Figure 1. The images of the Zehner deck, used in tests of ESP.
In the telepathy mode of testing, an experimenter would look at one card at a time, while the subject wrote down which symbol s/he intuited was on the card (out of the line of sight of the experimental subject).
In the clairvoyant mode, the deck was shuffled and the subject would psychically “read” or intuit which symbol was on one card at a time. After each “guess” was recorded, the experimenter turned over the card and recorded the symbol, proceeding in this fashion through the entire deck. Alternatively, the subject wrote down the entire series of guesses prior to the experimenter’s recording the order of appearance of each symbol.
In the precognitive mode, the subject wrote down the entire series of 25 guesses prior to the shuffling of the deck. After the deck was shuffled, the experimenter recorded the order of appearance of each symbol.
Under each of these conditions, small but significantly greater than chance numbers of correct guesses were recorded for many subjects. A few gifted subjects were able to achieve rates of success that were considerably above chance.
To save time, experimenters presented series of tests to groups of subjects. This proved a failure, as the average results were not above chance expectations, although some individuals within the groups did achieve significant results. Experimenters were puzzled, but attributed the chance results to distraction or other factors related to testing in a group setting.
A wise parapsychologist, Gertrude Schmeidler, suggested that the random results from group testing should be re-evaluated, assessing separately the results of believers in ESP and of skeptics. When this was done, it was found that the results of the believers were significantly above chance. To everyone’s surprise, the results of the skeptics were equally significant, below chance. Schmeidler dubbed this The sheep -goat effect, sheep being the believers and goats the disbelievers. (Matthew 25:31-33 appears to have been the source for these terms.) Each group was apparently perceiving psychically, but the sheep used their intuition to make correct guesses and the goats used theirs to make incorrect guesses.
Remote viewing research
Carefully organized studies have shown that people can perceive what is happening at a remote location (Jahn and Dunne 1987). This has been replicated with shielding to eliminate electromagnetic signals (Targ and Puthoff 1974). In a typical remote viewing protocol, researchers randomly select a remote viewing site from a pool of potential sites that have been identified earlier. One experimenter is given an envelope with directions to the site, which is within an hour’s driving radius from the laboratory. The outward bound experimenter opens the envelope with the directions after leaving the lab, so that no clues can be given to those remaining in the lab regarding the chosen site. A subject in the lab reports to an experimenter in the laboratory what s/he observes at the distant location. On arrival at that location, the outward bound experimenter photographs and records whatever s/he observes. After a series of remote perceptions and on-site observations have been collected, independent judges are given pictures and intuitives’ descriptions of the remote site and are asked to match them. Judges are blind to the actual matches. Highly significant successes in matchings were registered by the judges in many replications of these studies.