Title of Study: ESP and Motor Automatisms
Our aim in this study is to explore ESP in dissociated states of consciousness. The word “dissociation” is often linked to mental illnesses such as schizophrenia and dissociative identity disorder (multiple personality), but all of us experience milder versions of it in everyday life. A simple example is keeping your car on the road while talking to the person sitting next to you. It is this more normal type of dissociation that we are interested in for the study.
What we are seeking to do is split participants’ consciousness into rational and intuitive components. The idea is to have the intuitive mind take the ESP test while the rational mind is kept from getting in the way. We will employ two procedures to accomplish this. The first (a version of a technique popular with Spiritualist trance mediums) is to distract the rational mind by having it read a series of quotations while the intuitive mind takes the ESP test. The second is to blank the rational mind while the intuitive mind takes the ESP test. Participants will be asked to apply one of these procedures based on random assignment. We also aim to facilitate the dissociation by inducing a meditation-like altered state of consciousness. We will accomplish this by having participants listen to a recorded progressive relaxation exercise.