Reframing Extrasensory Perception: A Condensed Model

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Keith V. Alexander 
Department of Mechanical Engineering
University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand 

Introduction: J.B. Rhine, writing in 1937, describes his efforts to validate the existence of precognition as distinct from clairvoyance, telepathy, and psychokinesis, all of which he had already identified (Rhine, 1937). In contrast, we are setting out to start with precognition, and reframe all four (and their derivatives) as expressions of precognition only. The objective is to use Occam’s razor and give precedence to simplicity. Time is now better understood than in 1937 (Price, 1996), and the concept of retrocausality (Sheehan, 2011; Price, 1996), and the idea of information filtering back in time, are regularly addressed. Precognition therefore seems to have a mechanism (Oreshkov et al., 2012; Olson, 2011; Radin, 2006a; Sheehan, 2015; Radin, 2006b), while the others still do not. We also propose that the whole phenomenon is not “out there”, but instead, within each of us – and nowhere else. 

Model: In making decisions that are important to us, we are sporadically guided by information that comes exclusively from our future selves. 

Precognition is All There Is 

We are choosing to start with this assumption, follow it through to see how much of ESP can be explained, and see what the consequences are.  

  • Psychokinesis is re-framed as the experimenter being precognitively informed by the future joy of his own success, to make the right decisions to get results he wants. By implication there is no psychokinetic, forcing field emanating from his mind, causing mind-over-matter effects, (May et al., 1995). 
  • Telepathy is reframed as precognition, because telepathy experiments frequently allow the participants and experimenters to discuss the results after the tests, and it is from this future revelation that the participants, in the past, can use precognition to guide themselves to the results they want. Added to this, telepathy has targeting issues, (Beloff, 1970) that the reframed ESP model overcomes. 
  • Clairvoyance and remote viewing can be reframed as precognition for the same reasons – they both have opportunities for the participants to see the results in the future, from where their past decisions are guided.  

Psi experiments over vast distances, from space (Mitchell, 1971), or deep in mines or under the sea are all successful, not because ESP travels over vast distances or deep underground, but only because the experimenters and participants learn about the results after the fact, from where information is picked up precognitively and used, before and during the experiments, to get the results they want. In May’s words they become “statistical opportunists” (May et al., 1995). 

Precognition only gets information from the future self 

Another assumption is that there is only one source. The only place precognitively-acquired information comes from is the future self. We do not receive information telepathically from other people. There is no psychic ability to scan the world or other people’s minds to get information, as is sometimes suggested (Radin, 2006b). Precognitively acquired information does not transmit by some field or resonance or any other exotic method, (May et al., 1995). 

Instead, we propose, important information stays in our own mind, within our own world line, in our own “future memory”, from where a small fraction of it can be detected in the past and contribute to a decision being made there. This hypothesized process is the core of the reframed-ESP model. 

An example may help: “There is a train accident. Many people are killed. Jane is shocked when she learns it was the train she should have been on yesterday. That shock filters back in time, down her world line, and blocks her barely-conscious routine decision to set her alarm. She is too late for the fatal train, but alive to tell the story.” (Cox, 1956). The point is that all this happened in her own mind. There was no need for any targeting or external mechanism, only her precognition.  

The Experimenter Effect Dominates 

There are two sources for the experimenter effect: 

  1. The well-recognized failure to design the experiment to exclude known sources of bias, (Rosenthal, 1976) 
  1. The almost completely ignored fact that very few experiments make any effort to exclude information contamination from the future. 

As a result of 2, the experimenter tends to get what she wants because her own precognition guides her choices.  

Consequently, no experiment can be trusted, that has failed to guard against the possibility of influence from the future, by any decisionmaker within the overall experimental framework (Jahn, 2005). This appears not only in experiments on Psi, but also in drug trials, psychology, education, sociology – anywhere that a future influence has not been excluded (“Observer-Expectancy Effect”, 2021). This is one of the most important things to manage during Psi experiments, and to make known to mainstream researchers (May & Spottiswoode, 2001; “Daryl Bem”, 2022). Because of the experimenter effect, there will inevitably be some claimed ESP and mainstream phenomena that are conceptualized and sustained solely by the experimenter effect, and which have no real substance in themselves at all (Alexander, 2019). All this holds for sceptics as much as for believers; they will all tend to get the results they want. 

Precognition Provides Only Sparse Information 

For ESP research, sparse information content is one of the most robust findings there is, and it is not yet clear why this is. Efforts to amplify it have been singularly discouraging (Alexander, 2019), and for many decades, it has been accepted as a fact of life. However, information may be sparse because the process of the future revelation in ESP experiments is unrecognized, patchy, and incomplete, limiting the opportunity for participants to learn, using their precognition, what the outcomes would be. 

Precognition is Operating All the Time 

Carpenter in his insightful book outlines how ESP must operate continuously and be expressed in ways consistent with well recognized psychological processes (Carpenter, 2012). 

Suggested Tests to Validate this Model 

  1. Disprove that telepathy, PK, and clairvoyance only perform when there is a future revelation made to key participants. This experiment must be designed to exclude information brought from the future by participants. 
  1. Disprove that the precognitive process acts exclusively within your own head, not exclusively or partially from outside it. 
  1. Disprove that the precognitively received information is exclusively from the future. 
  1. Explore and understand the core process, namely, the mechanism of accessing information by precognition, through the participant’s world line, from their future self, to help making decisions in the past. 

The GCP and Non-Directed, Group “Ambience” Phenomena are Different 

For this reframing project, the Global Consciousness Project (“Global Consciousness Project”, 2022), and other similar group meditation-type effects (Mason et al., 2007) are seen as different phenomena than J. B. Rhine’s ESP, because they do not have the core process of information being received from each participant’s future, as described above.  

Opportunities This Model Provides 

If this model can be validated, then: 

  • The search for a mechanism of ESP has been narrowed considerably.  
  • There is now a more tractable, causal model (“Causal Model”, 2022) that better describes how ESP works and better fits existing data.  
  • Psi and mainstream research should, for legitimacy, be structured to control for information from the future. 
  • A century of confusion, resulting from experiments that are contaminated because information from the future has been neglected, is ended. 

Alexander, K. V. (2019). A multi-frequency replication of the MegaREG experiments. Journal of Scientific Exploration, 33(3), 435–450. 

Beloff, J. (1970). Parapsychology and its neighbors. Journal of Parapsychology, 34, 129-142. 

Carpenter, J. C. (2012). First sight: ESP and parapsychology in everyday life. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers Inc. 

Causal Model (2022, January 21). In Wikipedia. 

Cox, W. E. (1956). Precognition – An analysis. Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research, 50(3), 99-109. 

Daryl Bem (2022, April 29). In Wikipedia. 

Global Consciousness Project (2022, March 1). In Wikipedia. 

Jahn R. G., & Dunne, B. J. (2005). The PEAR proposition. Journal of Scientific Exploration, 19(2), 195-245. 

Mason, L. I., Patterson, R. P., & Radin, D. I. (2007). Exploratory study: The random number and group meditation. Journal of Scientific Exploration, 21(2), 295–317. 

May, E. C., Spottiswoode, J. P., & Utts, J. M. (1995). Decision Augmentation Theory: Applications to the random number generator data base. Journal of Scientific Exploration, 9(4), 453. 

May, E. C., & Spottiswoode, J. P. (2001, November 1). Global Consciousness Project: An independent analysis of the 11 September 2001 events. 

Mitchell, E. (1971). An ESP test from Apollo 14. Journal of Parapsychology, 35, 94-111. 

Observer-Expectancy Effect (2021, October 28). In Wikipedia. 

Olson, S. J., & Ralph, T. C. (2011). Extraction of timelike entanglement from the quantum vacuum. Physical Review A, 85, 012306. 

Oreshkov, O., Costa, F., & Brukner, C. (2012). Quantum correlations with no causal order. Nature Communications, 3, 1092. 

Price, H. (1996). Time’s arrow and Archimedes’ Point: New directions for the physics of time. Oxford University Press. 

Radin, D. (2006a). Experiments testing models of mind-matter interaction. Journal of Scientific Exploration, 20(3), 375-401. 

Radin, D. (2006b). Entangled minds: Extrasensory experiences in a quantum reality. Pocket Books. 

Rhine, J. B. (1937). New frontiers of the mind. Pelican. 

Rosenthal, R. (1976). Experimenter effects in behavioral research. Appleton-Century-Crofts. 

Sheehan, D. P. (Ed.). (2011). Quantum retrocausation: Theory and experiment. AIP. 

Sheehan, D. P. (2015). Remembrance of things future: A case for retrocausation and precognition. In E. C. May & S. B. Marwaha (Eds.), Extrasensory perception: Support, skepticism, and science (pp. 85–109). Praeger/ABC-CLIO. 

Course Instructor

Keith Alexander
Keith Alexander Author

Keith Alexander, a Professor in Mechanical Engineering, has become known as the inventor of the Springfree Trampoline and has been involved with the development of safety standards for trampolines internationally. He has supervised research on wave energy, kite aerodynamics and micro-hydro. His research interests include ESP, unconventional water craft, and flying machines. He has over 20 journal publications, 27 patents, and over 20 conference presentations.

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