From: Mike Dougherty (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Mon Jan 02 2006 - 20:41:54 MST
I know you explained the sheep-goats phenomenon in an earlier email, but I
had to laugh when I pictured researchers trying to examine the psi factor of
On 1/2/06, Richard Loosemore <email@example.com> wrote:
> I will say this without meaning to be at all condescending or impolite,
> but you have made an enormously straightforward Experimental Design 101
> mistake here (and Michael Shermer, if he is referring to this particular
> case, is even more guilty of doing so).
> If someone is able to influence an experiment in such a way was to make
> the number of hits consistently below chance, they are doing something
> just as paranormal as someone who makes them come out above chance. If
> psi is not real, neither the sheep nor the goats should be able to have
> *any* consistent effect on the number of hits!
> They give these kinds of problems to first year psychology
> undergraduates to trick them, in their statistical design of experiments
> Richard Loosemore
> BillK wrote:
> > On 1/2/06, Richard Loosemore wrote:
> >>More generally, though, it is difficult for me to pick one reference on
> >>this: if you go to the literature and look up "sheep-goat effect" you
> >>should find hundreds of examples.
> > As Michael Shermer has commented:
> > "But wouldn't that mean that this claim is ultimately nonfalsifiable?
> > If both positive and negative results are interpreted as supporting a
> > theory, how can we test its validity?
> > Skepticism is the default position because the burden of proof is on
> > the believer, not the skeptic."
> > BillK
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