• Assessing the roles of the sender and experimenter in dream ESP research.

      Roe, Chris A.; Sherwood, Simon J.; Farrell, Louise; Savva, Louie; Baker, Ian S.; University of Edinburgh (European Journal of Parapsychology, 2007)
      This study explored the role of the sender in a dream ESP task by considering the effects of presence of a sender (sender, no sender) and the receiver’s expectancy that a sender was present. Forty participants each completed a sender and a no sender trial on consecutive nights by keeping a dream diary of all mentation they could recall when they awoke. The order of trials was randomised across participants. On no-sender nights a randomly selected video clip was played repeatedly from 2:00 until 6:30am; on sender nights a sender would also watch the clip between 6:00 and 6:30am and attempt to communicate its content. Both sender and no sender conditions produced above chance hit rates (30% and 35% respectively), but z scores for similarity ratings did not deviate significantly from chance (sender night: t(39) = 0.92, p = .18; no sender night: t(39) = 1.11, p = .14, one-tailed). There was no difference in performance in terms of sender conditions (z = -0.22, p = .41, one-tailed) or sender expectancy (z = -0.18, p = .46, one-tailed), failing to support the proposal that senders play an active role in dream ESP success. Possible improvements in the manipulation of participant expectancy are discussed.
    • Perceptions of the paranormal.

      Baker, Ian S.; University of Derby (Pan European Networks, 2012-12-05)
      Dr Ian Baker, Parapsychologist and Chartered psychologist explains how apparently paranormal phenomena can be scientifically investigated in an effort to expand the human understanding of the world.
    • Remote facilitation of attention focusing with psi-supportive versus psi-unsupportive experimenter suggestions.

      Watt, C.; Baker, Ian S.; University of Edinburgh (Watt, C., & Baker, I. S. (2002). Remote facilitation of attention focusing with psi-supportive versus psi-unsupportive experimenter suggestions. Journal of Parapsychology, 66, 2, 151-168, 2002)
      Eighty individuals took part in a study in which a single experimenter made either psi-supportive or psi-unsupportive suggestions prior to administering questionnaire measures and a psi task. The psi task was remote facilitation of attention focusing, with the dependent variable the participant’s self-reported number of distractions during Help epochs compared with Control epochs while focusing on a lit candle. During Help epochs, a remote individual also focused on a lit candle and maintained the mental intention to help the participant have fewer distractions than during Control epochs. Questionnaire measures were taken of participants’ psi belief, confidence, expected success, perceived success, and quality of focusing. Participants also rated the experimenter’s warmth, professionalism, ability to instil confidence in the task, and belief in psi. No over all remote facilitation of focusing was found, nor was there any difference between positive vs. negative suggestion groups on their psi performance. The groups differed on many of the questionnaire measures, including psi belief, confidence, expected and perceived success, quality of focusing, and experimenter ratings. The results point to an effect of the experimenter’s psi-supportive and psi-unsupportive suggestions on many of the psychological measures taken but no effects of suggestion on the psi task.
    • A summary of parapsychological research into apparitional experiences

      Baker, Ian S.; University of Edinburgh (Centre for Seventeenth Century Studies, University of Durham., 2002)
      This paper was written in order to provide a summary of research into people’s contemporary experiences of apparitions. The material presented here is different to material presented in other papers at the conference in two main respects: firstly, the majority of material examines experiences from a psychological or parapsychological perspective; and secondly, most of the material covered here, whether it is from an experiment or an account of an experience, is from present-day sources, as opposed to the early modern period that most of the papers from the conference were covering. The aim of this was to provide the delegates at the conference with an idea of how present-day apparitional experiences are actively researched, in the hope that this might provide fresh perspective on historical and literary accounts of apparitional experiences.