Guess what we're thinking... Twitter to test psychic powers in scientific study
2009 06 02

DailyMail.co.uk

Have you ever suspected you could be psychic? Now you can find out thanks to an experiment to be conducted through Twitter.

In the first scientific study to use the social messaging service, experts will investigate 'remote viewing' - the psychic ability to identify distant locations.

Thousands of members of the public will be asked to 'Tweet' their impressions of a randomly chosen spot in the UK visited by one of the researchers.

Then they will vote for which of five photographs on a website shows where the visitor was standing. The trial will be repeated with visually different locations four times.

If at the end of the experiment the votes correctly identify at least three targets, it will support the existence of extra-sensory perception.

Study leader psychologist Professor Richard Wiseman, from the University of Hertfordshire, who specialises in investigating psychic phenomena, said: 'Personally, I'm sceptical, but three hits would be against odds of one in 125, which would be quite impressive.'

He hopes as many as 10,000 people will take part in the research, being conducted in collaboration with New Scientist magazine.

Prof Wiseman will travel to each target location at 3pm on each day this week and send a message to thousands of participants to 'Tweet' their thoughts about his surroundings.

Twenty minutes after sending this message he will transmit another containing a website address on which participants can view photographs of the actual location and four decoys. They will then cast their votes.

'I have staged several mass participation studies over the years, but this is the first to use Twitter,' said Prof Wiseman.

'The instant nature of Tweets allows thousands of people to take part in real time, making it perfect for an extra-sensory perception experiment.

'If the effect does exist then having so many people participate will help detect it.'

Prof Wiseman is not the first scientist to investigate remote viewing.

At the height of the Cold War in the 1970s, the CIA spent 20 million dollars (£12.5 million) conducting remote viewing experiments in a real-life case of the 'X-files'.

The 'Stargate Project' was aimed at conducting 'psychic spying' missions against the Soviet Union.

'The Russians were doing the same thing, and there was evidence from laboratory studies that suggested there might be something going on,' said Prof Wiseman.

'The CIA just thought it was worth a try and ran the programme for about 10 years.'

Remote viewing has been linked to astral projection and telepathy, but no-one knows how it might work.

Unlike the CIA, Prof Wiseman will be looking for a group effect rather than individual ability.

This is a phenomenon known as 'the wisdom of the crowds'.

'If you have a jar full of jellybeans and you want to know many are in it, you get the most accurate estimate by averaging a number of different people's estimates,' said Prof Wiseman.

The results of the experiment should be known on Friday.

Sumit Paul-Choudhury, online editor at New Scientist, said: 'There have been mass participation experiments since the start of mass communication and this is the next step.

'If we find some sort of effect then we can get into speculating about how it works.'

You can take part in the experiment by signing up to Twitter and 'following' Richard Wiseman

Article from: DailyMail.co.uk

Twitter: RichardWiseman






Related Articles
Twitter: Richard Wiseman
Richard Wiseman Blog
Stock Traders Seek Economic Guidance from Psychics
Wartime Psychics
Fringe Science Yields 'Gay Bombs' and Psychic Teleportation
Mind-Reading Device Sends Twitter Messages


Latest News from our Front Page

Pre-historic tokens used in conjunction with cuneiform
2014 07 22
An archaeological dig in southeast Turkey has uncovered a large number of clay tokens that were used as records of trade until the advent of writing, or so it had been believed. But a new find of tokens, dates from a time when writing was commonplace – thousands of years after it was previously assumed this technology had become obsolete. Researchers ...
Are immigration opponents Nazis?
2014 07 22
It seems the usual suspects are calling anyone who opposes unlimited immigration to be a "Nazi". The Left seems to be in constant fear of "Nazis" that lurk in public policy discussions and I assume under their beds. If you oppose any Leftist position, you are a.... take a wild guess...wait for it.... a NAZI! Tim Wise recently went ...
What Did US Spy Satellites See in Ukraine?
2014 07 22
Exclusive: The U.S. media’s Ukraine bias has been obvious, siding with the Kiev regime and bashing ethnic Russian rebels and Russia’s President Putin. But now – with the scramble to blame Putin for the Malaysia Airlines shoot-down – the shoddy journalism has grown truly dangerous, says Robert Parry. In the heat of the U.S. media’s latest war hysteria – rushing to ...
Oh, Great: Robots Are Set to Conduct National Security Clearance Interviews
2014 07 22
Advancing a career in the US government might soon require an interview with a computer-generated head who wants to know about that time you took ketamine. Psychologists at the National Center for Credibility Assessment (NCCA) are developing an interview system that uses a responsive on-screen avatar for the first stage of the national security clearance process. Initial screening for a variety ...
Is Anything on the Internet Real Anymore?
2014 07 22
Is there anybody…out there? I promise I’m a real person asking this question and typing this article…but beyond that, I can’t promise much else about anything you or I see on the Internet. This article on ZDNet, “GCHQ’s dark arts: Leaked documents reveal online manipulation, Facebook, YouTube snooping,” confirms — beyond a shadow of any possible doubt — that a barrage of ...
More News »