Biography of Famous Paranormal and ESP Scientist J.B. Rhine Part 2
About the famous scientist J.B. Rhine who made study of parapsychology, ESP, telepathy and the paranomal respectable, biography and history of the man.
J. B. RHINE (1895- ).
The card-calling experiments are Rhine's best-known work, but he also initiated research in psychokinesis (PK), which is the ability to influence the motion of physical objects by using the force of thought or will power. Rhine's experiments in psychokinesis usually involved throwing dice while "willing" certain numbers to appear--an activity often pursued in non-scientific circles. His results persuaded him that certain persons possessed a certain amount of psychic ability at certain times. Adults, children, and even animals showed psi, but their ability to repeat high-scoring runs while being observed by outsiders has been lacking.
Rhine's work has not escaped ridicule by persons who associate ESP with magic and fortune-telling, although the quality of his procedures convinced most others of his personal integrity as a scientist. Rather than admit that ESP could conceivably exist, resolute critics claim that trickery and unintentional giveaway clues will explain how some individuals made such astonishing scores that even the laws of chance could not account for the results. Unfortunately for those who wish to prove that ESP exists, the high-scoring performances continue to be very rare and unpredictable.
Rhine insists that high motivation and enthusiasm must be present in order for the psi ability to appear. He describes instances when persons whose spirit was at top level scored 25 "hits" on the unseen pack of 25 cards. As in other occult phenomena, the presence of nonbelievers during the experiment seems to reduce the likelihood of obtaining favorable results. Long and tiring sessions are also unlikely to reveal psi, whether the task is naming cards or controlling the roll of dice. Critics have said that the remarkable results Rhine obtained in the early years of his experiments were caused by excessive motivation on the part of his assistants. When better controls were used, fewer great psychic performances were reported. Both Rhine and his wife Louisa have written numerous books and articles on extrasensory perception and their work is accepted as fully legitimate psychological research, although Rhine has remarked that only this branch of psychology is asked to take elaborate measures to prevent fraud during experiments.
Since the presence of psi in a person (he is called a sensitive if he has it) is always measured, in Rhine's work, in relation to the laws of chance, the psi research compelled the nonbelievers to reflect upon how statistics are used to draw conclusions. Rhine is accused of mistaking the occasional rare chance event--which the laws of chance say will occur--for a psychical episode. His steadfast willingness to do so, however, made him the foremost authority on extrasensory perception. When public interest in telepathy, clairvoyance, precognition, and psychokinesis increased in a so-called "occult explosion" starting in the 1960s, Rhine's work showed what kind of evidence would be needed to prove that such phenomena exist.
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