Speaker: Professor Richard Wiseman
Title: “Heads I win, tails you lose”: How parapsychologists nullify null results
This talks explores how parapsychologists often explain away evidence against the existence of psi, examining how null findings are ignored during exploratory research, how chance results obtained during attempted replication are attributed to non psi-conducive procedures, how post hoc data mining is used to identify pockets of significant data in meta-analyses that have yielded null results, and how the eventual decline of any alleged effects are viewed as an inherent property of psi. It is argued that understanding and preventing these problems are central to resolving debates about the existence of psychic ability.
The article published in The Skeptic to which Wiseman refers is available from skeptic.org.uk/magonline/wisemanparapsych
Psychologist Professor Richard Wiseman currently holds Britain’s only Professorship in the public Understanding of Psychology at the University of Hertfordshire. He frequently appears on the media, and has written over 60 academic articles and several books, including The Luck Factor (2003), and Quirkology (2007). Much of his research has examined the possible existence of psychic ability.