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2021 Vol. 85(1) 28-53

Sally Ann Drucker
Parapsychology Press


Carpenter, J., Simmonds-Moore, C., Moore, S., and Carpenter, F. (2021). ESP Contributes to the Unconscious Formation of Preferences. Journal of Parapsychology, 85, 28-53.


ESP Contributes to the Unconscious Formation of Preferences

James Carpenter     Christine Simmonds-Moore          Steve Moore                   Ferrell Carpenter

Rhine Research Center         U. W. Georgia         W. Georgia Tech. College     Rhine Research Center

First Sight Theory (FST) proposes that ESP is an ongoing unconscious process that contributes to all common experiences, such as judgments, perceptions and feelings. To test this in the case of feelings of preference, we carried out two experiments examining the implicit expression of ESP information in preference ratings of pictures, as moderated by several variables specified by FST. The studies also attempted to demonstrate the influence of unconscious information (extrasensory and subliminal) upon mood, and the subsequent influence of mood upon a person’s general orientation toward unconscious influences, including psi. In the first study, variables included 3 facets of openness and 2 facets of anxiety from the NEO-PI, involvement in a creative pursuit, belief that ESP is possible, tolerance for unstructured tasks, and a measure of tolerance for interpersonal merger. Mood was measured indirectly by the valence of autobiographical early memory. Most of the variables were related to ESP influence as predicted, and the relationships tended to be stronger when mood was positive. Multiple regression was used to condense these findings into a cluster of orthogonal variables that might be expected to be most reliable. The second study tested this composite variable in a new sample and validated it significantly. Again, relationships were stronger when mood was better. We also predicted that relationships should be stronger when the information is of more personal relevance – pictures containing human content vs. no human content – and this was confirmed as well. Each study also examined the effect of subliminal stimulation upon other preference trials (participants could not distinguish extrasensory and subliminal trials) and examined the power of variables found in previous research to predict subliminal response. The first study found limited validation for the subliminal predictions, and the second study found no validation for them. Participants’ moods were influenced by subliminal cues of merger in the first study, but they were not influenced by comparable extrasensory stimuli in the second. Responses to extrasensorially pre-exposed and subliminally pre-exposed pictures were not correlated with each other in either study.


First Sight Theory, implicit psi, sheep-goat, personality tests, ESP, Mere Exposure Effect

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