Negative Psychic Reaction

Tempest63

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#1
Listening to the “In ReSearch Of“ podcast this morning they discussed zenner cards and how when testing a group of kids some recorded above average results whilst others scored way below the median. These poorly scoring kids were labelled “Negative Psychic“ as they blocked anything psychic wise from occurring. James Randi was also a supposed “Negative Psychic”
This reminded me of a time I believe I have recounted elsewhere on this forum, when a former girlfriend and her friend dabbled with a Ouija board. Apparently when I was absent they could obtain results from the board but when I was present nothing ever happened. She said my presence stopped anything else coming through, so I would assume, from today’s podcast, that I could be a “Negative Psychic“?

It seems weird that for all the strange occurrences that manifested around me as a kid, I should now carry that label when I started to become a little sceptical.
 

AlchoPwn

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#2
I wonder how many skeptics and stage magicians are negative psychics? Also, is it because they stop shenaniggans, or is it because they do things to the "vibes".
 

PeteS

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#3
Listening to the “In ReSearch Of“ podcast this morning they discussed zenner cards and how when testing a group of kids some recorded above average results whilst others scored way below the median. These poorly scoring kids were labelled “Negative Psychic“ as they blocked anything psychic wise from occurring. James Randi was also a supposed “Negative Psychic”
This reminded me of a time I believe I have recounted elsewhere on this forum, when a former girlfriend and her friend dabbled with a Ouija board. Apparently when I was absent they could obtain results from the board but when I was present nothing ever happened. She said my presence stopped anything else coming through, so I would assume, from today’s podcast, that I could be a “Negative Psychic“?

It seems weird that for all the strange occurrences that manifested around me as a kid, I should now carry that label when I started to become a little sceptical.
I've come to the belief after all my experiences that "Negative Psychic" is an actual thing.
 

AlchoPwn

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#4
I've come to the belief after all my experiences that "Negative Psychic" is an actual thing.
I can see arguments both ways on this. How one might construct an unbiased experiment is an interesting prospect. The notion that "the observer is part of the experiment" would need to be front and center I think.
 

EnolaGaia

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#5
I can see arguments both ways on this. How one might construct an unbiased experiment is an interesting prospect. The notion that "the observer is part of the experiment" would need to be front and center I think.
The most obvious obstacle to be overcome is the conceptual fallacy that it makes sense to test for a 'negative' or 'dampening' effect on a phenomenon which itself has yet to be reliably demonstrated or for which there's not yet any coherent theory that can be framed with regard to 'positive' / 'negative' scalar or regular values.

The idea of a 'negative X' presumes there's an 'X' in the first place.

To say X can't be reliably demonstrated because a negative version of it is obscuring the proof is more of a conspiracy theory than a "scientific" theory.

The reasonable approach is to take the possibility of such a negative / negating effect into account when designing experiments. Demonstrate X first, then you can reasonably test for factors that obscure or counteract X.
 

Eponastill

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#6
The idea of a 'negative X' presumes there's an 'X' in the first place.
Ah but with Zener cards, it's all about being able to pick cards that match. So statistically, very easy to say if someone's matching more than they really 'should' - or indeed, with the negative version, that statistically they're not matching as many as they 'should' (should by chance, that is, with chance being 1 in 5 with Zener cards).
Is that not unbiased, to use Zener cards, or their computer equivalent?
 

EnolaGaia

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#7
Ah but with Zener cards, it's all about being able to pick cards that match. So statistically, very easy to say if someone's matching more than they really 'should' - or indeed, with the negative version, that statistically they're not matching as many as they 'should' (should by chance, that is, with chance being 1 in 5 with Zener cards).
Is that not unbiased, to use Zener cards, or their computer equivalent?
Methodological bias isn't the issue here. Various card (etc.) matching tactics have been used in psi experiments for decades now.

Card-matching performance exceeding a reasonably established statistical threshold may be evidence for a psi capability, but performance below such a threshold cannot be reasonably treated as evidence for a "negative" version of the same psi capability - at least not until that psi capability is reliably demonstrated in the first place.
 

brownmane

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#8
ok, let's talk "psychicly", meaning that I am using terminolgy that is related to psychics. Just to weigh in on this "negative psychic" bit, I have always wondered what happens if you have two people who are receivers or two people who are senders working together. One of the experiments that people have tried, as I understand, is for one to look at the card and send the image telepathically to the other person. But this falls short in that no one can verify if one person is a sender and the other a receiver. If a sender were sitting in the "receiver" chair and visa versa, then theoretically the sender could still be sending the image that s/he wants to see and the receiver would pick out the card that the sender wants to see.

Theoretically, even a negative result would be legitimate because of this supposition, meaning that you have two mismatched people. So I have never believed in negative psychic reaction anyways, as there was no way to verify what each person's skills were.

I tend to believe in intuition and that some people pick up more subtle cues from the environment than others (my idea of intuition).
 

PeteS

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#9
It seems inevitable in these discussions that psychic ability is reduced to the "picking cards" argument. In my view this ability (or lack thereof) adds nothing to the evidence.
 

AlchoPwn

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#10
The most obvious obstacle to be overcome is the conceptual fallacy that it makes sense to test for a 'negative' or 'dampening' effect on a phenomenon which itself has yet to be reliably demonstrated or for which there's not yet any coherent theory that can be framed with regard to 'positive' / 'negative' scalar or regular values.

The idea of a 'negative X' presumes there's an 'X' in the first place.

To say X can't be reliably demonstrated because a negative version of it is obscuring the proof is more of a conspiracy theory than a "scientific" theory.

The reasonable approach is to take the possibility of such a negative / negating effect into account when designing experiments. Demonstrate X first, then you can reasonably test for factors that obscure or counteract X.
Your approach is of course valid, and I summarised it as "stopping shenanigans".
 

brownmane

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#11
It seems inevitable in these discussions that psychic ability is reduced to the "picking cards" argument. In my view this ability (or lack thereof) adds nothing to the evidence.
I think the picking cards is the most common way of trying to establish the evidence for telepathy. There are other psychic abilities that are even more difficult to establish even partially sound experiments for.

I had heard of clairvoyance and clairaudiance and I see and hear nothing. But sometimes I know something that I am certain of and have no way of explaining how I know it. Apparently this too is a psychic skill called clairsentience. But how to prove?

My one odd, clearly clairsentient experience that I had a witness to and neither of us had any personal connection to, happened about 10-15 years ago.

I was visiting a friend who lived in a small village which I only became familiar with through her. She had not lived there long. We were goofing around (at least I was), and she believed that she had psychic powers and could see things ie ghosts. She also believed that she got better with practise. We were walking through the village's well lit cemetery one evening and so I asked her what she did to practise. She explained that she would ask questions of the spirits that she could see and somehow test out the answers she intuited - not clear as to how this was done.

So I did "see" a man standing just outside of the cemetery property (there was a trailer park there). He seemed to be wearing a brown suit. I described it as being like one from 1940's but ammended it to the 1930's. For some reason the years 1938-39 came into my head. I told my friend this.

She then told me to ask him a question, which I said aloud. My questions were:
What is your name - James

Why are you here? - I had the feeling that he was not a resident, but a visitor. My story that I got was that he'd come looking for his sister who'd died but that he didn't know where she was as he'd lived overseas ( my understanding was that his sister immigrated to Canada).

What is your sister's name? - At first I got the letter B and then the full name of Bates. And now I was laughing to myself because of course I was thinking of Norman Bates and trying to really give my experiment a chance, but that was clear evidence (to me) that I was making the story up. But in the spirit of things I continued. The surname of Bates would not leave my head. I asked,

What was her first name? - Laura.

That was it for the evening. The next morning my friend and I returned to the cemetery to see if any of the headstones had any such name. I was astounded to find that there is a grave of Laura Bates who died 1938 in the front part of the cemetery!

I can verify nothing else. I have never before done anything that has ever been physically verified other than just my own self verification. Also it seems that the surname Bates was common in that cemetery, but I had no prior knowledge the families in the area.
 

PeteS

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#12
I think the picking cards is the most common way of trying to establish the evidence for telepathy. There are other psychic abilities that are even more difficult to establish even partially sound experiments for.

I had heard of clairvoyance and clairaudiance and I see and hear nothing. But sometimes I know something that I am certain of and have no way of explaining how I know it. Apparently this too is a psychic skill called clairsentience. But how to prove?

My one odd, clearly clairsentient experience that I had a witness to and neither of us had any personal connection to, happened about 10-15 years ago.

I was visiting a friend who lived in a small village which I only became familiar with through her. She had not lived there long. We were goofing around (at least I was), and she believed that she had psychic powers and could see things ie ghosts. She also believed that she got better with practise. We were walking through the village's well lit cemetery one evening and so I asked her what she did to practise. She explained that she would ask questions of the spirits that she could see and somehow test out the answers she intuited - not clear as to how this was done.

So I did "see" a man standing just outside of the cemetery property (there was a trailer park there). He seemed to be wearing a brown suit. I described it as being like one from 1940's but ammended it to the 1930's. For some reason the years 1938-39 came into my head. I told my friend this.

She then told me to ask him a question, which I said aloud. My questions were:
What is your name - James

Why are you here? - I had the feeling that he was not a resident, but a visitor. My story that I got was that he'd come looking for his sister who'd died but that he didn't know where she was as he'd lived overseas ( my understanding was that his sister immigrated to Canada).

What is your sister's name? - At first I got the letter B and then the full name of Bates. And now I was laughing to myself because of course I was thinking of Norman Bates and trying to really give my experiment a chance, but that was clear evidence (to me) that I was making the story up. But in the spirit of things I continued. The surname of Bates would not leave my head. I asked,

What was her first name? - Laura.

That was it for the evening. The next morning my friend and I returned to the cemetery to see if any of the headstones had any such name. I was astounded to find that there is a grave of Laura Bates who died 1938 in the front part of the cemetery!

I can verify nothing else. I have never before done anything that has ever been physically verified other than just my own self verification. Also it seems that the surname Bates was common in that cemetery, but I had no prior knowledge the families in the area.
What an astonishing experience! Yet the unbelievers will say "where is the evidence?". The very personal and fleeting nature of these experiences makes evidence based substantiation impossible to provide. Have you any other similar incidents to report?
 

Ringo

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#13
If a sender were sitting in the "receiver" chair and visa versa, then theoretically the sender could still be sending the image that s/he wants to see and the receiver would pick out the card that the sender wants to see.
In the original (and much repeated) experiment, the "sender" is sitting with a pile of approx. 250 cards, all 5 symbols are represented. The pile is randomised/shuffled and placed face down. The sender removes the top card, looks at it, records then symbol and then "sends" it.

The receiver was often in another room with a lamp switching on/off to say when the sender was sending. They then pointed to one of 5 face-up symbols and the choice was annotated by an assistant.

This methodology eliminates your suggestion that a sender sitting in the "receiving" chair could cause the receiver in the "sender" chair to pick the symbol they wanted them to send. But the systen is open to manipulation. For example, when participants were more trusted and had performed the test several times, or when necessity dictated, less stringent conditions were applied. They often were allowed to shuffle the cards themselves, sometimes they sat in the same room (divided sometimes by a wooden/cardboard partition, sometimes just facing each other) and sometimes they were allowed to speak to each other. Each of these variables would allow for cheating. The famous 21 out of 25 card run by Linzmayer was done in Rhine's car. I can think of how I would cheat that test. A few years ago a daughter/mother team who claimed near perfect results could only send/recieve correctly if they had eye contact, unaware that they were sending micro signals with their facial muscles.

It seems inevitable in these discussions that psychic ability is reduced to the "picking cards" argument. In my view this ability (or lack thereof) adds nothing to the evidence.
I suppose it's the most basic form of trying to prove/disprove PSI ability under test conditions. However, the entire system is open to manipulation and cheating. Anyone interested in that should read about Steven Shaw - a fellow mind magician/mentalist who basically cheated and lied his way through a whole raft of experiments and tests under a 4 year period. He was part of Project Alpha at McDonnell Laboratory for Psychical Research in Washington. His (and his friends) total manipulation of the scientists caused the university to close the department down. The two (then) teenagers were able to pull the wool over everyone's eyes purely through exploiting bad methodology and controls.

People complain about what he did, saying it has damaged this field of research. However, if we are to get anywhere and provide genuine data, then his exposure of sloppy thinking helps sharpen the rest of the field. Anyone engaged in real PSI work should definitely employ or at least consult with a Mentalist - like me. (I'm open to offers ;) )

Speaking of which - head over to chat to help in my most recent PSI research.
 

brownmane

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#14
Have you any other similar incidents to report?
Nothing as clear as that. I have days, for example that I might complete something that is due at another time. I used to work in accounts payable which is pretty routine and most everything is on hold at the month end to complete month end duties. Often enough that others in the office noted, I would complete a task a day earlier just because I decided to do that, then the day that it was due, all hell would break out - usually computer problems or the finance director would need to have some task done immediately. Others would be scrambling to complete their regular tasks as well as the added. I would be able to assist everyone else to meet deadlines because I'd done some of mine a day early. I can be called organized, which I am, but the others were no less organized than I. But there is no concrete way to say that I received any info, psychic or otherwise, that allowed me to kind of keep ahead of the randomness of work.

But it happens enough that I'm starting to notice and just shake my head and consider myself lucky.

And the outcome can only be seen in retrospect which is not provable.
 
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