Charles T. Tart, PhD, is emeritus professor of psychology at the University of California, Davis, as well as the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology. He is a past-president of the Parapsychological Association. He has published over 100 scientific papers in parapsychology. He is editor of several anthologies including Altered States of Consciousness, Transpersonal Psychologies, Mind at Large, and Body Mind Spirit: Exploring the Parapsychology of Spirituality. Books that he has authored include Psi: Scientific Studies in the Psychic Realm, States of Consciousness, The End of Materialism, Learning to Use Extrasensory Perception, On Being Stoned, Waking Up, and Open Mind – Discriminating Mind.
Here he describes the “decline effect” in parapsychology research as the result of a psychological “extinction paradigm”. Having subjects repeat a boring task without feedback, in many different disciplines, results in a decline of ability. His research involved training ESP using an automated system, involving forced choices with feedback. Subjects were pre-screened for ESP ability. As predicted, ESP scores did not decline. Tart then shifted to research on remote viewing, in which a single trial may take an entire half-day. Remote viewing subjects routinely receive feedback; and decline effects have not been reported among remote viewers. Tart also describes the difficulties of conducting psi research in a college setting with student subjects.
(Recorded on November 9, 2016)
Published on November 18, 2016