But THIS? The mind boggles. ESP, really? I wish that I could read the reviewer comments on this paper. I boggle and become incoherent. Apparently in some circumstances, college students can detect the appearance of porn ahead of time, very slightly better than chance. Also:
From the NYT article:
“In his version, Dr. Bem gave 100 college students a memory test before they did the categorizing — and found they were significantly more likely to remember words that they practiced later. “The results show that practicing a set of words after the recall test does, in fact, reach back in time to facilitate the recall of those words,” the paper concludes. “
#2 chimes in: note this telling bit in the NYTimes article:
So far, at least three efforts to replicate the experiments have failed. But more are in the works, Dr. Bem said, adding, “I have received hundreds of requests for the materials” to conduct studies.
Remember that within a 95% confidence interval, when you perform this experiment 20 times, one of those times it is going to come up significant, on average. Even if he hasn’t falsified anything or added any other kinds of accidental cues, chances are every once and a while the wrong result will come up statistically significant, even when there is no actual relationship.