Testing precognition using a novel computer driving game

Vernon, D. and Ivencevic, L. (2018) Testing precognition using a novel computer driving game. In: 42nd International SPR Annual Conference, 21st - 23rd September 2018, Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK..

Vernon and Ivencevic_SPR Conference presentation 2018.pdf - Accepted Version

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Despite its long history precognition research has seen a recent resurgence of interest with the development and use of modified implicit repetition priming type paradigms whereby participants are exposed to a prime after the main task. The aim is for the post-test prime to elicit a precognitive priming effect. That is, exposure to a prime after the test phase influences performance on the prior test phase. Such modified paradigms have produced a range of effects across a number of research labs from around the world. However, the effects are not always consistent or robust. This means, as with much in the area of psychic research, the field remains at the ‘proof oriented’ stage of trying to show that a true effect has in fact been elicited. Nevertheless, it may be possible to produce more robust effects by trying to ensure that participants are highly motivated to complete the task. Such motivation could take the form of adjusting the value of the activity or by changing the content of the activity to make it more enjoyable, or fun. Here we focused on the use of a novel computer game that we thought would make for an enjoyable and fun task. As such, we aimed to elicit a robust precognitive priming effect by utilising a task that would be perceived as inherently more fun and interesting than the traditional paradigms of recalling/recognising lists of words/images. This involved participants taking part in a computerised driving game based on the popular Formula 1 racing sport. This required all participants to initially complete a non-timed trial during which they drove a selected car around a specific race circuit in order to familiarise themselves with the equipment and task. Following this everyone then completed two timed trials during which they were told to drive the selected car around the track as fast as they possibly could. Once the timed trials were completed half of the participants then completed a further 3 timed practice trials with the same car and circuit. These post-test practice trials represented the priming phase. Our prediction was that these post-test priming trials would facilitate prior test performance.

Our results showed that those participants who received the post-test practice trials completed the previous test trials in significantly less time compared to those who did not receive the post-test practice trials, indicating what we are referring to as a precognitive priming effect. This finding adds to the growing body of literature showing that it is possible to elicit a precognitive effect in the sense that something an individual does in their future has the potential to influence their behaviour now. More needs to be done now to replicate this effect and explore the potential of this type of paradigm.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology > BF1001 Parapsychology > BF1002 Psychic research. Psychology of the unconscious
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology > BF1001 Parapsychology > BF1161 Telepathy. Mind reading. Thought transference
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology > BF0180 Experimental psychology
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology > BF0076.5 Psychology research
Divisions: Faculty of Social and Applied Sciences > School of Psychology, Politics and Sociology
Depositing User: Dr David Vernon
Date Deposited: 25 Sep 2018 10:26
Last Modified: 25 Sep 2018 10:26
URI: https://create.canterbury.ac.uk/id/eprint/17643

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Last edited: 29/06/2016 12:23:00