Graduate Program

Clinical Psychology

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Semester of Degree Completion


Thesis Director

Russell E. Gruber


The current study was designed to explore how the variables of belief, gender, and experimenter effects regarding setting influence participants' results on a psi task. Small groups of research assistants and participants acted as senders and attempted to telepathically transmit one of four target locations to individual receivers. Sender and receiver groups were divided by gender, and answered a question on a seven-point scale regarding their belief in the existence of mental telepathy. One run of 16 trials was completed by 53 receivers over six data collection sessions, utilizing a new website designed for the task. It was hypothesized that gender, belief, and the social atmosphere of the experiment had the potential to increase either psi-hitting or psi-missing. Results indicate that, while few group differences were found, far more participants than expected by chance produced extreme scores (scores of 4 or 12 hits out of 16 trials). By a conservative estimate of binomial probability, the odds that our data set shows such a distribution skewed away from the center and towards high and low scores are calculated at p < .002. Only female receivers were run on five of the six data collection sessions, and all extreme scores observed happened on these sessions. The odds that this occurred strictly due to chance are calculated at p = .0003.