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Psychic Science

The website psychicscience.org allows the visitor to assess your own “psychic intelligence.” This oxymoronic titled site is not the work of some run-of-the-mill crank with too much time on their hands. This is the work of a professional “lecturer and programme leader” as a legitimate university in the United Kingdom.

The website is run by a chap named Michael Daniels. Here is the link to his bio. He is a Senior Lecturer in Psychology and Programme Leader for the MSc in Consciousness and Transpersonal Psychology at Liverpool John Moores University, UK.

If Daniel’s website is a true indication of his personal approaches to academic practices and philosophies, (and I am given no indication to believe otherwise), then his use of the word ‘science’ is one of the grossest misuses of the word I’ve come across.

The opening description of the main page reads:

“On our site you will find some of the Internet’s best COMPLETELY FREE educational and educational-entertainment resources for parapsychology, psychical research and mind magic.”

It seems rather clever to phrase this site as “educational and educational-entertainment”. Isn’t this the equivalent of describing the website as “serious and not too serious” all in the same breath? The visitor is left to make up their own mind as to whether they are being educated or entertained. For those of us with an expectation of actual science (as the URL claims and as the visitor is led to believe), our expectations are pretty much dissolved with this very first sentence.

However, for visitors of the site who remain on the fence – still sorting out fiction versus fantasy in their lives – the distinctions are not so clear. Visitors are invited to partake in a self evaluation of psychic abilities.

Giving Daniels the benefit of the doubt, I decided to take the test.

On the main page, the third line down reads that you can…

“Test your ESP, psychokinesis and precognition with our genuine interactive tests and psychic championships.”

Note the word ‘genuine’ is in bold, denoting emphasis. Looks like Daniels is making a statement of education more than entertainment with this one.

One of the tests offered is called a Psi-Q Psychic Abilities Test. All you have to do in order to “assess your psychic tendencies” is to “answer 52 simple questions.”

For each of the question they pose (they are actually statements, not questions), you must choose one of five responses: Strongly Agree, Somewhat Agree, Undecided, Somewhat Disagree, and Strongly Disagree.

Here are the 52 statements:

I often jump to conclusions based on intuition.

I can sometimes ‘sense’ what is happening elsewhere.

The paranormal is real.

Electrical devices sometimes stop working or behave strangely for no apparent reason when I am around.

I often see colors surrounding a person.

I can communicate with those that have died.

Sometimes it feels that another mind is working through me.

I believe people’s stories about paranormal experiences.

I can recall events that have happened to me before I was born.

Sometimes I notice objects near me moving in mysterious ways.

When I enter a room, I can immediately sense if there is a bad atmosphere.

I often win at games of chance.

Sometimes my speech or actions seem mysteriously inspired.

Some of my fears relate to events in a previous life.

There have been times when I have sensed a ghost.

I don’t usually look for rational explanations for mysterious events.

I have the ability to move things with my mind.

I have received ‘messages’ from deceased relatives or friends.

I can form pictures in my mind without difficulty.

I can remember things that happened to me in a past life.

I am sometimes aware of a source of spiritual power outside myself.

I am good at visualizing things.

I can influence the fall of dice using will power.

I can often guess what people are thinking.

Events usually work out very well for me.

I often see shapes and figures forming in the dark.

Often I am thinking of someone immediately before they unexpectedly phone or email
me.

I often see things out of the corner of my eye that aren’t really there.

Often I can not give clear reasons for my beliefs and actions.

I sometimes have premonitions about a news event.

I sometimes feel the presence of a guiding spirit.

I have experienced things that indicate that I have lived before.

I can see people’s auras.

I have experienced the presence of departed souls.

There are powers in the universe beyond scientific explanation.

I often mysteriously ‘know’ in advance when something is going to happen.

I am a very lucky person.

It is important to avoid a skeptical attitude towards the paranormal.

I have seen lights streaming from people’s heads.

I believe in the supernatural.

My hunches are usually correct.

My dreams sometimes foretell the next day’s events.

When I stare at something for a while images will often appear in my mind.

I have had telepathic experiences.

I do not doubt people who claim psychic abilities.

Sometimes I am aware of a mysterious around an animal, object, or person.

Often an event will trigger my dream memory from the previous night.

I find it easy to form images in my mind.

I have had much good fortune in my life.

I often see things in cloud patterns.

I believe in the existence of psychic abilities.

I have a good imagination.

Having answered all of the questions as honestly as I could, it turns out that I my Psi-Q score is 25%. They gave me a breakdown of my results and my Psi-Q score in specific areas

ESP 0%
Psychokenisis 0%
Precognition 13%
Scrying 63%
Auras 0%
Mediumship 0%
Channeling 0%
Past Life 0%
Luck 94%
Intuition 0%
Imagination 100%
Paranormal Belief 0%
Credulity 0%

There you have the results! What should I do with these results? Reinforce my personal believe system with them, I suppose. Frankly, this is some of the silliest “science” that’s on the internet. In fact, the only thing outstanding about this website is its entire lack of science.

In looking into the background of Michael Daniels, Daniels is mentioned once in Richard Wiseman’s book Parapsychology (“The Brother Doli Case” first published in 2002). Daniels has not come up under Susan Blackmore’s radar at all. So the real professionals at taking on the Psi researchers in the UK have deemed Daniels little more than a blip amongst a thousand other blips. How fitting.

If there is a sad underlining to this, any legitimate research into psychology that Michael Daniels might have accomplished must be grossly overshadowed and tainted with this kind of anti-academic work.

The fact that people like Michael Daniels occupy the space on a faculty at a university seems to be an enormous waste of ever-shrinking funds.

4 comments to Psychic Science

  • Drum Billet

    I only got 18%. :(

    81% Imagination

    44% Scrying

    38% Luck

    I guess saying that ‘I am good at visualizing things’ and ‘I can form pictures in my mind without difficulty’ means that I can tell the future with a crystal ball.

    Congrats on the 94% luck, Evan.

  • I don’t see why these questions are supposed to, “assess your psychic tendencies”. All they do is ask whether you already believe you have psychic tendencies. I was expecting stuff like, ‘guess which card will appear after the fold?’

  • Neat! Even as a complete nonbeliever my average was, well, average at 53%, with two of my highest scores being…

    88% Scrying,

    75% Intuition,

    …with two of my lowest being…

    6% Seeing Auras,

    6% Past Lives,

    Thanks for posting on this, Evan. It was amusing!

  • mordred

    I asked the Advanced I Ching Plum Blossem Oracle if the skeptical community would ever “see the light of the supernatural.”
    It told me that the Current Situation of Wind over the Lake means that we need to “focus on inner balance and sincerity. Bring your life into right order.”
    For our changing situation it told us that “Your ambitions are inappropriate.” (You know it!)
    And for our Coming Situation of Water over the Lake we need to “avoid confusion by clarifying boundaries. Know your limits.”
    See! We all need to bring our inappropriate lives to order and avoid confusion by clarifying our limits! Yes, it all makes sense now. :)

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