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Article
October 31, 1966

ESP: A Scientific Evaluation

Author Affiliations

New York

 

by C. E. M. Hansel, 263 pp, $6.95, New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1966.

JAMA. 1966;198(5):567-568. doi:10.1001/jama.1966.03110180111050

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Abstract

Over the last years, extrasensory perception has been increasingly accepted by the scientific community. Its special interest to physicians probably centers around communication, since ESP implies that unspoken feelings or ideas can directly influence others. An evaluative review of ESP, with emphasis on its probable limitations and potentialities, would be welcome.

This book serves a different purpose. It is essentially a debater's clever argument for the negative; interesting and important to the ESP specialist but too slanted for an introductory survey.

The core of the book is a detailed procedural examination of three classic ESP experiments. For each, the author demonstrates how the participants could have cheated if they chose. Suggested methods of cheating seem far-fetched: they demand the collusion of three investigators of unblemished reputation, or feats of memory, or a hypothetical, invisible accomplice. The book gives no evidence for fraud in two experiments and debatable evidence in the

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