Ever want your own Zener cards?

I didn't think so. I never did, either. But now at least you can get them for free: the JREF has a teaching module on ESP that you can download.

It's pretty good. The module strongly emphasizes good record keeping and rigor, which are important skills for young investigators. I was a little disappointed in the bit about statistics—it basically tells the students to use a table to look up values, don't worry about the math behind it, and trust us, getting 8 hits in 25 trials does not mean you have ESP. I would think the very best first module to throw at students would be an introduction to statistics; have the kids throw dice or flip coins and tally results, and learn what randomness really looks like and how we test for it.

Particularly if you're going to critically examine parapsychology, an understanding of how subtle biases can lead to statistically significant results is a good idea, because I suspect that the casual fudging of a few numbers is the foundation of the whole field. Just look at Daryl Bem's work to see what I mean.

Tags

More like this

Greetings! After emerging from the Cave of Open Lab (have you seen all the awesome posts that were chosen?), I'm back with the best in psychology and neuroscience research blogging from the past week. Over at Games With Words, we learn that "If Microsoft Word had its way, passive verbs would be…
The mind is a complicated and a still very much unknown entity. The earliest conceptions of the mind didn't even have it placed in the brain, instead it was very much separate from the body. This is of course all very silly, the only possibility is that the mind wholly and completely resides in…
Something from the vaults: Well...here it is: Dogs are not psychic. Ohh well I kinda thought they had a chance. Here's the originial report (scanned pdf) from the Army, it's pretty interesting actually. And here's a summary from the webpage: In the early 1950s, Dr. Joseph Banks Rhine…
When everyone thought extrasensory perception had disappeared into the same embarrassing past as phrenology it came back with a vengeance. In a recent article by Daryl Bem titled Feeling the future: Experimental evidence for anomalous retroactive influences on cognition and affect evidence was…