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Human development and paranormal cognition.

Spinelli, Ernesto. (1978) Human development and paranormal cognition. Doctoral thesis, University of Surrey (United Kingdom)..

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Abstract

It has been proposed that ESP-type phenomena (herein referred to as 'paranormal cognition') can best be studied; and understood if they are seen to originate from the same theoretical process as normal cognition. Several predictions were made with regard to the conditions under which paranormal cognition would be most commonly observable. A comparison was then made between the experimental data on paranormal cognition already available and these predictions. It was found that all present evidence of paranormal cognition could be accommodated by one or more of these predictions. One of the predictions made was concerned with the developmental aspects of paranormal cognition. It was argued that when an organism's maturational level has not yet reached the level of complex internalised connections its species is capable of generating, (i.e. it is learning to make internalised connections) then paranormal cognition should be highly observable. In a series of three observational studies and three I.Q. experiments testing paranormal cognition ability in dyads of human subjects ranging between 3 and 70 years of age it was found that: a) Subjects aged up to 8 years of age obtained highly significant above chance scores in a paranormal cognition experiment, whereas all subjects older than this chronological age obtained chance level scores on the same experiment. b) Chronological age (up to 8 years) is inversely proportional to paranormal cognition ability (i.e. the lower the chronological age of the subject, the higher the paranormal cognition score). c) I.Q. levels are inversely proportional to paranormal cognition ability in subjects aged up to 8 years (i.e. the lower the I.Q. of the subject, the higher the paranormal cognition score). d) The manipulation of either the chronological age or the I.Q. variable greatly affects paranormal cognition scores. Subject dyads paired for both chronological age and I.Q. obtained results which clearly indicated the inverse relation between both chronological age and I.Q. and paranormal cognition scores. Subject dyads paired for I.Q. but not for chronological age obtained results which clearly indicated the inverse relation between I.Q. and paranormal cognition scores, but not between chronological age and paranormal cognition. Group scores obtained in paranormal cognition were lower than those obtained when both chronological age and I.Q. were paired. Finally, subject dyads paired for chronological age but not for I.Q. showed a clear (but much reduced in terms of paranormal cognition score) inverse relation between chronological age and paranormal cognition and, to some extent, between I.Q. and paranormal cognition# e) In none of the studies or experiments were there any scoring differences found between males and females or between dyads made up of two subjects of the same sex or made up of one subject of one sex and one subject of the other. f) In all the groups studied (regardless of chronological age or I.Q. level) a very highly significant number of successful paranormal cognition 'hits' were obtained in the first and last trial of each dyad run. In the second set of experiments, subjects paired for chronological age and I.Q. were given a secondary normal cognition task of varying difficulty which was carried out at the same time as the paranormal cognition task. It was found that the introduction of a secondary normal cognition task diminished the level of successful paranormal cognition scoring. Further, it was also found that the more difficult the secondary task, the lower was the level of successful paranormal cognition scores. In a final set of experiments, subject dyads paired for both chronological age and I.Q. were given a 'relaxation' task (i.e. listening to music) designed to minimise consciously directed thought at the same time as the paranormal cognition task. It was found that the level of paranormal cognition scoring increased in relation to the level of 'relaxation' in the dyads. The experimental results obtained were found to be in accordance with the theoretical proposals suggested with regard to the study and understanding of paranormal cognition.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Divisions : Theses
Authors :
NameEmailORCID
Spinelli, Ernesto.
Date : 1978
Contributors :
ContributionNameEmailORCID
http://www.loc.gov/loc.terms/relators/THS
Additional Information : Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Surrey (United Kingdom), 1978.
Depositing User : EPrints Services
Date Deposited : 22 Jun 2018 14:26
Last Modified : 06 Nov 2018 16:53
URI: http://epubs.surrey.ac.uk/id/eprint/848044

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