The Journal of 
the American Society for Psychical Research

A scientific journal providing scholarly reports, research findings, discussions of implications and applications of psychic functioning, and book reviews. This is one of the core journals in the field.


Selected Articles from the Journal: 
  The Limits of Experimenter Influence on Psi Test Results: Can Any Be Set?   
by Rhea White
Vol 70 Oct, 1976 No 4 
The Influence of Persons Other Than the Experimenter on the Subject's Scores in Psi Experiments   
by Rhea White
Vol 70 Apr, 1976 No 2 
A Comparison of Old and New Methods of Response to Targets in ESP Experiments   
by Rhea White
Vol 58 Jan, 1964 No 1 

Correspondence relating to the Journal should be addressed to the Editor, American Society for Psychical Research, 5 West 73rd Street, New York, NY 10023.
All material submitted for publication should be sent as an email attachment, preferably in Microsoft Word, or alternately submitted in quadruplicate and typed or printed double-spaced. Tables, footnotes, and references should be in the form used in the Journal. Abstracts (125-200 words) must be submitted with all papers.
Unsolicited contributions will not be returned unless postage is provided.

 Permission to reproduce or translate material published by the Society must be obtained from the Author and from the Editor.

 Responsibility for the contents of any article appearing in the Journal rests entirely with the contributor and not with the ASPR.


JANUARY 1997 Volume 91 Number 1

Random Generators and Living Systems as Targets in Retro-PK Experiments
Helmut Schmidt

 ABSTRACT: PK efforts by one subject on two kinds of prerecorded time intervals were compared. One kind was provided by the durations of successive breathing cycles of a human subject. The other kind was computer generated, with the help of a true random number generator, such as to match the breathing cycles with regard to average length and variance. After the prerecording of the interval lengths, each interval received a random target assignment, long or short, specifying the direction of the PK effort. An audio feedback had a built-in inversion provision, however, so that the subject listened to tones of varying durations with the goal of always extending the durations of the tones. The subject succeeded in this task by purposeful PK missing by means of getting mentally and physically tense and then desperately attempting to shorten the tone intervals. With both kinds of intervals 20 sessions were held, each session containing 40 time intervals. The subject could not consciously distinguish between the two kinds. The PK-effect on the actual breathing intervals was significant with z=3.17 (p=.00076, one-tailed). The scoring on the other intervals was lower, z=1.68 (p=.046, one-tailed), but the difference is not statistically significant.


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Mapping the Characteristics of Out-of-Body Experiences
Carlos S. Alvarado

 ABSTRACT: It is argued that systematic research on the phenomenology of out-of-body experiences (OBEs) has been neglected. More could be done on the variety of OBE features, including incidence and description, and a consideration of changes during the same experience and between experiences. Another important line of research is the study of variables that may moderate OBE content. This includes induction factors, interrelations of different features, and psychological variables. In addition, OBE features may be studied in regard to developmental issues and their change over time. A research program based on the above considerations will be useful to: (1) The development of empirically-derived definitions of the experience; (2) The development of typologies of the experience; (3) The development and testing of theories to explain the OBE; (4) The differentiation or association of the OBE from and to other states of consciousness and experiences; and (5) Help clinicians to deal with individuals reporting OBEs.


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An Experiment With the Alleged Human Aura
Loftur R. Gissuarson & Asgeir Gunnarsson

 ABSTRACT: An experiment is reported here on the ability of special subjects to see the alleged human aura. The main import of the paper, however, lies in the fact that it provides the groundwork for future experiments. A thorough review of the relevant literature is presented, not only of parapsychology but psychology, psychiatry, and occult and traditional lore surrounding the human aura. The study involved two groups: an experimental group of 10 people who claimed to see the aura and a control group of 9 people not known to have seen the aura. Four 90 cm x 200 cm screens were placed in a row in a room facing the door. One experimenter (L. R. G.) guarded the participant. A trial consisted of the subject standing in the doorway and guessing behind which of the screens the second experimenter (A. G.), who served as the target person, was hidden. The door was closed between trials while A.G. moved to the next target screen in a random order. Instructions to the experimental group were to attempt to locate A.G. by auric emanations streaming out from behind the screen where he was hidden. Each session involved 40 trials, and each group completed 18 individual sessions, for a total of 36 sessions overall. Statistical analysis yielded nonsignificant results for both groups combined. The experimental group obtained 185 hits (z=.43, p=.33) and the control group 196 hits (z=1.38, p=.08). The subjects' phenomenology is discussed, and to guide future research, several ways of theorizing about the aura are reviewed, including an aura imagery model proposed by the authors.


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Reviews of Scholarly Books

 Experiences Near Death: Beyond Medicine and Religion
by Allan Kellehear
reviewed by James McClenon

 The World of Ted Serios: "Thoughtographic" Studies of an
Extraordinary Mind (2nd ed.)
by Jule Eisenbud
reviewed by Dan Benor

 Life at the Edge of Science: An Anthology of Papers
by Beverly Rubik
reviewed by Michael Levin

 Conscious Experience
edited by Thomas Metzinger
reviewed by Douglas M. Stokes


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Reviews of Popular Books

 Open Windows: The Autobiography of Charlotte Troutwine-Braun
by Charlotte Troutwine-Braun
reviewed by Dianne Arcangel


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