Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Semester of Degree Completion

2018

Thesis Director

Russell E. Gruber

Abstract

The current study was designed to reanalyze archival data from the Eastern Illinois University parapsychology lab to determine the frequency of strings of hits and misses. Four datasets were included in the analyses, comprising a total of 348 participants. It was hypothesized that there would be more strings of hits and/or misses than expected by chance; there would be a difference between the number of strings of hits and the number of strings of misses; and participant scores on a 7-point belief in psi scale would be related to the frequency of hits and misses. Results indicated that no significant variance from chance was found for strings of hits or strings of misses, nor was there a significant difference in the overall number of strings. However, when considering the effect of belief, high belief participants scored significantly more strings of hits while low belief participants scored significantly more strings of misses (strings of two: p = .0016; strings of three: p = .00014). The correlation between belief and psi task performance also increased with longer strings, but tapered off after five consecutive hits or misses. The results of the study suggest that categorizing participants by belief may be an important factor in obtaining significant experimental findings. Additionally, with regard to belief in luck, it is speculated that gamblers may in fact accurately perceive strings of good luck and bad luck, which may promote the desire to gamble.

Graduate Program

Psychology

Included in

Psychology Commons

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