In response to a 2011 study suggesting the existence of precognition, or the ability to predict future events using psychic powers, a new group of researchers report that attempts to replicate the previous results were unsuccessful.
These results therefore do not support the previous claims for the existence of psychic ability. The full report is published Mar. 14 in the open access journal PLoS ONE.
The earlier study, published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology by Daryl Bem, strongly encouraged other researchers to replicate the results in support of precognition. However, when the researchers behind the current report, led by Stuart Ritchie of the University of Edinburgh, attempted to do so, they found no statistically significant effects.
Based on their results, they conclude that this experiment provides no evidence for the existence of psychic ability.
"When scientists find very surprising results that seem to contradict everything we know about how the world works, it's always a good idea to wait and see if other independent researchers can find the same effects. In this case, we couldn't", says Dr. Ritchie.
Citation: Ritchie SJ, Wiseman R, French CC (2012) Failing the Future: Three Unsuccessful Attempts to Replicate Bem's 'Retroactive Facilitation of Recall' Effect. PLoS ONE 7(3): e33423. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0033423
Financial Disclosure: No external funding received for this study.
Competing Interest Statement: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.
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