Many thanks for all of the feedback on the Twitter experiment. I thought it might be interesting to give a bit more detail about one of the most important analyses – the findings from those people who thought that they were psychic and were confident about their performance.
On each trial about 16% thought that they were psychic (that is, ticked either the ‘definitely yes’ or ‘probably yes’ to the ‘Do you believe that you have psychic abilities?’ question). I isolated these, and then looked at those that were confident about their choice of target (that is, ticked the ‘Very confident’ or ‘Quite confident’ to the ‘How confident are you about your choice?’ question).
On Trial 1,the majority of these participants (35%) thought that I was in the woods when I was standing by the tall building. On Trial 2, the majority (29%) went with me near the stairs when I was in the children’s play park. On Trial 3, the majority (26%) went with the underpass when the answer was the unusual canopy. Finally, on Trial 4, the majority (30%) went with the canal when I was at the postbox. Thus all of the trials were misses.
Some people have suggested that I should perhaps do the opposite type of analysis. Rather than look at how alleged psychics score, look for high scorers (perhaps those who obtained 4 out of 4) and re-test them. What do you think? Is it worth the effort? Did you get top marks and, if so, would you join in with another study?
P.S. If anyone want the original data sheets (obviously minus people’s email addresses) then please email me.