‘Twitter’ as a new research tool : A mass participation test of remote viewing
The social networking site ‘Twitter’ was used to conduct a mass participation remote viewing ESP study. The easy accessibility of Twitter made it possible to recruit and engage a large number of participants, and to give them almost immediate feedback. A majority voting technique was used to combine participants’ calls, to avoid stacking effects and to detect any group-level psi effect. For each trial an experimenter visited the target location. Blind judging was conducted with photographs of the target location and four decoy locations. Over five thousand responses were gathered over five trials. The first trial employed a non-blind judging procedure to test the hypothesis that believers would be especially likely to exhibit confirmation bias. As predicted, a significant relationship was found between belief in psychic ability and level of perceived correspondence between the participants’ impressions and the target location. The following four trials used blind judging. On each trial the group failed to identify the correct target. There was no significant relationship between belief in psychic ability and choice of target on any of the trials. Participants reporting a strong belief in psychic ability identified the correct target on one trial (exact binomial p = .41). Those participants who reported that they believed they were psychic and were confident of their response failed to identify the correct target on any trial.