Perception1

Was there ever a time in your life that you felt like you had predicted something? Or had a hunch about something that coincidentally came true? If the answer is “yes”, you are among the majority of people in this world that experience this at least once the their lifetime. “Is There A Sixth Sense” is not only the name of the article I’m writing about, but a darn good question as well. The article is written jointly by Dean Radin, Ray Colleen, and Ray Hayman and discusses the possibilities of a sixth sense which has been found to exist through several studies. But are those studies really accurate and conclusive? This is yet to be determined.

Research Psychologist Dean Radin, PhD has long been interested in “psi” perception (psychic experiences). An example of “psi” would be extrasensory perception, or otherwise known as ESP. For years he has studies and researched the possibility intuitive powers with interesting result.
In one of the experiments he performed, he placed a woman in front of a blank computer that randomly selects different pictures, calm and emotional. Radin put three electrodes on her left hand; two that measured tiny changes in skin resistance, and a third that monitored blood flow. She was left alone in the room to view the pictures, which would start when she pressed a button. The monitor displayed a picture for three seconds with 8 seconds of blank screen in between the pictures. At the end of each segment, a message would appear stating that she could start the next segment when she was ready. The woman had done 40 segments before she was finished.

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As a result of the experiment, Radin found that the graph showed her body responded to emotional pictures before they appeared and did not respond before the calm pictures appeared. To Radin this experiment, along with many others, was proof enough that psi exists.

Naturally, other Psychologists were skeptical of Radin’s findings. Some Psychologists thought his theory to be impossible, while others questioned him methods. In the end many of those who were in fact skeptical, suddenly found themselves curious as well. The proof had seemed to be irrefutable when many others had reproduced his experiments with the same results. It seemed as though many had become believers in Radin’s experiments.

Radin goes on to explain the results the discovery of a sixth sense would have on society if all psychologists agreed on this theory. Would there be no change because, even though it may exist, it is only a week sense? Or… could it revolutionize things? For example: an early warning system for aircrafts.

Although Radin’s experiments seem to be legitimate, author Ray Hayman, PhD writes about his concerns and errors in Radin’s experiments. One example of this is when Radin claimed that people in presentiment experiments unconsciously anticipated emotional pictures based on his observation of changes in their skin resistance. According to Hayman, this violates some basic principles of cause and effect in science that can cause some extremely different results.

Hayman goes on to explain an error within Radin’s measuring. Without changing the method in which measuring is done, you will get uniform results when performing the same experiment over and over. However, if you were to actually change the method in which you measure, one may find a result exact opposite of the previous.

These are just some of many examples of Hayman’s discredit to Rodin’s experiments in this article. However, Hayman does admit that Rodin’s theory could be “pave the way” for intuitive powers if future parapsychologists take a different approach to these studies and find a way to develop intuitive powers.

When I first began reading this article, I was convinced that there was a sixth sense in some form. Rodin’s theories and studies convinced me of the possibility that we may possess an intuitive power in which we are consciously unaware. I was impressed with his information, findings, and even his experiments. To me, as a student, they seemed to be thorough.
Before reading this article, I was a strong believer that ESP simply could not exist. I could not imagine anyone possessing the ability to communicate through brain waves, or predicting an emotional event. In past, I have even been known to get extremely angry when I see those stupid psychic hotline commercials that go on day in and day out. Now, I’m not so hard headed about the possibility that psi may exist. If those psychic hotline commercials bother me now, it’s not because I don’t believe in psi possibilities. It’s because they make a mockery of what is possibly an amazing psychological discovery.

Even though Hayman announces several key points to why Rodin’s experiments are not conclusive, I believe that there is still some truth to the experiment. There was actual proof that came from his studies with the computer pictures, no matter how it was measured, that intuitive power possibly exists.

Hayman also provided me with some insight on the importance of attention to detail when performing such experiments. A lot of time can be wasted when even the basic elements of research are not followed. Perhaps someday these experiments will be performed with different methods of measurement, and similar results will be found to those that already exist. But until then, from reading this article, it seems as though Rodin has only touched on what could possibly be.


Bibliography:
Based on an article I read from Psychology today called “Is There A Sixth Sense?” by Dean Radin, Ray Colleen and Ray Hayman.

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