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2018 Vol. 82(S) 118-146

Etzel Cardeña, Ph.D.
Parapsychology Press


Utts, J. (2018). An Assessment of the Evidence for Psychic Functioning. Journal of Parapsychology, 82, Suppl., 118-146.


An Assessment of the Evidence for Psychic Functioning

Jessica Utts

University of California, Davis

Research on psychic functioning, conducted over a two-decade period, is  examined to determine whether the phenomenon has been scientifically  established. A secondary question is  whether it is useful for  government purposes. The primary work examined in this report was  government-sponsored research conducted at Stanford Research Institute  (later known as SRI International) and at Science Applications  International Corporation (SAIC). Using the standards applied to any  other area of science, it is concluded that psychic functioning has been  well established. The statistical results of the studies examined are  far beyond what is expected by chance. Arguments that these results  could be due to methodological flaws in the experiments are soundly  refuted. Effects of a magnitude similar to those found in  government-sponsored reasearch at SRI and SAIC have been replicated at a  number of laboratories around the world. Such consistency cannot be  readily explained by claims of flaws or fraud. The magnitude of psychic  functioning exhibited appears to be in the range between what social  scientists call a small and a medium effect. It is thus reliable enough  to be replicated in properly conducted experiments, with sufficient  trials to achive the long-run statistical results needed for  replicability. A number of other patterns have been found, suggestive of  how to conduct more productive experiments and to produce applied  psychic functioning. For instance, it does not appear that a sender is  needed. Precognition, in which the relevant information is known to no  one until a future time, appears to work quite well. Recent experiments  suggest that, if there is a psychic sense, it works much as our other  five senses do, by detecting change. Physicists are currently grappling  with an understanding of time, and it may be that a psychic sense scans  the future for major change, much as our eyes scan the environment for  visual change or our ears allow us to respond to sudden changes in  sound.


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