"Engineering Anomalies Research"

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"Engineering Anomalies Research"

Postby MikeJamieson » Tue Dec 19, 2006 1:09 pm

excerpt in quote section from:
http://www.princeton.edu/~pear/jahn.html

Engineering Anomalies Research
Investigators: R.G. Jahn and B.J. Dunne
Support: Several philanthropic organizations and individuals

The interaction of human operators with sensitive information processing devices and systems is studied by combining appropriate engineering facilities and techniques with a selection of protocols and insights drawn from modern cognitive science. In this work, premium is placed on extraordinarily precise yet robust instrumentation, tight environmental and quality control, multiply redundant on-line data collection and processing, rapid accumulation of large data bases, and sensitive analytical measures to facilitate extraction of small systematic trends from high levels of background noise, while rejecting spurious artifacts. Under these rigorous conditions, certain aspects of these human/machine interactions are found to yield anomalous effects currently inexplicable on the basis of established physical concepts and statistical theory.

Over its 25-year history, the program has produced immense databases generated under highly controlled laboratory conditions, indicating the existence of small but replicable and statistically significant correlations between operator intention and the output characteristics of a variety of random digital and analogue processors. Current experiments involve several microelectronic, mechanical, fluid dynamical, acoustical, and optical devices, and a complementary program of remote perception research, from which a number of technical, psychological, and environmental correlates have been identified. Complementary analytical studies and theoretical models have been developed to facilitate the extraction of the most salient correlations from the empirical data, and to help explicate the basic phenomena in fundamental terms.




--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Publications


Engineering Anomalies Research

(with B.J. Dunne)
Margins of Reality: The Role of Consciousness in the Physical World. New York-San Diego: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich (1987).

(with B.J. Dunne, et al.)
“Correlations of Random Binary Sequences with Pre-Stated Operator Intention: A Review of a 12-Year Program.” Journal of Scientific Exploration, 11(3): 345–367 (1997).
(with B.J. Dunne)
“Experiments in Remote Human/Machine Interaction.” Journal of Scientific Exploration, 6(4): 311–332 (1992).

(with B.J. Dunne, et al.)
“Series Position Effects in Random Event Generator Experiments.” Journal of Scientific Exploration, 8(2): 197–215 (1994).

(with R.D. Nelson, et al.)
“FieldREG Anomalies in Group Situations.” Journal of Scientific Exploration, 10(1): 111–141 (1996).

(with Y.H. Dobyns and B.J. Dunne)
“Count Population Profiles in Engineering Anomalies Experiments.” Journal of Scientific Exploration, 5(2): 205–232 (1991).

(with B.J. Dunne, et al.)
“Mind/Machine Interaction Consortium: PortREG Replication Experiments.” Journal of Scientific Exploration, 14(4): 499–555 (2000).

(with B.J. Dunne)
“On the Quantum Mechanics of Consciousness, with Application to Anomalous Phenomena.” Foundations of Physics, 16(8): 721–772 (1986).

(with B.J. Dunne)
“A Modular Model of Mind/Matter Manifestations (M5).” Journal of Scientific Exploration, 15(3): 299–329 (2001).

“M*: Vector Representation of the Subliminal Seed Regime of M5.” Journal of Scientific Exploration, 16(3): 341–357 (2002).

(with B.J. Dunne)
“Science of the Subjective.” Journal of Scientific Exploration, 11(2): 201–224 (1997).

“The Complementarity of Consciousness.” In Cultivating Consciousness for Enhancing Human Potential, Wellness, and Healing, K.R. Rao, ed. (Westport, CT and London: Praeger, 1993) pp. 111–121.

“20th and 21st Century Science: Reflections and Projections.” Journal of Scientific Exploration, 15(1): 21–31 (2001).

“The Challenge of Consciousness.” Journal of Scientific Exploration, 15(4): 443–457 (2001).

“Information, Consciousness, and Health.” Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine, 2(3): 32–38 (1996).

(with P. Devereux and M. Ibison)
“Acoustical Resonances of Assorted Ancient Structures.” Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 99(2): 649–658 (1996).




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Postby MikeJamieson » Tue Dec 19, 2006 1:15 pm

Article on Jahn's and Dunne's work:

http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/3.04/pear_pr.html
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Postby Hidden Hand » Tue Dec 19, 2006 6:31 pm

From The Skeptic's Dictionary - http://skepdic.com/psiassumption.html:

We should also note that the notion of statistical significance itself is an arbitrary concept and carries with it no necessary connection with our ordinary notion of importance. Statistical significance only tells us the probability that a given statistic is not spurious or due to a statistical accident. Statisticians express the likelihood that a statistic is due to pure accident by referring to its P-value. For example, P<0.01 means that there is a one percent chance the stat is accidental. The most commonly used P-value in the social sciences and medical studies is P<0.05, where there is a one in twenty chance that the result was a statistical fluke. This standard can be traced back to the 1930s and R. A. Fisher. At that time, the number of data points that might be produced by a scientific study would have been counted in the hundreds, thousands, or tens of thousands. Today, some psi studies have more than ten million data points. Should we assume that a statistical formula that was developed rather arbitrarily for studies with much smaller quantities of data can be applied without modification for studies with millions of data points?

Parapsychology is not alone in worshipping at the altar of P<0.05, but it is the only science that concerns us here. A good example of mistaking statistical significance for actual importance was provided by Dean Radin and Roger Nelson in their assessment of the data collected by Robert Jahn, Nelson, and Brenda Dunne in the PEAR experiments on psychokinesis. The experiments consisted of subjects who tried to use their minds to affect machines. In over 14 million trials by 33 subjects over a seven-year period they found that their subjects performed at the 50.02% level when 50.00% was expected by chance. With such a large number of trials, this data plugs into some statistical significance formula and spits out the result that the odds against this happening by accident were beyond a trillion to one (Radin 1997: 140). Why am I not impressed?



From the Skeptic's Dictionary page on PEAR:
However, according to Ray Hyman, “the percentage of hits in the intended direction was only 50.02%" in the PEAR studies (Hyman 1989: 152). And one ‘operator’ (the term used to describe the subjects in these studies) was responsible for 23% of the total data base. His hit rate was 50.05%. Take out this operator and the hit rate becomes 50.01%. According to John McCrone, "Operator 10," believed to be a PEAR staff member, "has been involved in 15% of the 14 million trials, yet contributed to a full half of the total excess hits" (McCrone 1994).


and

Furthermore, Stanley Jeffers, a physicist at York University, Ontario, has repeated the Jahn experiments but with chance results (Alcock 2003: 135-152). (See "Physics and Claims for Anomalous Effects Related to Consciousness" in Alcock et al. 2003. Abstract.) And Jahn et al. failed to replicate the PEAR results in experiments done in Germany (See "Mind/Machine Interaction Consortium: PortREG Replication Experiments," Journal of Scientific Exploration, Vol. 14, No. 4, pp. 499–555, 2000).
{see that page for the links}


See http://www.tricksterbook.com/ArticlesOn ... itique.htm for "CRITIQUE OF THE PEAR REMOTE-VIEWING EXPERIMENTS" By George P. Hansen, Jessica Utts, Betty Markwick {Utts name will probably be familiar to those who've researched Stargate & the the CIA's RV programs, for writing the report that substantiated their RV findings.} - originally published in Journal
of Parapsychology, Vol. 56, No. 2, June 1992, pp. 97-113. From the abstract:

This work is reviewed with attention to methodological and statistical issues. The research departs from criteria usually expected in formal scientific experimentation. Problems with regard to randomization, statistical baselines, application of statistical models, agent coding of descriptor lists, feedback to percipients, sensory cues, and precautions against cheating. Many of the issues of remote-viewing methodology were identified by Stokes and Kennedy over 10 years ago. It is concluded that the quoted significance values are meaningless because of defects in the experimental and statistical procedures.


and from the conclusion:
The PEAR remote-viewing experiments depart from commonly accepted criteria for formal research in science. In fact, they are undoubtedly some of the poorest quality ESP experiments published in many years. The defects provide plausible alternative explanations. There do not appear to be any methods available for proper statistical evaluation of these experiments because of the way in which they were conducted.


The article "Normalizing the Paranormal" http://www.scienceagogo.com/news/paranormal.shtml has a good non technical discussion of all the above.

From a Skeptical Inquirer (May-June 04) article http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/ ... i_n6090297
The strange odyssey of Brenda Dunne by Douglas M. Stokes

More often than not, the reason aspiring parapsychologists' work is rejected for publication by, or criticized in, the mainstream parapsychological journals is that it fails to adhere to the basic minimal methodological standards accepted by all competent workers in the field.

The most basic and perhaps most elementary of these standards is that targets in ESP experiments should be randomly selected. Dunne's research has failed to live up to this standard even once in the course of her nearly three-decade-long and widely publicized research program.

At the very outset of parapsychology, it was recognized that nonrandom selection of targets may result in spurious evidence for ESP. For instance, if I tell you that I am thinking of an integer between one and ten (inclusive), you may be more likely to guess certain numbers (e.g., seven) rather than others (e.g., nine). If your bias in guessing and mine in selecting the number to be the target are similar (which they are likely to be by human nature), then mere will be a greater than 10 percent chance that your guess will be correct.


That is a 4 page article talking about randomization issues in the PEAR work.

In a discussion started by Lucianarchy at the JREF forum http://forums.randi.org/archive/index.php/t-10095.html, the Utts/Hansen/Markwick criticisms were raised. Member named Zep says

Luci, PEAR as good as admitted in a paper of their own published EARLY LAST YEAR that summarised their own re-analyses of their own data using more refined methods. These were yielding less and less "RV effect," to the point that there was no effect at all when "properly" analysed.


Unfortunately, no link with that, but Zep appears to be referring to http://www.princeton.edu/~pear/pdfs/jse_papers/IU.pdf section VII, p21, right after a discussion of how Jahn & Dunne reanalyzed their work :
Once again, there was reasonably good agreement among the six scoring recipes, but the overall results were now completely indistinguishable from chance. No more than the expected number of significant trials emerged in the analyses, and the low statistical resolution in defining the local empirical chance backgrounds, a consequence of the small size of the scoring matrices, made calculation of individual trial z-scores virtually meaningless. In a certain sense, this was reminiscent of one of the problems that had stimulated development of the analytical judging methodologies 18 years earlier, namely, the statistical inefficiency of assessing the informational content of individual trials in small experimental series. But now the phenomenon itself seemed to have disappeared.


There is a thread at JREF discussing the PEAR results - http://forums.randi.org/showthread.php?t=65987 "PEAR remote viewing - what the data actually shows" - prompted by an article at Skeptic Report - http://www.skepticreport.com/pseudoscie ... clouds.htm "Shapes in the Clouds: Commentary on Information and Uncertainty in Remote Perception Research, Dunne and Jahn, PEAR", which also covers many of the criticism of the PEAR methodology.
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Postby MikeJamieson » Tue Dec 19, 2006 7:13 pm

I wonder why they don't refer to the stats related to the randon number
generators stationed world wide, the ones that suddenly become not so random in production (or become "coherent") during events like 9/11.

Ray Hyman in 1994 finally agreed that the stats were dramatically clear
in the series of ganzfeld based studies done at the time. (Princeton U
studies on "psychic" perception.) Later, when further studies using the
ganzfeld protocol (he helped developed earlier) were not so clearly
impressive, he became less impressed.

I think it is a matter of when you're hot you're hot (or in the groove) and
when you're not, you're not. And, for the measurable so called pk effects,
those are clearly evident at times and not so at times, so the averaging out will
reflect that, I suspect. i.e. 50.02% Anyway, I'm a complete novice, but I do
know that they say the overall result at Princeton is represented by Jahn, Dunne and others as "minimal".

What is interesting to me is the effect when massive numbers of people are
focused on something (like during 9/11) and what effect that has on random
number generators.
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Postby Hidden Hand » Tue Dec 19, 2006 7:43 pm

MikeJamieson wrote:I wonder why they don't refer to the stats related to the randon number generators stationed world wide, the ones that suddenly become not so random in production (or become "coherent") during events like 9/11.


"They" who??

There is plenty of discussion of that (in fact I think some of the links above do talk about that - but I didn't know that was what you were primarily interested in..)

From : http://www.skepticreport.com/pseudoscie ... in2002.htm "An Evening with Dean Radin"


HomePseudoscience

by Claus Larsen

I spent one of the last evenings of September 2002 attending a lecture by Dean Radin, author of "The Conscious Universe", on the Upper East Side, Manhattan. Radin told about the Global Consciousness Project, which is described as:

"a world-spanning network of devices sensitive to coherence and resonance in the mental domain. Continuous streams of data are sent over the internet to be archived and correlated with events that may evoke a world-wide consciousness. Examples that appear to have done so include both peaceful gatherings and disasters: a few minutes around midnight on any New Years Eve, the first hour of NATO bombing in Yugoslavia, the Papal visit to Israel, a variety of global meditations, several major earthquakes, and now September 11."
Global Consciousness Project

Around the world, random number generators ("eggs") are producing a random string of one's and zero's, which are then recorded for later analysis. The theory is that a "global consciousness" can influence this random string of one's and zero's.

O.J.: A global event?

Radin gave several examples of how GCP had detected "global consciousness". One was the day O.J. Simpson was acquitted of double-murder. We were shown a graph where - no doubt about that - the data formed a nice ascending curve in the minutes after the pre-show started, with cameras basically waiting for the verdict to be read. And yes, there was a nice, ascending curve in the minutes after the verdict was read.

However, about half an hour before the verdict, there was a similar curve ascending for no apparent reason. Radin's quick explanation before moving on to the next slide?

"I don't know what happened there."


and regarding 9/11 -

It was obvious that the terror attacks of that day should make a pretty good case for Global Consciousness (GC). On the surface, it did. There seemed to be a very pronounced effect on that day and in the time right after.

There were, however, several problems. The most obvious was that the changes began at 6:40am ET, when the attacks hadn't started yet. It can of course be argued when the attacks "started", but if the theory is based on a lot of people "focusing" on the same thing, the theory falls flat - at 6:40am, only the attackers knew about the upcoming event. Not even the CIA knew. Hardly enough to justify a "global" consciousness. {snip}

Another serious problem with the September 11 result was that during the days before the attacks, there were several instances of the eggs picking up data that showed the same fluctuation as on September 11th. When I asked Radin what had happened on those days, the answer was:

"I don't know."


As somebody on physicforums.com said - http://www.physicsforums.com/archive/in ... 63912.html - "Given any long string of 1's, you are guaranteed that SOME unusual event will occur right after it, since unusual events happen all the time."


E. C. May, Ph.D. and S. James P. Spottiswoode, B.Sc. published a paper - http://noosphere.princeton.edu/papers/Sep1101.pdf - "Global Consciousness Project: An Independent Analysis of The 11 September 2001 Events" {I believe this the same Ed May director of the SRI/SAIC RV programs}

From the abstract:
We have conducted an independent analysis of the worldwide network of random generators called EGG’s by the Global Conscious Project (GCP) personnel. At we found direct contradictory statements with regard to the proper protocol between published account and an account posted on the GCP web http://noosphere.princeton.edu. (Subsequently, this inadvertent ambiguity corrected.) We provide, nonetheless, our analyses of both proposed methods. {snip} We conclude that the network random number generators produced data consistent with mean chance expectation during the worst single day tragedy in American history.


It's an 18 page paper, you should read it yourself, but, an extract from the conclusions:

The 6-hour sliding window of odds resulting from sum of χ2 based upon sums of Z2 across EGG’s for each second and its associated graph shown above in Figure 7 is problematic. The apparently impressive result in the critical region is not due to what was happening to the worldwide EGG network during the New York attacks, but arises completely from a statistical variation around 5:30 in the morning three hours prior to the attacks. Given the nature of random noise, and the “large” odds excursions from the random days in August, even the 5:30 peak is consistent with chance fluctuations.

Therefore we conclude that the EGG network did not significantly respond to the single largest, emotional, fearful, and well-publicized event in US history.

Radin’s a priori choice of a 6-hour sliding window we now see was most fortuitous. Had it been 3-hours the odds graph would have looked considerably different and not persuasive at all. (See the 3-hour window plot in Figure 8.)
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Postby MikeJamieson » Tue Dec 19, 2006 8:44 pm

Interesting discussion on the timing of the graph results and all.
As noted, the results seemed dramatic (on the graph) but the timing
didn't necessarily coincide with the unfolding of the events on that
day. When I get a chance, I will sort through all this material and
also see how others have evaluated this. Thanks, HH, for all the links
and references.
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