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The Role of the Experimenter in Parapsychological Research

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Abstract:

A major challenge facing modern parapsychology continues to be the replicability of psi. Whilst some researchers appear to consistently obtain positive evidence for psi, others, equally consistently, appear to be less successful. Previous research has attempted to explain this so-called 'experimenter effect' in terms of both psychological variables (in terms of how the experimenter treats his or her participants) and parapsychological variables (the experimenter may use his or her own psi to affect the data). In this paper, both of these interpretations are considered, as are other possible interpretations (such as experimenter error and experimenter fraud). Research in this area emphasises the important role of the experimenter in parapsychology. The paper concludes with a discussion of possible implications for the study of consciousness.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Psychology Dept, Liverpool Hope University College, Hope Park, Liverpool L16 9JD, UK., Email: smithm3@hope.ac.uk

Publication date: 2003-01-01

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