2018, Vol. 82, No. 1, 8-23


Vernon, D.J. (2018). A Test of Reward-Contingent Precall. Journal of Parapsychology, 82, 8-23. http://doi.org/10.30891/jopar.2018.01.02

Editor-in-Chief Etzel Cardeña, Ph.D.
© Rhine Research Center

A Test of Reward Contingent Precall

David J. Vernon
Canterbury Christ Church University

Abstract: Precall represents improved memory for material practiced after the recall test. Such behavior has been suggested to serve the needs/motives of the individual. However, attempts to examine this have met with limited success, possibly reflecting the value of the reward. The current pre-registered study took the original approach of identifying a motivating reward: a cash reward of £10. The main study then examined the effect of offering this reward contingent upon precall performance. I made two confirmatory predictions: first, that post recall practice would lead to greater precall. Second, that a contingent reward would elicit greater precall. A mixed design involved randomly allocating participants to either a reward/no-reward condition and presenting them with 20 arousing images, after which they were given a surprise recall task. Following this, a sub-set of the images was presented twice allowing participants to practice. Precall scores represented the number of correctly recalled images that were subsequently repeated, and baseline scores the number of correctly recalled images not repeated. Analyses showed precall scores were significantly higher than baseline; however the contingent reward had no effect. This may indicate a Type I error or an anomalous precognitive effect. Hence, some speculative ideas are proposed in an attempt to account for the pattern of data.

Keywords: precall, precognition, contingent reward, arousing images