The Halloween Challenge – the Protocol

View previous topic View next topic Go down

The Halloween Challenge – the Protocol

Post by Admin on Wed Oct 17, 2012 12:15 am

OK so the sceptics are sending out a challenge
http://www.merseysideskeptics.org.uk/the-halloween-challenge/the-protocol/

also reported in the Guardian under calling all psychics http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/blog/2012/oct/16/psychics-prove-powers-scientific-test?newsfeed=true

Now the procedure is
Experimental Procedure
1.Each of the volunteer sitters will, before their sitting begins, be given a sheet of A4 paper with a randomly selected number from 1 to 5 printed upon it. The number will be printed in 400 pt. font to maintain visibility from a distance. They will be photographed holding their number.Sitters will be asked to complete a Consent Form, also providing basic demographic information and confirming that they are open to the possibility that psychics might genuinely be able to produce accurate readings by paranormal means. Most importantly, their identification number will be written on to this form at this point.
2.Each psychic taking part in the test will be allocated an escort who will stay with them throughout the entire testing session. After the psychics have deposited their personal belongings (e.g., coats, bags, mobile phones, etc.) in a secure holding area, they will be accompanied to separate rooms by their escort. From that point on until the readings are finished, they will only be allowed to move between their allocated room and the testing area (with the exception of toilet breaks). The psychic to go first for the first sitter will be decided by random selection (if only two psychics, the toss of a coin). From then on, if only two psychics are taking part, the one to go first will alternate across sitters (if more than two, the order will be determined by random selection for each sitter).
3.All sessions will be filmed throughout including each sitter entering the room holding their number, with no edits, no cuts, and no gaps (except for those required to change tapes which will be done, where possible, between sessions). At the start of each session, the sitter will be accompanied into the testing room. They affix their identification number to the front of the screen and then take their place seated behind the screen.
4.Once the sitter is in position, the appropriate response sheets and a pen will be placed on the psychic’s chair. The first psychic will enter the room and sit in the chair allocated. They will be able to see the screen and the sitter identification number. They will be seated upon chairs with folding tablet arms. The start time for each reading should be recorded on the Sessions Record sheet, along with the psychic’s name and the sitter’s identification number.
5.Each psychic will record their reading in writing on the A4 sheet. They should aim to complete one side of A4 only and therefore they should concentrate on providing information that will enable the sitter to identify themselves specifically (but they are, of course, free to write anything they please within the stipulations outlined above).
6.When each psychic has completed their reading (one side of A4), they should raise their hand and one of the tester’s will collect in their sheet. Once the sheet has been collected in, the psychic will be taken back to their allocated room by their escort and asked to record their impressions of the session and provide a confidence rating. The whole procedure is then repeated with the next psychic until all psychics have given a reading for that sitter. Once all psychics have completed their readings for a particular sitter, the sitter can leave with identification number. They will be asked to hang on to their unique identification number as a way of helping them to remember it. The testing area will then be made ready for the next sitter.
7.NEITHER THE PSYCHICS NOR THE SITTERS ARE ALLOWED TO SPEAK FROM THE MOMENT THE PSYCHIC ENTERS THE ROOM UNTIL THE MOMENT THE PSYCHIC LEAVES.If any urgent queries arise during this period, the psychic or sitter should raise a hand (at least one person in the testing area will have a clear view of the sitter). In response, one of the testers will quietly deal with the query by asking the psychic/sitter to write their query on a sheet of paper and then writing a reply.
8.Between sessions, psychics can have a 10-minute break should they choose to do so. If any psychic needs to go to the toilet, they will be accompanied to the toilets on the same corridor as WB208A with appropriate steps taken to ensure that they do not come into contact with any sitters.
9.The process described above will be repeated for all sitters. Sitters should be available on site throughout the testing period and will be called (by telephone) to a room near the testing area a few minutes before their reading is to begin. They will be accompanied into and out of the Whitehead Building by a volunteer helper. All sitters should remain on site or very close to Goldsmiths so that they can be called back for the judging session at the end.
10.Once all readings have been completed, the psychics will leave the building and the Coding Sheet will be prepared. Preparation of the Coding Sheet will be recorded.
11.At the end of the test, the testers will have the five original handwritten readings for each psychic with sitter identification numbers visible. One complete set of copies of these readings will be made before the originals are put into an envelope which would be signed, sealed and held for safekeeping.
12.Next, for each psychic, the sitter identification number will be converted into a randomly determined letter using the die (NB: Note that the sitter identification number will NOT correspond to the temporal order of the readings as the temporal order was randomly determined). Thus, for the first psychic, the die will be rolled and the number noted (if a 6 is rolled, simply roll again). If 1 is rolled, the psychic’s reading for sitter 1 is allocated the letter “A”; 2 = “B”, 3 = “C”, and so on. The result of the recoding is recorded on the Coding Sheet (see attached). The die is then rolled again until a new number between 1 and 5 appears and this is recorded as the code for that psychic’s reading for sitter 2. This procedure is repeated until each of that psychic’s readings has been allocated a unique randomly determined letter from “A” to “E”. Then the whole procedure is repeated for the next psychic using the letters “F” to “J”, and so on, until all psychics have their own unique coding system for their readings. The testers will then make two copies of the readings with the number replaced by the randomly allocated letter (one set will be retained in case it is required for subsequent checking of protocol adherence). This replacement will take place by Tippexing out the number and writing in the letter. The Coding Sheet will now serve to indicate the “correct” response for each reading during the judging phase, i.e., the letter of the reading that was actually done for that sitter.
13.The testers will then read the original readings and ensure that each psychic has adhered to all stipulations regarding them (i.e., that there is no mention of the sitters’ numbers, order of sessions, etc.). If any of the stipulations have been violated, the testers will edit the readings (with the letter codes on) with a black marker pen to obscure the relevant material.
14.The testers will then make five copies of each of the edited readings (i.e., one for each sitter).
15.For each sitter, the set of readings from each psychic (in random order) will be prepared and collated into booklets.
16.Once all of the booklets have been prepared, the sitters will be called back to the testing room (WB208A). They will be seated so as not to be able to see each other’s readings and talking will not be permitted until judging has been completed. The judging process will be filmed throughout.
17.For each booklet (i.e., set of readings from each psychic), each sitter will (a) put their identification number on the front page, (b) rate the accuracy of each reading in terms of how well it describes them as a unique individual (on a scale from 1 to 10), and (c) choose the one reading that they feel is the one most likely to have been done specifically for them. Once they have judged the readings, they will be asked to record their overall impressions of the test and their overall views of the accuracy of the readings, etc.
18.Once each sitter has completed the judging task, one of the testers will check to ensure that all required information has been submitted, the sitter will be thanked and will then leave the building. Prof French will collect in the readings and will then be responsible for entering the responses into a statistical package and analyzing the results.
19.Results will be announced on 31 October 2012.
avatar
Admin
Admin


Back to top Go down

View previous topic View next topic Back to top

- Similar topics

 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum