Week 7 Interpersonal Strategies. ESP.

Interpersonal strategies

Query: give examples of good and bad interpersonal strategies

1. Self-handicapping = manage how others perceive us by controlling the attributions they make for our performance. E.g. get drunk so that failure doesn't derive from lack of ability.

Also feigned: pretend not to study.

2. Ineffective strategies (e.g. loud mouths) persist because

(a) people don't notice they are not working

evidence is limited, confirmation bias, causal theories, motivated inference

(b) nobody tells them.

3. Cf. men dominating conversations: Debora Tanen, You Just Don't Understand.


Princeton's Engineering Anomalies Laboratory

Robert Jahn.

- psychokinesis: machines

- remote viewing: clairvoyance

- elsewhere: telepathy, precognition (Suzanne)

19th century: seances, etc.: psychical research

20th, experimental research, J.B. Rhine (Hacking)

methodological flaws and faked data common.

- e.g. failure to randomize in Putoff/Targ's work on remote viewing

Importance of replicability.

Recent more careful experiments:

very small but statistically significant effects

possibility of various kinds of contamination

Why do people believe in ESP?

(80% of Canadian students?)

1. coincidences: confirmation bias

e.g. meet someone in Europe


2. wishful thinking: motivated reasoning

3. metaphysics: spiritual view. Undercut materialism. Introduce free will.

What are the reasons that the researchers continue?


Updated Feb. 24, 2003

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