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Application of Learning Theory to ESP Performance  (Paperback) 
Author(s): Charles T. Tart
155 pp. (1975) ISBN 0-912328-25-8 
Price: $10.00
PE Club Discount Price: $9.00

The author devises a learning theory approach to the training of ESP abilities. He makes the following three formal predictions for individuals who come to the training experience with some ESP ability, that: 1) immediate feedback of results will stabilize ESP performance, eliminating decline/extinction effects for short to moderate length experiences; 2) some individuals will show increasing performance with repeated practice under conditions of immediate feedback; and 3) the greater the individualís ESP abilities, the more improvement would be expected.

The author reviewed previous literature in light of these predictions. He then conducted a pilot study which introduced a specific piece of equipment for supplying immediate feedback. Results indicative of ESP were obtained and showed that the learning theory application must be modified if unconsciously motivated psi-missing occurs. Following this a major test of the theory was a three-phase study of the predictions. The first prediction was confirmed, that ESP performance was stabilized. Some evidence was found for the second prediction in that one individual showed a significant increase using the trainer, while others showed some increases in training sessions but a fall-off of scoring in the experimental portion of the tests. The third prediction was to some extent supported but in the sense that trends were observed, but that they did not reach statistical significance. However, the theory and the method were considered to be indicative of the usefulness of pursuing ESP experiments from a learning theory point of view.




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