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Psi may look like luck: perceived luckiness and beliefs about luck in relation to precognition

Psi may look like luck: perceived luckiness and beliefs about luck in relation to precognition

Luke, David P. ORCID: 0000-0003-2141-2453, Delanoy, Deborah and Sherwood, Simon J. (2008) Psi may look like luck: perceived luckiness and beliefs about luck in relation to precognition. Journal of the Society for Psychical Research, 72 (4). pp. 193-207. ISSN 0037-1475

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Smith (1998) has shown that different people use the term “luck” to mean different things, some of which might be used euphemistically to account for psi experiences. However, previous luck-psi experiments have only measured perceived personal luckiness (PPL) without investigating what participants actually mean by the term luck, so luck beliefs were measured using the Questionnaire of Beliefs about Luck (QBL). Previous literature indicates that luck might best be understood in terms of Stanford’s model of ‘psi-mediated instrumental response’ (PMIR), so 100 participants completed a PMIR-inspired non-intentional precognition experiment with static fractal images as targets, and depending on success experienced either a task involving erotic images (psi incentive) or a boring vigilance task (psi disincentive). The mean psi score over ten forced-choice trials was 2.85 (MCE = 2.5), which gives a significant overall precognition effect (t[99] = 2.508, p = .014, r = .244). Furthermore, scores on the PPL and the Luck subscale of the QBL were found to correlate significantly with precognition performance (r = .263, p = .008 for both). However, only the Luck subscale was found to be a significant predictor variable of psi score (adjusted R2 = .06, t[99] = 2.7, p = .008), indicating that beliefs about luck are more relevant to psi performance than PPL alone. Psi task performance was also related to belief in psi (rs[98]= .236, p = .02) and suggestively with belief in the paranormal (rs[98]=.194, p = .10), offering tentative support for the notion that psi ability drives belief initially. Precognition performance was also found to be suggestively higher amongst the erotically reactive than the erotically unreactive (t[99] = 1.65, p = .10) offering indirect support for the experiment’s validity and the need-serving aspect of PMIR. A number of other exploratory hypotheses are discussed. The findings support the suggested relationship between luck and psi but further investigations should consider beliefs about luck not just perceived luckiness.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: [1] Full text of article is available online for Society for Psychical Research (SPR) members. [2] Paper presented at The Joint Annual Convention of The Parapsychological Association, Inc. (51st) and The Incorporated Society for Psychical Research (32nd), held 13-17 August 2008, University of Winchester, Winchester, UK (please see
Uncontrolled Keywords: psi, precognition, luck, parapsychology, beliefs
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Pre-2014 Departments: School of Health & Social Care
School of Health & Social Care > Department of Psychology & Counselling
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Last Modified: 14 Oct 2016 09:10

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