–68 doi:101037/0022-3514653458 PMID 8410650 via Kida, Thomas 2006 Don't Believe Everything You Think: The 6 Basic Mistakes We Make in Thinking Prometheus Books ISBN 978-1-59102-408-8
- ^ Aristotle On Divination in Sleep
- ^ Murray, H A; Wheeler, D R 1937 "A Note on the Possible Clairvoyance of Dreams" Journal of Psychology 3: 309–313 doi:101080/0022398019379917500
- ^ Sean O'Donnell, The Paranormal Explained Lulu 2007
- ^ Brian Inglis; The Paranormal: An Encyclopedia of Psychic Phenomena Paladin Grafton, 1986, p90
- ^ JB Priestley; Man and Time, Aldus, 1964
- ^ Francis Spufford, "I Have Been Here Before", Sunday Feature, BBC Radio 3, 14 Sep 2014
- ^ Ryback, David, PhD "Dreams That Came True" New York: Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group, 1988
- ^ Wiseman, Richard 2011 Paranormality: Why We See What Isn't There Macmillan pp 163-167 ISBN 978-0-230-75298-6
- "In short, you have lots of dreams and encounter lots of events Most of the time the dreams are unrelated to the events, and so you forget about them However, once in a while one of the dreams will correspond to one of the events Once this happens, it is suddenly easy to remember the dream and convince yourself that it has magically predicted the future In reality, it is just the laws of probability at work"
- "The principle is known as the ‘Law of Large Numbers’, and states that unusual events are likely to happen when there are lots of opportunities for that event It is exactly the same with any national lottery The chances of any one person hitting the jackpot is millions to one, but still it happens as regular as clockwork each week because such a large number of people buy tickets For genuine evidence of premonitions then, the situation is even worse than we have imagined Given that people dream about doom and gloom more often than not, the numbers quickly stack up and acts of apparent prophecy are inevitable"
- ^ Sutherland, Stuart 1994 Irrationality: The Enemy Within pp 312-313 Penguin Books ISBN 0-14-016726-9
- ^ "Law of Truly Large Numbers"
|Wikisource has the text of the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica article Premonition|
- Robert Todd Carroll 2013 "Precognition and Second Sight" The Skeptic's Dictionary
- Frazier, Kendrick 2013 "Failure to Replicate Results of Bem Parapsychology Experiments Published by Same Journal" Skeptical Inquirer 37: 5–6
- Chris French 2012 "Precognition Studies and the Curse of the Failed Replications" The Guardian
- Nicolas Gauvrit 2011 "Precognition or Pathological Science An Analysis of Daryl Bem’s Controversial Feeling the Future Paper" The Skeptics Society
- Thomas Gilovich 1993 How We Know What Isn't So: Fallibility of Human Reason in Everyday Life Free Press ISBN 978-0-02-911706-4
- Terence Hines 2003 Pseudoscience and the Paranormal Prometheus Books ISBN 1-57392-979-4
- David Marks 2000 The Psychology of the Psychic 2nd Edition Prometheus Books ISBN 1-57392-798-8
- Robert Novella 2000 "The Power of Coincidence: Some Notes on "Psychic" Predictions" Quackwatch
- Stephanie Pappas 2012 "Controversial Psychic Ability Claim Doesn't Hold Up in New Experiments" LiveScience
- Richard Wiseman 2011 Paranormality: Why We See What Isn't There Macmillan ISBN 978-0-230-75298-6
|List of topics characterized as pseudoscience|
precognition, precognition and premonition, precognition def, precognition examples, precognition field, precognition meaning, precognition psychology, precognition synonyms, precognition tests, precognitive dreams
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