Telepathy Essay, Research Paper

TELEPATHY Introduction

The aim of this investigation is to statistically

analyse the results of telepathy tests run on a

selection of people to determine whether

none/one/some/all of them poses telepathic powers.

These results could be used as a representative sample

of other similar people.

The selection of people will be children, all 16 or 17

years old, from a further mathematics class. These

children are similar in age and assumed to be

similarly intelligent. A group of people similar in

these characteristics has been chosen, so this group

could be used as a representative sample of other

similar people.

The sample size will be 10 people large, as this

should be large enough to show if any of them have

telepathic powers compared to the rest. This size

should also be large enough to show if further

investigation into this group of society about their

telepathic powers should be considered, should some of

them exhibit telepathic powers. This size should also

be large enough to determine whether the "transmitter"

(see below), possesses telepathic powers.

A person will take card from a pack of cards and will

look at it, while not letting anyone but him/her to

view the card. Another person will then state what

suit they think the card is, heart, diamond, club or

spade. Whether they got the suit right or wrong will

be recorded.

This investigation will try and determine whether any

people in the group can receive telepathic messages,

and so the person viewing the card – the "sender",

will be the same person throughout the investigation.

This means that the telepathic "sending" ability of

the person viewing the card is also tested. When

looking at the results from the group as a whole, the

telepathic powers of the sender can be analysed, while

looking at individual results of people trying to

received messages will give an idea as to their own

telepathic powers.

Each person will try and receive the suit of 20 cards,

as this size appears to be a large enough set of tests

to determine whether the subject has any telepathic

abilities. The card will be picked from a shuffled

pack of cards, in case any tampering has been

involved.

The results of the test will be compared to a binomial

model that assumes that the suit that the receiver

picks is picked at random (that the receiver or

transmitter has no telepathic powers). This

distribution model requires the events to be

independent of each other. Certain precautions must be

taken to ensure this. The subject must not be told

whether or not they got a suit right or wrong, as this

may affect their next answer. Also, the subject must

not be able to see the transmitter, as this may also

affect their answer, as the transmitter’s expression

may give an idea to whether they stated the correct

suit.

The mean and standard deviation will be calculated

from the real data, and from the binomial model, so

they can be compared. They can then be compared to see

if there are any significant differences that could

mean telepathic powers are present.

Results

Person No of correct Answers

1 6

2 8

3 8

4 2

5 3

6 8

7 6

8 6

9 9

10 9

Number of correct answers 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

Frequency 1 1 0 0 3 0 3 2

Calculations Using Data

Let x be number of correct answers

Mean

Standard Deviation

Binomial Model

The binomial probability model can be calculated from

the following formula, where given n trials of an

event, the probability of r occurrences of an outcome

that has a probability p occurring at each trial.

To calculate the probability distribution for the set

of telepathy tests, assuming that the chance of each

subject stating the correct card is ¼, and there are

20 tests run on each subject, the formula is

therefore:

Using this formula, the probability distribution for

correctly stating the suit of card is as follows,

where X is the number of suits correctly chosen.

x p(x)

0 3.1712 x 10-3

1 2.1141 x 10-2

2 6.6695 x 10-2

3 1.1339 x 10-1

4 1.8969 x 10-1

5 2.0233 x 10-1

6 1.6861 x 10-1

7 1.1241 x 10-1

8 6.0887 x 10-2

9 2.7061 x 10-2

10 9.9223 x 10-3

11 3.0068 x 10-3

12 7.5169 x 10-4

13 1.5419 x 10-4

14 2.5699 x 10-5

15 3.1712 x 10-6

16 3.5693 x 10-7

17 2.7994 x 10-8

18 1.5552 x 10-9

19 5.4570 x 10-11

20 9.0949 x 10-13

Mean

The mean of this probability distribution can be

calculated thus:

Standard Deviation

Analysis

The mean of the real data is 30% higher than the mean

of the probability distribution. There could be

several reasons for this. It could mean that the

transmitter has some telepathic powers. It could mean

that many of the people in the group to receive

messages are telepathic. It could be a combination of

both.

However the standard deviation for the test data is

approximately 18% higher than for the probability

model. This means that there is a higher spread, that

there are more results further from the mean than

there would be if the subjects were simply guessing

the suit. This does suggest that some of the subjects

that could have possessed telepathic powers were not

getting the correct suit right on purpose. To put it

simply, they were "fighting" the messages they were

sent. It could also mean that the transmitter could

have been sending them incorrect messages.

I think that data doesn’t show that anyone in the test

had any extremely significant telepathic powers. The

highest number of correct cards in the test was 9.

This happened twice. This is quite an improbable

event; the probability of such an event happening

once, is 0.027061. However, as there are so many

things that could happen – from getting 0 right to

getting all 20 right, they are all improbable, just

some are more probable than others.

Here I have found I have contradicted myself. The mean

and standard deviation show that some of the people

have telepathic powers, but looking at the data they

don’t. I think this is because this test was severely

limited. The results of the test could have been

random, and the mean and standard deviation simple

"happen" to be higher. I think that the test was far

to short and the test group too small to be certain of

any telepathic powers. A future test should test each

person more and ask him or her to identify more suits

of cards. The sender would have to be tested more

also, and try and transmit more cards to more people.

To make sure that this group of people doesn’t have

telepathic powers within it, they should all be

subject to longer tests, as this will confirm whether

they have telepathic powers or not.

A large limitation of this test was deciding whether

the results show if it is the sender, or the receivers

that were telepathic. This could be done by making the

receivers try and receive messages from a selection of

people, and analysing the results to find which people

were the best transmitters.

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