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James Randi Educational Foundation

An Encyclopedia of Claims, Frauds, and Hoaxes of the Occult and Supernatural

Introduction | "R" Reading | Curse of the Pharaoh | End-of-the-World Prophecies

Index | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | Y | Z

Eysenck, Dr. Hans J. (1916- ) Psychologist Eysenck studied in the U.K. with Sir Cyril Burt and invented the “Eysenck Personality Scale,” which is believed to measure a subject's basic temperament for purposes of evaluating results obtained in parapsychological tests.
      In 1983, Eysenck, with Dr. Carl Sargent, produced Know Your Own Psi-IQ, a naive book designed to enable the layperson to design and perform extrasensory perception (ESP) tests. Attempting to provide a simple, convenient randomization method, for example, the authors instead gave users a highly biased procedure that would make experiments meaningless and certainly discourage further investigation by the amateur.
      In 1957, before very much was known about the poor control and sometimes devious methods used by some scientists to develop their evidence for paranormal phenomena, Dr. Eysenck wrote:  

      Unless there is a gigantic conspiracy involving some thirty University departments all over the world, and several hundred highly respected scientists in various fields, many of them originally hostile to the claims of the psychical researchers, the only conclusion the unbiased observer can come to must be that there does exist a small number of people who obtain knowledge existing either in other people's minds, or in the outer world, by means yet unknown to science.

      Such a “gigantic conspiracy” is not at all necessary to explain the fact that some scientists have seen what they expected and wanted to see and have accepted the conclusions of others without question. The fact that none of the findings of the paranormalists have been established but like the work of Soal, Lévy, Rhine, and so many others have instead fallen out of serious consideration upon subsequent examination, has apparently not altered Dr. Eysenck's conclusion.

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