Psychology Ph.D. student Dominic Parker is bringing psychic testing to Millennials and the iGeneration. He has spent about three years and much of his personal savings developing the “Am I Psychic” app, which makes psychic testing feel like a game of Candy Crush Saga or Fruit Ninja.
He learned a lot from the most popular app interface designs. He also learned from the huge, systematic psychic testing conducted at Princeton University’s Anomalies Research Lab from 1979 to 2007, and similar endeavors.
The major difference is that he brings psychic testing to practically anyone with a smartphone. And it’s fun.
Parker is helping bring parapsychology into the 21st century.
“I really do feel like the app is pushing the field of parapsychology into the 21st century,” Parker said. “This is the future of research. … The app is available in 157 countries. … It’s a global experiment, there’s never quite been a study like that before where it’s available that easily.”
“It shows the possibilities for future experiments in the technology age,” he said.
The first time you play Am I Psychic, you are asked whether you want your results to be shared (anonymously) with Parker to contribute to his research. If not, you can still play to see how psychic you are, and to strengthen your innate psychic abilities (if such things do exist, of course).
If you do allow your data to be collected, you become part of a multi-year study on the existence of psychic abilities.
Try to predict which card will appear or bend a spoon with your mind!
The app contains a few games involving dice, cards, and a bending spoon—mimicking classic parapsychology experiments.
For example, in the dice game, you pick a number from one to six. While you think about that number, the die rolls multiple times. The rolls are determined by a random number generator—again a common device used in parapsychology experiments.
This mechanism ensures complete randomness, like when you physically roll dice.
The idea is that, if your number is rolled more often than chance alone would dictate, it could indicate your mind is having a physical impact on the die (or, the random number generator).
If you predict correctly more times than pure chance, statistically speaking, you might be a psychic.
Statistician Dr. David Saunders at the University of Northampton is helping Parker ensure his analysis of the chance results and “psychic” results are correct.
The game tests for both psychokinesis, your ability to make the die roll to a certain number; and extrasensory perception (ESP), your ability to predict which number the die will roll.
Parker used the example of an ESP test to show what kind of results would mean you’re “psychic.”
The game rolls the die 36 times before offering the results, that is, the percentage of times you accurately predicted the number. To determine whether your result is above chance, at least 36 rolls are needed.
When The Epoch Times staff tested it, we often got around 13 to 17 percent correct, which is close to chance, Parker said. A chance result is 16.67 percent.
“It’s not about one test. You could get 100 percent correct on one test, and while that would be extremely impressive, it wouldn’t mean that you’re psychic,” Parker said. Rather, over multiple tests, “If you’re able to consistently show greater than 16.67 percent—18, 19, 22 percent—that’s when you can start at least asking yourself what’s going on. … Attributing your success to a psychic effect becomes possible.”
He’s years away from any systematic analysis of the data, but he checks out the high scores shared by some users. The highest he’s seen so far is 38 percent.
You may be able to strengthen psychic abilities if you have them.
It’s commonly held in parapsychology that a comfortable environment is more conducive to psychic effects than a laboratory environment. A person’s mental and emotional state may impact psychic abilities.
But each person’s process differs, said Parker. “Some people need to be under high stress for these phenomena to occur. They’re taking the subway to get to work and they’re running late. They’re sitting there waiting to get off the train so they play the game … they’re able to perform well. Then during their lunch break, when they’re more relaxed, they don’t do as well.”
The idea is that players can learn about their own processes, what seems to work for them. It may be different settings, different ways of thinking about the experiment, or some other conditions which produce better results.
Practice could make perfect too. Some have hypothesized that we all have innate psychic abilities, and they could be strengthened by focusing on them and trying to use them.
A parapsychology Ph.D. thesis—can you really do that?
Parker chose California’s Saybrook University for his clinical psychology studies because it is open to parapsychology work. It has some major American parapsychologists on its faculty and adjunct faculty.
“I’m working on everything necessary to become a licensed clinical psychologist, but at the same time I’m doing the extra work to do research in parapsychology because they’re allowing me to,” he said.
There are no accredited universities offering parapsychology degrees specifically in the United States, he said. In the U.K., academia is more open to parapsychology; the University of Edinburgh’s Koestler Parapsychology Unit in Scotland is helping Parker vet his experiment methodology.
All profits from Parker’s app will go to the Rhine Research Center, an independent, non-profit parapsychology center in North Carolina. So even if players choose not to share their data, their use of the app will contribute to the science of psychic abilities.
In Beyond Science, The Epoch Times explores research and accounts related to phenomena and theories that challenge our current knowledge. We delve into ideas that stimulate the imagination and open up new possibilities. Share your thoughts with us on these sometimes controversial topics in the comments section below.