Abstracts from the Journal of Parapsychology, March 1996 ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- THE AMERICAN INSTITUTES FOR RESEARCH REVIEW OF THE DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE'S STAR GATE PROGRAM: A COMMENTARY By Edwin C. May Cognitive Sciences Laboratory, 330 Cowper Street, Suite 200, Palo Alto, CA 94301 ABSTRACT: As a result of a Congressionally Directed Activity, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) conducted an evaluation of a 24–year, government–sponsored program to investigate ESP and its potential use within the intelligence community. The American Institutes for Research (AIR) was contracted to conduct the review of both research and operations. Their September 29, 1995 final report was released to the public November 28, 1995. As a result of AIR's assessment, the CIA concluded that a statistically significant effect had been demonstrated in the laboratory but that there was no case in which ESP had provided data that had ever been used to guide intelligence operations. This paper is a critical review of AIR's methodology and conclusions. It will be shown that there is compelling evidence that the CIA set the outcome with regard to intelligence usage before the evaluation had begun. This was accomplished by limiting the research and operations data sets to exclude positive findings, by purposefully not interviewing historically significant participants, by ignoring previous extensive Department of Defense program reviews, and by using the questionable National Research Council's investigation of parapsychology as the starting point for their review. Although there may have been political and administrative justification for the CIA not to accept the government's in–house program for the operational use of anomalous cognition, these external considerations appeared to drive the outcome of the evaluation. As a result, they have come to the wrong conclusion with regard to the use of anomalous cognition in intelligence operations and have significantly underestimated the robustness of the basic phenomenon. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- CLIENTS' INFLUENCE IN THE SELECTION OF ELEMENTS OF A PSYCHIC READING By Chris A. Roe Psychology Division, Nene College, Northampton NN2 7AL, England ABSTRACT: This study tests the suggestion that clients of psychic readers may be able to remotely influence the reader's choice of elements for their reading in a manner analogous to other DMILS effects. Twenty–seven subjects were recruited to act as clients in an "assessment of a psychic claimant," and they received readings transmitted via a computer linkup. However, there was no claimant. Instead, reading elements were selected from a pool of 75 items. Each reading of 20 statements consisted of half selected in real time via a live REG (the experimental items) and half using a preselected list derived using random number tables (control items). Subjects rated each element for accuracy. REG–selected items were rated by subjects as more accurate than control items, although the difference was not significant (t = –1.333, p = .097, one–tailed). "Success" in item selection was not related to belief or attitude variables. As predicted, feeling types were superior to perceiving types at the task, but not significantly so (U = 23.5, p = .12, one–tailed). Other predictions based on Jungian personality types were not supported. It is suggested that although the study failed to elicit effects that achieved conventional significance, the effect sizes reported are of a reasonable magnitude for REG–based studies. Further work is recommended. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- WHAT MAKES A GOOD PSI TARGET? THREE STUDIES OF FORCED–CHOICE ESP VARYING TARGET EMOTIONALITY AND COMPLEXITY By Caroline A. Watt Department of Psychology, University of Edinburgh, 7 George Square, Edinburgh EH8 9JZ, Scotland ABSTRACT: Three experiments studied performance on a 24–trial forced–choice psi task with 12 emotionally unpleasant and 12 neutral targets. The emotional targets consisted of 8 simple black and white line drawings and 4 colorful and more complex pictures; the neutral targets consisted of 12 identical line drawings of a rectangle. Participants made a binary choice as to whether each target was emotional or neutral and the main target variables under study were emotional versus neutral and simple versus complex. Experiment 1 had a GESP design and 48 novice participants. Experiment 2 had a clairvoyance design and 14 experienced participants who had taken part in Experiment 1 and who had then undergone training in techniques reputed to enhance psi performance. Experiment 3 had a clairvoyance design and 75 novice participants. In all three studies participants showed no difference in scoring between emotional and neutral targets once participants' preference for calling "neutral" more often than "emotional" was taken into account. Participants scored nonsignificantly higher for complex as compared to simple emotional targets in Experiments 1 and 2, but Experiment 3 found the opposite trend. Exploratory analyses using participants' individual emotionality ratings of the targets also found little difference in ESP scoring comparing the most to the least emotional targets. Finally, these laboratory findings were related to the study of spontaneous cases. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------