We Foresee: Paper on ESP Will Spark Outrage

Respected journal publishing paper claiming proof of psychic ability
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 6, 2011 2:12 AM CST
Study participants were able to guess random images at a rate higher than chance, but only when they were erotic ones.   (Shutter Stock)

(Newser) – A paper to be published in one of psychology's most respected journals already has believers in the paranormal excited and academics crying foul. The paper, by Cornell professor Daryl Bem, has been accepted by the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, and its author says it presents strong evidence for people's ability to sense future events, the New York Times reports.

Bem—one of the nation's most respected research psychologists—says his experiments were "time-reversed" versions of common memory tests. In one experiment, he says, subjects were likelier to predict words in a memory test than to remember them after the test. Scientists who have seen advance copies of the paper are largely skeptical, questioning the journal's peer-review process. Some even wonder if Bem is playing an elaborate joke.
(Read more psychology stories.)

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