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Evaluation of a Program on Anomalous Mental Phenomena

Ray Hyman, 1227 University of Oregon, Department of Psychology, Eugene, OR 97403

Jessica Utts and I were commissioned to evaluate the research on remote viewing and related phenomena which was carried out at Stanford Research Institute (SRI) and Scientific Applications International Corporation (SAIC) during the years from 1973 through 1994. We focussed on the ten most recent experiments which were conducted at SAIC from 1992 through 1994. These were not only the most recent but also the most methodologically sound. We evaluated these experiments in the context of contemporary parapsychological research. Professor Utts concluded that the SAIC results, taken in conjunction with other parapsychological research, proved the existence of ESP, especially precognition. My report argues that Professor Utts' conclusion is premature, to say the least. The reports of the SAIC experiments have become accessible for public scrutiny too recently for adequate evaluation. Moreover, their findings have yet to be independently replicated. My report also argues that the apparent consistencies between the SAIC results and those of other parapsychological experiments may be illusory. Many important inconsistencies are emphasized. Even if the observed effects can be independently replicated, much more theoretical and empirical investigation would be needed before one could legitimately claim the existence of paranormal functioning.

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