Testing precognition and altered state of consciousness with selected participants in the Ganzfeld

Caroline Watt, Emily Dawson, Alisdair Tullo, Abby Pooley, Holly Rice

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The present study was the first to contribute to a registration-based prospective meta-analysis of ganzfeld Extrasensory Perception (ESP) studies. We sought to maximise the anticipated psi effect size by selecting participants for self-reported creativity, prior psi experience or belief, or practice of a mental discipline. We also employed an automated precognition design for simplicity and security, and to add to the small database of precognitive ganzfeld studies. Targets and decoys were short video clips randomly selected with replacement from a pool of 200. As well as predicting overall significant scoring on the ganzfeld precognition task, the study tested the assumption that the ganzfeld method elicits a psi-conducive altered state of consciousness, by correlating two measures of Altered State of Consciousness (ASC) with precognition task performance. We predicted higher target similarity ratings would be associated with greater evidence of ASC during the session. Three experimenters each conducted 20 trials. Twenty-two direct hits were obtained (36.7% hit-rate), thus significantly supporting the planned test of the ganzfeld precognition task (exact binomial p = 0.03, 1-t). No relationship was found between ASC and psi task performance, contrary to prediction. We conclude by discussing the reasons why further ganzfeld ESP research is justified.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)21-37
JournalJournal of Parapsychology
Publication statusPublished - 28 May 2020


  • Ganzfeld
  • precognition
  • meta-analysis
  • prospective meta-analysis
  • study registration


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