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Approved For Release 2000/08/11 : CIA-RDP96-00792R000700610001-3 A "Psychic Contest" Using Non-Laboratopy Ster-RNG Task In A y Setting Mario P. Varvoglis Interface-psi Abstract An exploratory, computer non -contholled RNG stud -laboratory setting and represented as a 'Psychic contest" Y conducted I. a " is described. The stud Psycoic Whether, the Psilab II Y was undertaken to examine used to explore intentional Or flonPr'Ogram intenti >acould be Profitably setting of a "psychic fair". l psi in the selected out of a larger Sixty two subjects '-"'Ore In a population were On the basi of ther preliminary psi test. Subjects weresallowediu to two Volition games each; 18 games were the three day period of the fair. An equal collected over p "simulation" games in An equal number of also collected. es, hwhich no subjects were In eac also collet game, both "feedback" present, was (determining the ' silent" progression of RNG samples samples ( which do the feedback display) display) were store, not affect the i and Feedback and silent d game's ata were compared to theoretical distributions through goodness-of-fit end-game scores (z- trun-scores) as scores) tests, entries. and within-game scores Yielded no si The analysis of end-game ores gnific s ant feedback or silent results scilent run-score was significant (chi-square (28)'=but the subse ue matched-simulation experiment Xra q series of 100 extended-simulation experimen showed any evidence for ' nor a The silent run-score prior Volit esultG replicatesnt is of two ion experiments by findings the feasibility of employing y Berger (1988) and su Psi-tests for " "investiwell-standardizedcomputerts field investigations of psi. A roved For Release 2000/08/11 : CIA-RDP96-00792R000700610001-3 Approved For Release 2000/08/11 : CIA-RDP96-00792R000700610001-3 Introduction in the last decade, computerized psi tasks have become increasingly popular in research laboratories, gradually replacing the standard tool's of prior generations, like Zener cards, dice, and stand-alone random number generators (RNGs). This trend is largely due to the fact that computers enable considerable experimental control, while testing rdc previously unimaginable flexibility in hypothesis and data analysis. Further, the trend toward computerized psi-tasks reflects a growing. interest in inter-laboratory cooperation. The release of "PsiLab II' (Berger & Honorton 1984; Psychophysical Research Laboratories (PRL), 1985), a standardized computer-RNG psi-testing system, has introduced a new level of sophistication in collaboration and 11 i t e of P i ag replication efforts. One major advan hardwares n that, because of its standardization (e.g., it allows data-collection protocols, and subject feedback), for systematic comparisons of results across different investigators and subject populations. Furthermore, because of its portability and built-in safeguards, PsiLab II can be considered a self-contained "laboratory", i.e., a transportable testing environment which can be taken outside the laboratory to potentially promising environments. The current study constitutes the first known attempt to utilize Psilab's automated computer-RNG tasks under circumstances quite removed from those of laboratory research. The occasion was a 3-day conference in Montreal, where I had been invited to give talks on psi research. In addition to the formal presentations, there was a "psychic fair", with holistic health merchants, New Age artists, tarot-readers, palm-readers, astrologers, past-life regressors, and other colorful personalities. It seemed to be an interesting setting for a psi experiment, and, about a month prior to my arrival, i proposed creating a "psychic contest" for the fair. The organizers were overjoyed with the idea (thinking, no doubt, of the associated publicity) and agreed to rent out a sizable booth at a discount. The "contest" involved two tasks, each involving a separate computer. The first, a computer psi-game I created for the occasion served as a screening/motivational device. The second, the "official" psi task, was PsiLab's "Volition" game. Volition is a computer psi game experiment in which subject-initiated button presses sample the RNG. Each button press (run) samples 100-bits of RNG data which drive a graphic feedback display. Another 100-bits, designated as "hidden" or "silent" data, are also sampled but not I chose displayed to the subject who is blind to these data. Volition partly because, from among several available 37 Approved For Release 2000/08/11 : CIA-RDP96-00792R000700610001-3 Approved For Release 2000/08/11 : CIA-RDP96-00792R000700610001-3 choices, it seemed the easiest to explain, in a,hurry, to a subject "off the street";"and partly because it has already been used in a number of studies, with some success. Prior research wit V li i~h The first Volition study, conducted at Psychophysical Research Laboratories 1PRLJ (PRL, 1984) involved 20 participants, each contributing 10 "games" (with 100 runs each containing 100 bits). Overall, there was no evidence for psi in the "feedback" samples, but a significant excess of subjects obtained independently significant results in the "silent" data. The silent effects were non-directional: game outcomes deviated significantly from chance, but not consistently with the person's "aim". Palmer & Perlstrom (1987) reported a Volition study with 30 subjects, examining the effect of different instructional sets (instructions emphasizing directional control vs. extremeness of scoring). Results from this study are difficult to interpret, due to the multiplicity of analyses undertaken, but the most salient finding seemed consistent with PRL results: game-score variance in the silent samples was relatively high with instructional sets for "extreme" scoring, and relatively low when subjects were aiming for the "chance line. Two more Volition studies, reported in Berger (1988), and based upon run-score variability (rather than game-score variance) produced conceptually similar results.'In the first, involving 10 subjects (including the investigator) significant run score variability was obtained in the silent data, whereas no effect was evident in the feedback data; removal of the experimenter's data did not substantially change the results. In the second study, in which the investigator was the only subject, significant run-score variability was again found in the silent, but not the feedback samples. These results with Volition replicated the results of two earlier studies by Berger (1988), using similar RNG sampling procedures but based on a different feedback task (PsiLab's "Psi Invaders). In short, Volition has consistently shown some promise for eliciting non-directional silent data effects. Naturally, given that many RNG-feedback studies have demonstrated intentional psi,.one wonders whether there is something special about Volition (and other tasks which include a "silent" condition) which specifically invites unintentional psi effects. Does the mere existence of a silent condition distract from the intentional task and invite "displacements"? Schechter (1987) reported data supportive of a "displacement" interpretation: individuals whotended to "miss" in the feedback task (i.e., to obtain end-results contrary to their chosen aim) tended to "hit" in the silent task. Approved For Release 2000/08/11 : CIA-RDP96-00792R000700610001-3 Approved For Release 2000/08/11 : CIA-RDP96-00792R000700610001-3 On the other hand, it is also possible that silent effects are, in fact, no more than experimenter effects. First, the investigators' own psi could be shaping the silent data - during the session (through psi-mediated data sorting or through 'conformance behavior"), or retroactively (as suggested by Observational Theories). Alternatively, the investigators' expectations may create tacit "demand characteristics" in the study, which unconsciously influence subjects' psi performance. The reported Volition studies have been based upon intensive laboratory work with self-selected volunteers--people who have prior interest in psi (and in psi research), and who are given a fair amount of attention prior to, and during the testing (through repeated laboratory visits, interchanges with lab members, extended task-explanations and demonstrations, etc.). Under such circumstances, it is plausible to believe that subjects might simply "give the experimenter what he wants" - if not feedback effects, at least silent effects. The question of the experimenter's role is particularly pertinent when it comes to automated tasks like Volition. Such tasks hold promise as self-contained, experimenter- independent procedures. But to be used in this manner, they must be motivationally (and not just methodologically) self- contained; they cannot depend too much upon inspirational investigators and special interpersonal settings. The "psychic fair" Volition contest thus seemed to be a way to determine whether effects similar to those already reported would be obtained in situations in which individuals' motives for participation and interactions with the investigator are quite different from those typical of laboratory research. Though participants would still interact with the investigator, and could not be considered 100% "off the street" (not in a psychic fair!), still, several factors rendered the setting much closer to the "real world" than to the world of the laboratory. To mention a few: the billing of the psi test as a contest, the market-place ambience of the "psychic fair", the necessarily brief (and business-like) subject:-experimenter interactions, the concrete potsibility of winning a prize, and, above all, the stiff price each person had to pay to have a shot at it! Subject Because it was impossible to know, in advance, how many individuals would be drawn to the "contest", and how many would meet the screening criteria set, the number of subjects could not be defined in advance (though an upper limit of 100 subjects was set). To avoid accusations of "optional stopping", the limits of the experiment were defined temporally: it was decided to run all subjects meeting the screening criteria, from the opening of the fair Approved For Release 2000/08/11 : CIA-RDP96-00792R000700610001-3 Approved For Release 2000/08/11 : CIA-RDP96-00792R000700610001-3 until closing'?time each day (i.e., 10:00 PM).. Each subject would be allowed a maximum of two Volition games. Generally, subjects either came booth, after having read notices forotheucontesttelsewhereg p in the fair, or wandered in, attracted by the crowds and/or the computer displays. In the three days of the fair, over 220 these, paid to take part in the screening task. Of , 62 participants (information on not retained) met screenin g gender breakdown was pay the extra fee to participateeinaVolition. Withlthe to exception of one individual, who was a fellow psi researcher, none of the participants had been formally tested for psi (until then); of course, many of them may have had spontaneous experiences or tested themselves informally, but this was not explored. Settin.9 The experiment took place in one of the booths set up for the "Sommet Esoterique" at the Velodrome Olympique of Montreal. Because the environment was quite bright and noisy, a special tent was constructed with dark fabrics, closing in the testing area on three sides and on top. The area under the,"tent" was about 12 meters square. The two computers used were placed at right angles to each other, on separate tables, with the color computer facing the opening of the tent. Hardware An Amiga 1000 with a color screens a "mouse", two disk drives, and a 2 megabyte memory Preliminary screening task. For theeAmiga was , hard foe the was used; the random digits were based upon analgorithm,vG reseeded by the computer's clock. An Apple Ile with a green/black screen, two disk drives, two "paddles" and a printer was used for the official psi task. The source of random digits for Psilab II noise-based RNG, fittedhiintopSlots5 ofstheaApple. This RNG had been given to the author in 1985 by PRL staff, after having passed a battery of tests ensuring its proper operation. A detailed presentation of the PRL component integrity tests, safeguards (such as shielding) and randomness checks is available elsewhere (Berer & 1984; PRL, 1985). 9 Honorton, Approved For Release 2000/08/11 : CIA-RDP96-00792R000700610001-3 Sofpped For Release 2000/08/11 : CIA-RDP96-00792R000700610001-3 Volition: In Psilab's Volition test, subjects are provided with continuous visual feedback as to their cumulative RNG scores through a graphic line which moves across the screen, in short segments. Each time the subject presses the button of the Apple game paddle, a 100-bit RNG sample is taken and compared to an alternating "target" bit stream; this yields a run-score with a mean chance expectation of 50 and standard deviation of 5. The run-score is added to previous scores and the cumulative z-score calculated; this determines the direction (upward or downward) and slope of the new feedback-line segment. Thus, above chance scores tend to direct the feedback segment upwards, below chance downwards. With the help of trend lines demarcating chance, and plus and minus 2- and 3- standard-deviation thresholds, the evolving feedback line represents clearly the cumulative performance of the person at each moment. In parallel to the feedback RNG runs, each buttonpress results in a 100-sample silent runt, as well. The designation of relative order (whether the first of the two samples is "feedback" or "silent") is alternated on a run by run basis. The Volition task used in the study was practically identical to that described in full in Berger & Honorton (1984), and Berger (1988). Only two differences were introduced. First, through the Design option, the game length was set at 20 100-sample RNG runs (in contrast to other investigators' setting of 50 or 100 runs). Second, at the beginning of each game, subjects were only asked if they prefer "Hi-aim" or "Lo-aim". They were not offered any other options for "tailoring" the feedback to their preferences; these options had been set previously (with "graphic designs" off, and all other options on). Buddha Game: The Buddha Game was written for the Amiga computer, in the C language, by a programmer who followed the author's instructions. As in Volition, the subject's buttonpress results in a series of random bits; the subject attempts to "sense" the right moment, so as to obtain the maximum run-score possible. Unlike Volition, however, the random bits are not obtained from a hardware RNG, but are derived from the built in Amiga random function, "reseeded" by a digit from the Amiga clock. Essentially, the game consists of a series of digitized images depicting a golden Buddha statue surrounded by an electric blue aura. Depending on the random score obtained, the buddha image either grows in size (giving the impression of an advance toward the user) and then turns clockwise, or turns counter-clockwise and then diminishes in size (giving the impression of a retreat). Accompanying these movements is a digitally sampled sound, vaguely resembling "Ahhhh", which decreases in pitch with 'advances" and increases in pitch with "retreats". Approved For Release 2000/08/11 : CIA-RDP96-00792R000700610001-3 Approved For Release 2000/08/11 : CIA-RDP96-00792R000700610001-3 At the beginning of the At eig n game, the Buddha is positioned at thee the subject half way from the first and last images. presses the Amiga's left "mouse" button, the RND function 'is sampled 10 times, yielding a series 1's and 0's. If the runscore is over 5, the Buddha advances, if under 5, of he retreats, and if at 5 he stays stationary.' The greater the departure from the expected score, the greater the advance or retreat from the current position. The goal of the individual is to make the Buddha either advance or retreat consistentl of the two end J', so that he reaches either of tpwse tpoints. The complete game 22 (digitized) sound of child~ennjauhhinast run~iatsampled goes blank, and the overal g i hl the screen game z-scor eis d dispsplayed. At the time of the fair, this At ure time o eern Program was not finished. No data had been implemented, and there was no or ~ on for storing suorect control runs. Thus, I decided in advance that this game's outcomes could not be used to assess psi performe; instead game's Volition' they ? , a as s a a would just means f serve or as a motivational apr " tol are ready f the " liti are on, hey or th " the person that Pr?ocedur?e As it turned out, the contest was the most the fair, and our booth was literall Popular event of crowding around, eluged w people for their chance to test their psychic muscle. The unanticipated popularity of the contest resulted in a a rather hectic atmosphere, clearly removed from the sanguine, well-disciplined atmosphere of the laboratory. Though an effort was made to keep the situation under control, some variations in testing conditions and experimenter- on subject interactions were inevitable. Upon arriving at the tents Pele Posted explanations of the contest, or wouldeinquiretfurth as to what's going on. If I was momentarily available, I would briefly er udt efexplain the e general idea; otherwise di await divi alsPosted'expIanations ' I would t mode solicit turn, for more details. (No attemptsawerehem at an Participants; it was, completely unnecessary, y rate). In general, Volition was "official" task to which subjects had toregrasented uateas. the first had to participate in the Buddha games and tnea minimum z-score of is in order to qualify for Volition. a If interested, the the a person would pay the cashier the fee for the Buddha a game $3.00), and a ticket would be the *Buddha* as wwl as de and the corresponding fee writtennonwit,~ ceipts were numbson's names address and phone number. The and as soon as one participant 42 Approved For Release 2000/08/11 : CIA-RDP96-00792R000700610001-3 Approved For Release 2000/08/11 : CIA-RDP96-00792R000700610001-3 finished with the Buddha game, the next one would be called by number, and sit in front of the Amiga screen. I would then explain the Buddha Same. There were some variations in instructional set, from subject to subject, as some people had already been there for a while, and had seen several demonstrations, while others were newcomers. Generally, subjects were told that the Buddha game tests their intuition, their ability to "sense" the right time for pressing the button, in order to obtain high scores. I used the analogy of a fast-spinning roulette wheel, with numbers on it, which the subject stops, through his button press; if they stopped it, say, on "odd" numbers, then the Buddha would advance, if on "even", he would retreat. It was stressed that the goal is to be consistent in finding "odd" or "even" numbers, and that the degree of consistency would be signified by the Buddha's progress in one particular direction (advancing or retreating). I then showed the subjects how to use the "mouse", and stayed next to them for the first few trials, until I felt they understood the relationship between the Buddha movements, and their scores. Following these instructions, I would either move back, and join the crowd behind the Buddha game player, or would turn to the next Volition player, i.e., the person who had already passed the Buddha game, and was waiting for me to start Volition. Meanwhile, the Buddha game player would go through the psi task alone, pressing the mouse-button repeatedly until the game ended, and the final z-score was displayed. I marked the score on their receipt, and then gave the person some feedback, modulating my comments according to the absolute z-score. If the score was below 1, I would generally reassure subjects that they were undoubtedly much more intuitive than the score suggests; but then I would add that the contest procedure demands a minimum score of 1 to continue. (In a few cases, in which the z-score was over .9, and in which I sensed the person was greatly disappointed that they had "just missed the mark", I made an exception and allowed them to enter the Volition test). With absolute z-scores of 1 or higher, I generally created quite a fuss (the higher the score, the greater? the fuss), and concluded by telling subjects that they could now participate in the contest, if they wanted to, but that they were not in any way obligated to do so. If they did decide to continue with Volition, they went to the cashier, who collected the appropriate fee ($4.00), and marked the word "Volition" on the receipt. The participant would then wait in the Volition queue, or come directly to me, if no one was currently playing Volition. At this point, I would start the Volition session by typing in my three-character password (these characters are not displayed on the screen), and then register the participant by name. Under "participant ID", I would type in the absolute z-score obtained in the Buddha game; this, however, was only done Approved For Release 2000/08/11 : CIA-RDP96-00792R000700610001-3 Approved For Release 2000/08/11 : CIA-RDP96-00792R000700610001-3 after the first few sessions had been completed (thus Buddha game scores are missing for 7 subjects). I introduced Volition by stating that this test was somewhat more challenging than the Buddha game, but that their score on the Buddha test showed they were "up for it". I added that Volition was also more accurate: the person could trace his scoring patterns with great precision, and use these to test mental strategies. It was also explained that, whereas the Buddha game was strictly based on intuition, here, one could alternatively use a "mental force" (i.e., PK) approach and "oblige" the line to move in the desired direction. When the Volition "aim" question came up, I used the analogy of "heads" or "tails", in a coin toss, to convey that subjects could choose either "hi-aim" or "lo-aim". However, I also stressed that this was merely a focusing device; if the feedback line insisted on moving in the direction opposite to their choice, they should just "go with it", and try pushing it even further in that direction. I emphasized that the winner of the contest would be the one whose feedback line departed maximally from the baseline, irrespective of aim. I then would input subjects' "aim" choice myself, using the game-paddle, and would hand them the paddle when the complete Volition display had been drawn on the screen. The "mode" for all subjects' first game was "manual". Subjects were urged to press the button once, so they could see the first segment of the feedback line, and understand its movement in relation to their "aim" and the baseline. Then I would leave them on their own. Following completion of the first game, I commented on the score; again the higher the absolute z-score, the greater the compliments. With low absolute z-scores (below 1) I sought to point to something promising in the feedback curve and attributed declines to a loss of concentration. In all cases, I offered subjects a second opportunity, stating that they were entitled to a maximum of two games, with the best score of the two being used for the contest. The great majority of participants did indeed choose to play a second game. All were again asked for "high" or "low" aim; then the subject proceeded, as in the first game, using the manual mode. (In the case of 2 subjects, after having observed their frustration in the first game, I suggested they try the "automatic" Volition mode, to see if their scoring would improve). In cases: where subjects had high absolute z-scores (over 1.8) in either of the two games, they were told to make sure they return for the closing night of the fair, when the winners would be announced. Toward the end of each day (around 10:00 PM) the cashier was instructed to stop accepting payments for the Buddha game. Approved For Release 2000/08/11 : CIA-FIRP96-00792R000700610001-3 Approved For Release 2000/08/11 : CIA-RDP96-00792R000700610001-3 After "running" the remaining subjects, the equipment was turned off, and the front of the tent closed. The equipment was left in the tent overnight, but I took the Voltion program and data disks home with me. Guards were present in the area of the booths the entire night (as all vendors would leave their merchandise there), and one of the organizers slept in our tent, to ensure the safety of her Amiga (which she had lent me, for the screening test). At the end of the third day, all z-scores and subject names were printed out on a sheet, and the highest absolute z-scores singled out. With the help of the organizers of the fair, we announced the winners of the contest, and invited them to come collect their prizes. In instances where a winner was not present, the individual with the next highest z-score was called. This continued until the first prize (a small Canon computer) and three second prizes (some posters) had been distributed. A lapse in protocol occurred intone game, and I was forced to be the subject because I accidentally started the game myself. As mentioned earlier, I. would set subjects' aim. High aim is selected by turning the paddle knob fully clockwise, and then pressing the paddle button. However, this knob setting also sets the game which follows on "automatic" mode, whereby the feedback line immediately starts moving across the screen. without any further button presses. It was because of this that I always input the subjects' "aim" preferences (hi-aim, in the vast majority of cases) myself. However, in this one instance, I must have been somewhat fatigued, because.I forgot to immediately turn back the paddle knob, counter-clockwise, just after inputing the subject's aim. The Volition display came on, and, as I was preparing to hand over the paddle, I saw (dumbfounded) the feedback line move all by itself. I immediately turned the knob counter-clockwise, but the damage had already been done, and a few runs had definitely accumulated, moving the feedback line in the wrong direction. Passing this situation over to the subject (who was dreaming about the first prize) would have been in poor taste, so I was forced to complete that game myself. It turned out to yield the highest absolute z-score in the experiment (-2.68). Simulations Simulation games: The second night after the closing of the psychic fair, I initiated a series of matched "simulation" games, provided with all Psilab II software. Generally, these simulate sampling and timing conditions of the game, but without a player pressing the button, and with no image on the screen. The Apple and RNG were situated in the room in which I was staying, and the simulation, involving a total of 118 games (the number of contest games accumulated 45 Approved For Release 2000/08/11 : CIA-RDP96-00792R000700610001-3 Approved For Release 2000/08/11 : CIA-RDP96-00792R000700610001-3 over the 3 day period) took' sleeping. Due to the logisticple--' Overnight, was alcconstraints, it while been impossible to run the simulations in situ. would have Extended Simulations: Analysis Psilab 11 comes with two Random programs - the Frequency Analyzer and the Serial Analyzer. Prior to undertaking the attempted to run both of these present study, it was worked1?Later, however, an alte~rnativesa poach was them suggested by Berger, who kindly PPhech tw necessary to provided the software pm a which could serveoas anseries of "extended simulations" background the present experiment and matched- simulation could beicP, juxtaposed. Quoting from Berger (19$8): be "Extended simulations are composed of the equiv of data as a complete experiment (as contrasted awith amount matched game simulations which each have the equivalent of one game's data).., the sampling software was extracted from [the the quasi-random inter-trial latencies game in experimental Program] and games was replaced b Proxe-s ee subjects regimen operating at the full. speed Y a fixed-speed sampling soft BASIC language. Extended simulatiionsctestlboth the i1of the hardware and software used in the experiments, ppl as e any ) systematic biases in either should be magnified" integrity (in press). otteses and lanned anal sus Previous Volition research unequivocally Pointed non-directional silent condition effects (either at the run-score or terminal z-score level). Implicitly, the experimenter's expectation was that similar effects might turn up in the present stud predictions Were *made. Y' However, no explicit ~ Becaus of the usual data-collection circumstances, it seemedumore a o a "wait and see" attitude; PPropriate to conceived as exploratory , rather than as a replication. Nevertheless, certain specific end-game analyses were planned. promise in and run-score measures have shown past Volition studies, both were used as dependent variables. Each measure was assessed through a good ness-of -fIt test. Run-score variability goodness-of-fit test, identical to thatuutiIized chi-se (1988) in his own Volition studies. E of y Berger involves comparisons of the observed frequencl this test run-score value (e, g.! 48, 49p 50, 51, etc.) wiY,th the expected frequency for that value. Y each ---------- 1. Failure was due to an incompatibilitywith the printer has since been corrected hardware which 46 Approved For Release 2000/08/11 : CIA-RDP96-00792R000700610001-3 Approved For Release 2000/08/11 : CIA-RDP96-00792R000700610001-3 Cumulative (terminal) z-scores were examined through the Kolmogorov-Smirnov [KS] goodness-of-fit test, provided by the PRL analysis-software and presented in the Psilab Manual (1985), and more fully in Knuth (1981, pp.45-58). The Choice of the KS was prompted by the suggestion, in the Psilab Manual, that in assessing large amounts of randomness data the KS may be preferable to other, more commonly used statistics. It seemed that, insofar as.the KS is sensitive to both local and global departures from theoretical expectation, it could be simultaneously used to examine the adequacy of the RNG, and the presence of any consistent scoring patterns, on the part of the subjects. Essentially, the KS compares the distribution of the observed z-scores against their expected distribution. The degree of "fit" between the empirical and theoretical distributions is summarized by two statistics, K+ and K-, representing the average deviations of the empirical curve below and above (respectively) the theoretical distribution. Results Table 1 summarizes the results at the game-score level, based upon 118 z-scores for each of the four conditions. Depicted are the mean z-score, and the K+ and K- statistics of the KS goodness-of-fit tests. As can be seen from the p-values of Table I no significant departures from theoretical z-score distributions were obtained for feedback or silent data, in either experimental or control conditions. Following Schechter (1987), each Volition game was classified as a "miss" or a "hit" according to the feedback z-score. Using appropriate t-tests, the mean silent z-scores for each type of game were compared to chance and to each other. Both mean silent z-scores were at chance ("miss" silent mean z=.163, t(61)=1.195, ns.;."hit" silent mean z=.042, t(54)=.343, ns). The difference between "hit" and "miss" silent data was not significant (t(115)=.655, ns). The run-score results are graphically represented in Figure 1 (la and lb for experimental data, is and Id for matched- simulation data); the frequency of each runscore is plotted against the theoretical baseline (the z=0 line). Table 2 summarizes results from the chi-square goodness-of-fit test, based upon 2360 runs (118 games x 20 runs) for each condition, and comparing the distribution of run-score values for all cells between 36-64 (inclusive) to the binomial theoretical distribution. (Given the number of observations involved, the expected frequency below 36 and above 64 was too low for a chi-square analysis; tail-end cells were collapsed, to maintain expected frequency above 5). As may be seen from Table 2, the goodness-of-fit analysis shows significantly high variance for the silent- experimental conditions (chi-square [28 df3 = 47.03, p = .01). This translates to an effect size of .045 (by 47 Approved For Release 2000/08/11 : CIA-RDP96-00792R000700610001-3 Approved For Release 2000/08/11: CIA-RDP96-00792R000700610001-3 converting the Probability value then dividing to a one-tailed z-score ng the z-score by more than double the magnitudehofsthereffect sizes .o ' 8erger? (1988) studies (calculated This is to be f the .008 and .02). As shown in Figure z, the result of for each condition ("feedback" and "100 extended simulations eexcxperiessmenoftasi-gx~ificant chi-square r?esults.ntWhenhthed no l and matched simulation data are juxtaposed against the extended simulations matched-simulations showed good ' we see that, while the experimental silent data lay overall randomness, the distribution. in the tail-end of the Discussion The purpose of this exploratory stud well- standardized computer-RNG task tow examines per subjects' {or?mance in a setting quite different from that o the laboratory. The idea was to determine whether or notfresults would be consistent with those found in prior r view of large differences in subject incentiveseSearch, in subject-experimenter interactions, and general ambience during testing. As suggested by the KS analyses departures from the expected distr?ibutionrofnterminallcant z-scores. Despite the (presumably) strong incentive value of a high end-game score, subjects were a their Y unable to "push the feedback line to a final resulteconsistent wit f goals (i.e?, a large z-score). In this respect, theh null end-game feedback results are in all previous Volition studies, On he otr similar to those reported as there was no evidence for a silentteffecteaththe level of the cumulative z-score and, insofar the cum findings (score, present study does not replicate showing PRL some evidence for bidirectional scoring in the silent data). strong support for the idea thNor do the rUltB at feedbacke"missers" provide any silent "hitters"; though the trend was clearly consists with that reported by were nt way approach significance. (Itrshoulld)be it did not in any that the present study's instructional set, em aswever, noted, "extremeness" of scoring, r emphasizing the PRL stud g, was quite different from that of y, emphasizing directional scoring.) At this point, it seems safe to state that, in tasks Volition, the researcher should not focus exclusively such as the end-game score to assess psi least, run-score measures should berincluded. As Berg con (1988) has argued, in tests allowing for m ; at the very subject-interventions ultiple Berger *butonpressap is the tvent , the most immediate "unit of effort" not be able to maintain~consistentn~ Many subject s who may performance, , m may 48 Approved For Release 2000/08/11 : CIA-RDP96-00792R000700610001-3 Approved For Release 2000/08/11 : CIA-RDP96-00792R000700610001-3 nevertheless show short-lived performance "peaks", detectable at the level of the run-score. This, at least, is suggested by the results of the present study. As shown in Table 2, while the matched-simulation run-score data showed good fit to the theoretical distribu- tion, the experimental silent data were significantly deviated from chance. Given that the extended simulations also showed the adequacy of the RNG's operation, it seems safe to state that the observed silent effect was probably due to psi, and not to some software or hardware artifact. The silent result thus replicates the findings of Berger (1988), who obtained similar run-score effects in the silent data of two Volition studies, as well as in two other studies (using Psi Invaders, another Psilab program). Indeed, the effect size of the silent result of the present study was considerably larger than those of the two Berger studies. Perhaps the psychic contest situation somehow created a psi-conducive dynamic (which, unfortunately, did not manifest in the explicit task!). Also, it is possible that the screening procedure - the Buddha game - heightened the expectations of those who made it through into Volition, and thus contributed to silent scoring. In general, the present Volition results are conceptually consistent with those of a number of studies, showing more pronounced effects in silent or non-feedback RNG data than in feedback data (Berger, Schechter & Honorton, 1986; Braud, 1978; Palmer & Perlstrom, 1987; Varvoglis & McCarthy, 1986). Insofar as the present experiment took place in a social - psychological context quite removed from laboratory settings, the results lend further support to the idea that silent effects indeed reflect subjects' experience of the task, rather than deriving from the tacit "demand characteristics" in laboratory settings. Nevertheless, much remains to be done to adequately demonstrate the independence of silent effects from psi-mediated experimenter effects. Despite the unusual testing circumstances of the present study, it clearly cannot be considered a "stand-alone" experiment: there were at least two major ways in which investigator-psi may have shaped the results. First, I myself may have contributed to the results during the unfoldment of the experiment. Of course, I was observing the progression of each game, and hoping for good outcomes. Simultaneously, there were a (highly variable) number of other observers, who, undoubtedly, were harboring mixed feelings toward high scorers (i.e., potential competitors fOr the first prize). Perhaps, at an unconscious level, I suspected that the only way to get a decent result out of this experiment was through the silent condition - while all the competing observers were busy focusing on the subject's 49 Approved For Release 2000/08/11 : CIA-RDP96-00792R000700610001-3 Approved For Release 2000/08/11 : CIA-RDP96-00792R000700610001-3 feedback line The Possibility of unintentional experimenter-psi is certainly consistent with the fact that I accidentally obtained the highest score in the experiment. Second, if we accept the premises of Observational theories, then we have yet someone else to blame for the silent effects: Rick Berger. Following and prior to any analysis or obserrvationoofothehsilentdy' results, I sent duplicates of my data to Berger, who had kindly offered to do the run-score 90o for me, using the programs with whichheehadoanalyzedahises Volition and Psi Invaders studies. Thus, in effect, Berger was the first observer-of the present study's silent data. If we take the idea of retroactive-PK seriously, then it is possible that the pattern obtained in the silent data is due to Berger's psi, and not to the contest participants. In such a case, obviously, the current study could not be considered an independent replication of Berger's data - just a further confirmation of his psi In any event, insofar as this is the fifth Volition study showing some kind of silent effect, it encourages further exploration of such automated psi tests. would seem, would be to collect s data uThe x step si ne n truly, it "self-- standing" system (complete with instructionalset, motivational devices, and no experimenter) while assessing any "observational" experimenter effects through split-data analyses. Perhaps such an approach would help us determine whether apparently systematic "errors" in ments, silent effects, field effects, etc.- are Indeed intrinsic to the motivational/informational characteristics of the psi task (Varvoglis 8 McCarthy 1986), simply 'reflect investigators' and subjects' ao r whether they it - construction of the meaning of the experiment(Weiner,1987). Table 1: Mean-Z scores and KS Summary statistics .Y95 Table 2: Run-score distributions (2360 runs) Ex erimentaI i-,W __ Simulation chi-sq(28 df)I 26.47 p .55 47.03 .01 50 Feedback 24.08 .43 Approved For Release 2000/08/11 : CIA-RDP96-00792R000700610001-3 Approved For Release 2000/08/11 : CIA-RDP96-00792R000700610001-3 Fig.1: Feedback and Si en run-score istributions for Experimental and Matched-simulation data 33334444444444555055555566606 33334444444444550560055566666 67690123466769012345676001234 67800193456760019345678001234 Run Score Fig.1a SIM FEEDBACK Run Score Fig. lb S IM SILENT 3333444444444400520000090 6676901Y345676901Y34 67690123406769012345676901Y34 6760 1 4 Run Score Run Score Fig.lc Fig.ld so 00 N Fig 2: Extended "Feedback" tx "Silent" Simulations and corresponding Experimental & Matched-simulation results Extended "Feedback" Simulations Extended "Silent" Simulations r-, so w .0 f ! i 1 K 51 Approved For Release 2000/08/11 : CIA-RDP96-00792R000700610001-3 Approved For Release 2000/08/11 : CIA-RDP96-00792R000700610001-3 REFERENCES Berger, R. E. (198(3). Psi effects without real_ feedback. Journal of Para s cholo time 9J' (in press). Berger, R. E. and Honorton, standardized C. (1984). PsiLab II: A Ps t Annual MeetinOf tt~e'Paraystcholor ugln s of the 27th 355-377 cal ? Association Berger, R. E., Schechter, E. I Preliminary review of~ I. and Honorton, C. (1986). A Piner Psi games. In D.We.ir,erpandoD.Radiina(Eds.)tResearch Parapsychology 1985 (Press. PP? 1-3). Metuchen, NJ: Scarecrow Breud, W. G. (1978). Recent investigations of microdynamic Psychokinesis, with special emphasis on the roles of feedback, effort, and awareness. Eur?opean Journal of Parapsychology, 2, 137-162, Knuth, D. E. (1981). The Art of Cpu 2/Seminumerical Algorithms. AddmsonWesleramming: Vol. Y: Reading Mass. Palmer, J. and Per?latr?om PK in relation to task instructions. InmD.H.Weineereandor rat R.D.Nelson (eds.) Research In Para cholo (PP?'17-20). Metuchen, NJ: Scarecrow Press 1986 Psychophysical Research Laboratories (1984). Re or . Princeton, N.J.: Psychophysical Res1983 earchnnual Laboratories. Psychophysical Research Laboratories (1985). PsiLab II User's Manual. Princeton, N.J.: Psychophysical Research Laboratories. Schechter, E. I. (1987). Missin computer games. In D.H.Weiner and displacement in two RNG Weiner and R.D.Nelson (eds.) Research In Para chology 1986 (pp.73-77). Metuchen, NJ: Scarecrow Press Var?voglis, M. P. and McCarthy, D. J. (1986). Conscious-purposive focus and PK: relation to awareness RNG activity in t Journal of the AmericanSocietisfortPsnchand icaleRsear~ 80 , 1- 30 . ---- c h ii Weiner' D. H. (1987). Thoughts on the role of meaning in psi research' In D.H.Weiner and R.D.Nelson (eds.) Research In Parapsychology 1986. (pp.203-223). Metuchen, NJ: Scarecrow Press Approved For Release 2000/08/11 : CIA-RDP96-00792R000700610001-3