from the
Journal of Parapsychology


By Nevin D. Lantz, Wanda L. W. Luke, and Edwin C. May

Science Applications International Corporation
Cognitive Sciences Laboratory
330 Cowper Street, Suite 200
Palo Alto CA 94301

The ganzfeld experiments as summarized by Bem and Honorton suggest that using dynamic targets produces stronger results than using static ones. Bem and Honorton, however, only analyzed ganzfeld studies that included the use of a sender. Because a sender is not a necessary requirement in forced-choice trials, we designed and carried out a study to see if a sender is required in non-ganzfeld, free-response trials. In the first of two experiments, five experienced receivers participated in 40 trials each, 10 in each condition of a 2-x-2 design to explore sender and target type. We observed significant effects for static targets (exact sum-of-rank probability of p <= 0.0073, effect size = 0.248, n = 100), chance results for dynamic targets (p <= 0.500, effect size = 0.000, n = 100), and no interaction effects between sender and target-type conditions. One receiver slightly favored the no-sender condition, F(1,36) = 4.43, p <= 0.04, whereas another slightly favored static targets, F(1,36) = 5.47, p <= 0.04. We speculate that these surprising results (i.e., favoring static over dynamic targets) arose, in part, because of the difference between a topically unbounded dynamic target pool and a topically restrictive static pool. In a second experiment, we redesigned the dynamic pool to match more closely the properties of the static pool. Four of the receivers from the first study participated in at least 20 trials each, 10 in each target-type condition. No senders were used throughout this experiment. We observed a significant increase in anomalous cognition for the new dynamic targets; t = 3.06, df = 143, p <= 1.3 x 10-3, and a significant increase in anomalous cognition for the static targets, t = 1.68, df = 143, p <= 0.047. We conclude that a sender is not a necessary requirement for free-response anomalous cognition. A rank-order analysis showed no target-type dependencies in the second study. On the basis of an analysis by May, Spottiswoode, and James, we believe a fundamental argument suggests that in free-response anomalous cognition experiments, dynamic targets should be better than static ones. (Sept. 1994)


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