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2018 Vol. 82(1) 8-23

Etzel Cardeña, Ph.D.
Parapsychology Press


Vernon, D.J. (2018). A Test of Reward-Contingent Precall. Journal of Parapsychology, 82, 8-23.


A Test of Reward Contingent Precall

David J. Vernon

Canterbury Christ Church University

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.


precall, precognition, contingent reward, arousing images

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