Radin, D., Mossbridge, J. (2021). Psi Performance as a Function of Demographic and Personality Factors in Smartphone-Based Tests: Using a “SEARCH” Approach Journal of Anomalous Experience and Cognition, 1(1-2).
Objective: We set out to gain a better understanding of human psychic or “psi” functioning by using a smartphone-based app to gather data from thousands of participants. Our expectations were that psi performance would often be revealed to be in the direction opposite to the participants’ conscious intentions (“expecta-tion-opposing”; previously called “psi-missing”), and that gender and psi belief would be related to performance.
Method: We created and launched three iOS-based tasks, available from 2017 to 2020, related to micro-psychokinesis (the ability to mentally influence a random number generator) and precognition (the ability to predict fu-ture randomly selected events). We statistically analyzed data from more than 2,613 unique logins and 995,995 contributed trials using null hypothesis significance testing as well as a pre-registered confirmatory analysis.
Results: Our expectations were con-firmed, and we discovered additional effects post-hoc. Our key findings were: 1) signif-icant expectation-opposing effects, with a confirmatory pre-registered replication of a clear expectation-opposing effect on a micro-PK task, 2) performance correlated with psi belief on all three tasks, 3) performance on two of the three tasks related to gender, 4) men and women apparently used different strategies to perform micro-PK and precognition tasks.
Conclusions: We describe our recommendations for future at-tempts to better understand performance on forced-choice psi tasks. The mnemonic for this strategy is SEARCH: Small effects, Early and exploratory, Accrue data, Recognize diversity in approach, Characterize rather than impose, and Hone in on big results.