Historical Reprints Ethics/ Honesty/ Truth E.S.P - Extra-Sensory Perception (ESP)

E.S.P - Extra-Sensory Perception (ESP)

E.S.P - Extra-Sensory Perception (ESP)
Catalog # SKU1985
Publisher TGS Publishing
Weight 1.00 lbs
Author Name J. B. Rhine



Extra-Sensory Perception

J. B. Rhine, Ph. D.

I began using the term "Extra-Sensory Perception" (E. S. P.) at first with the more tentative meaning, "perception without the function of the recognized senses". But as our studies progressed it gradually became more and more evident that E. S. P. was fundamentally different from the sensory processes, lacking a sense organ, apparently independent of recognized energy forms, non-radiative but projectory, cognitive but un-analyzable into sensory components-all quite non-sensory characteristics.

It seemed to extend the word "sensory" ridiculously to use it to cover this phenomenon. Hence the present interpretation is rather that E.S.P. is, frankly, "perception in a mode that is just not sensory", omitting all question of "unrecognized". I think we have progressed this far with reasonable certainty.

On the reception end of the E.S.P. phenomenon there has only been the vague inference of some hidden sense (cryptesthesia), a "sixth sense"

Excerpt from Introduction

The question or problem is a rather broad one, not limited to the perception, extra-sensorially, of mere objects or states, but is unlimited. It includes the perception of the mental states of other individuals, the facts of the past and of distant scenes, of sealed questions or of the "waters under the earth". The future, too, and its scrutability are within the scope of the general problems; (unless previsionary parapsychics are cosmological enough in their evasion of time "laws" to justify a separate branch of "parapsycho-cosmology".

At present, however, the greater economy the better, or our big words will seem to mean more than the facts they cover.) The manner of the operation of such parapsychic perception, too, must be broadly viewed in clarifying the problem; it might be in hypnotic trance or under the influence of a drug, with the aid of an "object of reference" (associated in some way with the facts to be perceived), by the use of a crystal ball, a cup of tea-leaves, the ouija-board or a divining-rod. So far as the generalized problem goes, these are all included in the broad question, Is there a human function of extra-sensory perception?


The momentous study here presented has what may be called, metaphorically, three dimensions. First, there is the unprecedently long period, about three years, during which experiments have been conducted until they reached a vast number. Secondly, we find that the co-operation, observation, and critical judgment of many persons both within and without the teaching staff of the psychological department of Duke University have been applied to the experiments at various stages.

Thirdly, we note the waxing rigor of the main stream of the experimentation, and the diversity of methods employed not simply to pile up proof to astronomical proportions, but to isolate telepathy and clairvoyance, each from the other, to find out what measures enhanced and what detracted from results, and to acquire data to test this and that hypothesis of the processes involved. Many admirable series of experiments for extrasensory perception have been made by men of science and other men of university education and high mental endowment, especially since 1880, with some of earlier date. But in none of the particulars stated above can any of them compare with the great task accomplished at Duke University.

To be sure, some of the series of trials reported in this book rest, prima facie, upon the good faith of unwitnessed experimenters. The author could well have afforded to omit all of these, for the host of experiments witnessed under rigid conditions are enormously sufficient to bring the odds against chance to tremendous figures. But he wished to tell the whole story. Pearce's 15,000 witnessed trials under diversified conditions alone would have been abundantly ample upon which to rest the case as regards proof. But it is certainly worth while to know if some subjects can get results better when alone and others can not and how the general progress under the two conditions compares.

Besides, our confidence in the reported unwitnessed results in some cases is established by finding that their subjects did as well or better under inspection. And it is hard to discredit those persons whose unwitnessed results declined against natural wish or displayed under analysis, as will be shown, striking analogies, which could not have been foreseen by the subjects, with results received under inspection. But let the reader discard all these which he will, there remains a huge block of evidence against which it would appear that skepticism must batter in vain.

"Unconscious whispering" has had a larger place in psychical research discussion than it ever deserved, but in this report conditions under which, even though near the agent, the percipient could not have heard any such, and separation in different rooms and buildings, have banished this ghost. The discovery that some of the subjects did better at considerable distances is a noteworthy one. Some other writers have reported the reverse, but it may be that their subjects were too abruptly removed to a distance or that some other factor caused them to lose confidence.

This report agrees with most others in the effects of mental comfort, calm, and abstraction in promoting success. But here much experimentation was done, expressly to measure the effects of various disturbances. So far as subjects were ill, their scores fell. But why should anyone not guess (that is, with all sensory data for judgment excluded) as well when ill as when well? Success declined when the percipient against his own desire was kept at the task until it was highly distasteful. But why should pure guessing be thus put at a disadvantage? At first, when conditions were suddenly changed as by the interception of a screen, scoring would fall, later to rise, and so also when a visitor was brought in while a series was in operation. A certain drug markedly and consistently lowered the ratio of "hits," another drug tended to restore the ratio. There is no conceivable way by which pure guessing could thus be affected. There appears to be no explanation save that the various disturbances, including the administering of a certain drug, unfavorably affected that mental state most productive of extra-sensory perception, and that another drug mysteriously affected that state favorably.

The results of a single experiment may have great evidential force. Such an experiment has been lately reported by Mr. Theodore Besterman, a very careful and conservative researcher. The subject was Ossowiecki, with whom Dr. E. J. Dingwall, an experienced investigator whose bent is toward skepticism, several years ago had a result almost equally amazing. Mr. Besterman employed precautions the avoidance of which baffles the mind to imagine. The odds against chance in his case cannot be mathematically evaluated, but it is safe to say, after considering all the factors involved, that they could not be less than a million to one.

Softcover, 8¼" x 6¾, 180+ pages

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