Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Author's Department


First Advisor

Randall H. Best


The purpose of this present research study was to construct a paper and pencil test that would measure college students' ability to use extra sensory perception (ESP).

During recent years it has been found that certain personality variables correlate with ESP scoring. For example, the ability to handle stress and conflict situations (Rhine, 1952; Hudesman & Schmeidler, 1971) and adaptability (Schmeidler, 1954; Shields, 1962; Stanford, 1964; Hudesman & Schmeidler, 1971) have been shown to be important personality factors in Ss who score high on ESP tests.

However, few experimenters have been able to clearly define the personality characteristics which identify individuals who can score high on an ESP test.

The problem of finding Ss who can score high on ESP tests is a difficult one. Following the suggestions of Eysenck (1967) that the main personality variables be combined in some form of questionnaire, Kanthamani and Rao (1972) conducted research on a small scale in which four personality variables were combined. They found that by combining four main personality variables their selection of higher scoring ESP Ss improved. When one examines the extensive field of research which has been done on ESP it is evident that there are more than four main personality variables which various researchers have found important in the higher scoring ESP Ss. In fact a review of research shows that some ten personality characteristics are important in Ss who score high on ESP tests.

The next logical step would then be to combine the ten personality characteristics into a personality test. It would then be assumed that those Ss who scored high on the personality test would score high on an ESP test given them. Also it is assumed that those Ss who scored low on the personality test would score low on an ESP test.

A summary of the research design used in the present study follows. A review of the literature on ESP led to the conclusion that ten different personality variables are related to ESP ability. A 30-item questionnaire was then constructed from a pool of items that measured these ten personality variables. Ss in the present research were 100 Eastern Illinois University students. The 30-item ESP questionnaire was administered to each of these 100 Ss.

Ss who scored in either the upper 20% (ESP Ss) or the lower 20% (non-ESP Ss) of the range of scores on the questionnaire were given an ESP clairvoyance test. A t-test for significance was used to compare the scores on the ESP clairvoyance test between the ESP and non-ESP groups.

The mean of the ESP group was 109.1. The mean of the non-ESP group was 99.3. The significance level was {t= 4.63; p .001). The t-test was followed by an X2 item analysis of the ESP questionnaire given to both groups. This item analysis would point out which items of the questionnaire were significant. As for the items related to key personality variables in ESP research, the item analysis showed what personality characteristics were important in higher scoring ESP Ss between the ESP and non-ESP groups.

Of the 30 items on the questionnaire, 2 were found to differentiate between the 2 groups at the .05 level. Three items were significant at the .01 level. One item showed significance at the .001 level. These 6 items were combined into a subscale, and an expectancy table for the 2 groups was constructed. Some limitations and implications for future research were discussed.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Included in

Psychology Commons