Psi may look like luck: Perceived luckiness and beliefs about luck in relation to precognition.

Journal article


Sherwood, Simon J., Luke, David, P. and Delanoy, Deborah, L. 2008. Psi may look like luck: Perceived luckiness and beliefs about luck in relation to precognition. Journal of the Society for Psychical Research.
AuthorsSherwood, Simon J., Luke, David, P. and Delanoy, Deborah, L.
Abstract

Smith (1998) has shown that different people use the term 'luck' to mean different things, some of which might be used euphemistically to account for psi experiences. However, previous luck-psi experiments have only measured luck via the Perceived Personal Luckiness (PPL) scale without investigating what participants actually mean by the term, so in this study luck beliefs were measured using the Questionnaire of Beliefs about Luck (QBL). Previous literature indicates that luck might best be understood in terms of Stanford's model of 'psi-mediated instrumental response' (PMIR), so 100 participants completed a PMIR-inspired non-intentional precognition experiment with static fractal images as targets, and depending on success experienced either a task involving erotic images (psi incentive) or a boring vigilance task (psi disincentive). The mean psi score over ten forced-choice trials was 2.85 (MCE = 2.5), which gives a significant overall precognition effect (t[99] = 2.508, p = 0.014, r = 0.244). Furthermore, scores on the PPL and the Luck subscale of the QBL were found to correlate significantly with precognition performance (r = 0.263, p = 0.008 for both). However, only the Luck subscale was found to be a significant predictor variable of psi score (adjusted R² = 0.06, t[99] = 2.7, p = 0.008), indicating that beliefs about luck are more relevant to psi performance than PPL alone. Psi task performance was also related to belief in psi (rs[98] = 0.236, p = 0.02) and suggestively with belief in the paranormal (rs[98] = 0.194, p = 0.10), offering tentative support for the notion that psi ability drives belief initially. Precognition performance was also found to be suggestively higher amongst the erotically reactive than the erotically unreactive (t[99] = 1.65, p = 0.10), offering indirect support for the experiment's validity and the need-serving aspect of PMIR. A number of other exploratory hypotheses are discussed. The findings support the suggested relationship between luck and psi but further investigations should consider beliefs about luck and not just perceived luckiness.

KeywordsLuck; psi; precognition; extrasensory perception
Year2008
JournalJournal of the Society for Psychical Research
PublisherSociety for Psychical Research
ISSN0037-1475
Web address (URL)http://hdl.handle.net/10545/624037
hdl:10545/624037
Publication datesOct 2008
Publication process dates
Deposited30 Jul 2019, 13:30
Accepted2008
ContributorsUniversity of Northampton, Centre for the Study of Anomalous Psychological Processes (CSAPP)
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