Psychologists DO know what you are thinking

Posted on April 3, 2014

Can psychologists really read your mind?

It's an accusation often fired at psychologists at parties: 'I bet you can tell what I'm thinking'. Now psychologists, much to their own surprise, have found scientific evidence that this might actually be the case.

The original aim of the study was to assess whether there was any validity to parapsychology claims of 'remote viewing' abilities in the normal population. A participant selects one of five 'target' pictures - of former politician Lembit Opik, a duck, a map of Seattle, a weasel with a chainsaw, and some wool. Will a 'viewer' in another room - completely blind to the selection process - be able to tell which image the participant has in their mind?

We would expect the viewers to be right 20 per cent of the time, purely by chance. But the experimenters discovered something quite unexpected. Their colleagues - postgraduate researchers, lecturers and professors in psychology - appeared to be much more successful at the task than were people from other disciplines.

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Category(s):Mental Health Professions

Source material from British Psychological Society