Jaytee the Psychic Dog

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Jaytee the Psychic Dog

#1  Postby jerome » Oct 20, 2010 3:00 pm

As this was brought up in the other thread, and people my not be fully up to date on the debate, I have created a little reference for those who want to reach an educated opinion on the debate between Wiseman and Sheldrake on psychic dogs--


Latest article by Chris Carter from JSPR - http://www.sheldrake.org/D&C/controvers ... iseman.pdf

The background

http://www.sheldrake.org/Articles&Paper ... _video.pdf - Sheldrake's paper

http://www.richardwiseman.com/Jaytee.html is Wiseman's account

http://www.sheldrake.org/D&C/controversies/wiseman.html is Sheldrake's response


Listen to the participants speak

Skeptico podcasts on the issue featuring Wiseman & Sheldrake on the dog experiments
http://www.skeptiko.com/11-dr-richard-w ... sthatknow/
http://www.skeptiko.com/35-dr-steven-no ... -research/
http://www.skeptiko.com/rupert-sheldrak ... man-clash/

Read much more on the issue, and take part in designing replications - Open Source Science
http://www.opensourcescience.net/index. ... _Return%3F


Short Bibliography

Sheldrake, R. (1998). A dog that seems to know when his owner is returning: Preliminary investigations. Journal of the Society for Psychical Research, 62, 220-232.
http://www.sheldrake.org/Articles&Paper ... gknows.pdf

Wiseman, R., Smith, M. & Milton, J. (1998) Can animals detect when their owners are returning home? An experimental test of the 'psychic pet' phenomenon. British Journal of Psychology 89, 453-462.
https://uhra.herts.ac.uk/dspace/bitstre ... 902380.pdf

Sheldrake, R. (1999a) Commentary on a paper by Wiseman, Smith and Milton on the 'psychic pet' phenomenon. JSPR 63, 306-311.
http://www.sheldrake.org/Articles&Paper ... omment.pdf

Sheldrake, R. (1999b) Dogs that Know When Their Owners are Coming Home. London: Hutchinson.

Wiseman, R., Smith, M. & Milton, J. (2000) The 'psychic pet' phenomenon: A reply to Rupert Sheldrake. JSPR 64, 46-49.
http://www.psy.herts.ac.uk/wiseman/pape ... greply.pdf

Sheldrake, R, Smart, P (2000) A Dog That Seems To Know When His Owner is Coming Home:
Videotaped Experiments and Observations, Journal of Scientific Exploration 14, 233-255
http://www.sheldrake.org/Articles&Paper ... _video.pdf

Sheldrake, R., and Smart, P. (2000b). Testing a return-anticipating dog, Kane. Anthrozoös, 13(4), 203-212.
http://www.sheldrake.org/Articles&Paper ... ogkane.pdf

Carter C (2010) Heads I win, Tails you lose, or how Richard Wiseman nullifoes positive results in parapsychology, and what to do about it JSPR 74, 156-2007
http://www.sheldrake.org/D&C/controvers ... iseman.pdf

Hope of interest
j x
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Re: Jaytee the Psychic Dog

#2  Postby VK-machine » Oct 20, 2010 8:01 pm

Noone who has read the articles in question can seriously maintain that the dog is telepathic. Signalling owner returns before the owner actually knows he is returning is quite simply incompatible with a telepathic link.


jerome wrote:Read much more on the issue, and take part in designing replications - Open Source Science
http://www.opensourcescience.net/index. ... _Return%3F

That is defunct. The founder has quietly announced that he has given up finding a psychic dog. Naturally, he still professes his undying faith in the existence of one...
Contrast this failure to Sheldrake's polling result according to which more than half (iirc) of dog owners report this psychic anticipatory behavior for their dogs.

jerome wrote:Carter C (2010) Heads I win, Tails you lose, or how Richard Wiseman nullifoes positive results in parapsychology, and what to do about it JSPR 74, 156-2007
http://www.sheldrake.org/D&C/controvers ... iseman.pdf

This article is as full of lies as Sheldrake's head is full of crazy. :yuk:
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Re: Jaytee the Psychic Dog

#3  Postby jerome » Oct 20, 2010 9:30 pm

VK-machine wrote:Noone who has read the articles in question can seriously maintain that the dog is telepathic. Signalling owner returns before the owner actually knows he is returning is quite simply incompatible with a telepathic link.


???? The signalling was used to randomise the return of the owner to prebet the dog understanding the time by habit alone, so to speak. It was done by phoning the woman, Pam Smart - not by any other means/ You think the dog had tapped Wiseman and Sheldrakes cell phones?

VK-machine wrote:
jerome wrote:Read much more on the issue, and take part in designing replications - Open Source Science
http://www.opensourcescience.net/index. ... _Return%3F

That is defunct. The founder has quietly announced that he has given up finding a psychic dog. Naturally, he still professes his undying faith in the existence of one...


Can you give me a link? I'll add it to the my OP.

VK-machine wrote:
Contrast this failure to Sheldrake's polling result according to which more than half (iirc) of dog owners report this psychic anticipatory behavior for their dogs.


Quite!If such was true ths wouuld be easy to demonstrate, we could run trials all over, wherever people own dogs!

VK-machine wrote:
jerome wrote:Carter C (2010) Heads I win, Tails you lose, or how Richard Wiseman nullifoes positive results in parapsychology, and what to do about it JSPR 74, 156-2007
http://www.sheldrake.org/D&C/controvers ... iseman.pdf

This article is as full of lies as Sheldrake's head is full of crazy. :yuk:


Colourful, but can you give actual examples? Ones I can point out to Richard wiseman and Matthew Smith when I get round to discussing the Jaytee affair with them in person?
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Re: Jaytee the Psychic Dog

#4  Postby VK-machine » Oct 20, 2010 10:27 pm

jerome wrote:
VK-machine wrote:Noone who has read the articles in question can seriously maintain that the dog is telepathic. Signalling owner returns before the owner actually knows he is returning is quite simply incompatible with a telepathic link.


???? The signalling was used to randomise the return of the owner to prebet the dog understanding the time by habit alone, so to speak. It was done by phoning the woman, Pam Smart - not by any other means/ You think the dog had tapped Wiseman and Sheldrakes cell phones?

I meant that the dog signals that the owner returns before the owner returns.

VK-machine wrote:
jerome wrote:Read much more on the issue, and take part in designing replications - Open Source Science
http://www.opensourcescience.net/index. ... _Return%3F

That is defunct. The founder has quietly announced that he has given up finding a psychic dog. Naturally, he still professes his undying faith in the existence of one...


Can you give me a link? I'll add it to the my OP.

http://www.skeptiko.com/92-dr-rupert-sh ... ks-intern/


VK-machine wrote:
jerome wrote:Carter C (2010) Heads I win, Tails you lose, or how Richard Wiseman nullifoes positive results in parapsychology, and what to do about it JSPR 74, 156-2007
http://www.sheldrake.org/D&C/controvers ... iseman.pdf

This article is as full of lies as Sheldrake's head is full of crazy. :yuk:


Colourful, but can you give actual examples? Ones I can point out to Richard wiseman and Matthew Smith when I get round to discussing the Jaytee affair with them in person?j x

For a start, Carter completely fails to mention that Demkina was tested as part of the Million Dollar Challenge. A clear lie of omission
I may or may not write more on it, depending how I feel about it. Let's face it, it's pointless.
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Re: Jaytee the Psychic Dog

#5  Postby Crocodile Gandhi » Oct 20, 2010 10:41 pm

I believe there was also an episode of "The Skeptic's Guide to the Universe" where the panel interviewed Alex Tsakiris about these studies (amongst other things). I think Tsakiris would benefit from changing the name of his podcast to 'Credulousiko'. Doesn't have quite the same ring to it, though.
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Re: Jaytee the Psychic Dog

#6  Postby jerome » Oct 20, 2010 11:58 pm

VK-machine wrote:
For a start, Carter completely fails to mention that Demkina was tested as part of the Million Dollar Challenge. A clear lie of omission
I may or may not write more on it, depending how I feel about it. Let's face it, it's pointless.


I don't know Carter at all, but this is hardly a lie of omission? However, I do know about the JREF Challenge - I'm CJ.23 over there - and I am pretty much certain the JREF never tested Natasha Demkina as part of the Million Dollar Challenge (or at all). I think you may be confusing her with Anita Ikonen, who did do a MDC approved preliminary test.

The American tests on Demkina were conducted by CSICOP as it was then, today CSI.
Wikipeda article Natasha Demkina wrote: Then CSI researchers Ray Hyman and Wiseman, and Andrew Skolnick of the now defunct Commission for Scientific Medicine and Mental Health (CSMMH) conducted their test of Demkina.


Note Carter does cover these tests - they are the ones where he states accurately enough that Professor Josephson (a Nobel Prize winning physicist who runs a parapsi based project at Cambridge so not exactly impartial) critiqued Wiseman's stats. The discussion on the JREF forum seems to concur that the result was highly significant in terms f normal probability, just did not hit the criteria required by the experimantal agreement. (She could have after all jus got incredibly lucky, people do sometimes. Someone wins the lottery most weeks.)

If there was a JREF Million Dollar Challenge test you wil have to point me to it - she does not appear on the JREF Million Dollar Challenge applicants log?

http://forums.randi.org/forumdisplay.php?f=43

j x
Last edited by jerome on Oct 21, 2010 12:14 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Jaytee the Psychic Dog

#7  Postby jerome » Oct 21, 2010 12:02 am

Crocodile Gandhi wrote:I believe there was also an episode of "The Skeptic's Guide to the Universe" where the panel interviewed Alex Tsakiris about these studies (amongst other things). I think Tsakiris would benefit from changing the name of his podcast to 'Credulousiko'. Doesn't have quite the same ring to it, though.



There was an episode of the sceptical podcast Righteous indignation (i appeared on another one here http://parafort.com/ri/?p=645#comments Episode 40) with him. Alex Tsaris ==. http://parafort.com/ri/?p=528 (Episode 33)

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Re: Jaytee the Psychic Dog

#8  Postby Crocodile Gandhi » Oct 21, 2010 2:08 am

jerome wrote:
Crocodile Gandhi wrote:I believe there was also an episode of "The Skeptic's Guide to the Universe" where the panel interviewed Alex Tsakiris about these studies (amongst other things). I think Tsakiris would benefit from changing the name of his podcast to 'Credulousiko'. Doesn't have quite the same ring to it, though.



There was an episode of the sceptical podcast Righteous indignation (i appeared on another one here http://parafort.com/ri/?p=645#comments Episode 40) with him. Alex Tsaris ==. http://parafort.com/ri/?p=528 (Episode 33)

j x


Cool. I'll have to check that out. I've recently started listening to the 'Skeptics with a K' podcast which has one of the people from 'Righteous Indignation'. Was Michael Marsh one of the podcasters when you were on?
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Re: Jaytee the Psychic Dog

#9  Postby Mr.Samsa » Oct 21, 2010 4:45 am

Some problems I have with Sheldrake's paper:

She recorded in a notebook the
details of where she had been to, when she set off to come home, how long her journey took and
her mode of transport. In some cases she traveled in taxis or in cars belonging to her sisters or
friends, but in most cases she traveled in her own car, since we had already established that
Jaytee's anticipatory behavior still occurred when she traveled in unfamiliar vehicles, and hence
could not be explained in terms of the dog hearing her car (Sheldrake & Smart, 1998).


Noting that the anticipatory behavior occurs in the presence of all motor vehicles stopping at her house is not evidence that her car does not signal the anticipatory behavior - in fact, the obvious conclusion that should be reached is that the sound of a motor vehicle pulling up outside the house triggers the behavior. Of course the type of car is irrelevant.

We carried out a pre-planned series of 30 observations in PS's parents' flat between May 1995
and July 1996. Seven of PS absences were in the daytime, at various times in the morning and
afternoon, with PS's times of return ranging from 11:13 AM to 3:36 PM. Twenty-three were in
the evening, with PS returning at a range of times between 7:30 and 10:45 PM. The length of her
absences ranged from 85 to 220 minutes.


Those ranges aren't that long, given that she returns within those time frames when she goes out so time could easily be the behavioral cue that "predicts" her return. The same appears to be true across all the environments.

Second, these visits to the window that seemed to have nothing to do with
Jaytee's anticipatory behavior were excluded. This set of data was "cleaner" but more dependent
on subjective assessments. However, since these assessments were done "blind" they should not
have involved any systematic bias.


This analysis is pointless as you're almost guaranteed to get positive results.

Thus Jaytee's reactions in the last 3 or more minutes of PS's
journey were omitted from the analysis in case he could have been responding to the sounds of
her car approaching. In fact most journey-times were more than 15 minutes long, so more than
five minutes of Jaytee's behavior were omitted.


I understand the reasoning for excluding the final 3 minutes, but why would the increase in journey time extend the amount of time that is omitted? :scratch: And how long, exactly, is "more than 5 minutes"? 5mins 1sec? 22mins? An hour? What?

A statistical analysis of the time-course data was carried out for us by Dr Dean Radin using a
randomized permutation analysis (RPA) (Good, 1994; Hjorth, 1994). For each dataset, he
calculated the correlation between time-at-the-window versus the 10-minute segment number of
the original data (as plotted in the graphs in Fig. 4). These correlations showed strong positive
trends.


Bah! What's his obsession with correlation? If you take a behavior that occurs frequently and measure it against an event that occurs frequently, then you're going to get a strong correlation! He should have done a conditional probability calculation.

The overall results summarized in Fig. 1 show that Jaytee was at the window far more when PS
was on her way home than during the main period of her absence. When all Jaytee's visits to the
window were included in the analysis (Fig. 1A), he was at the window for an average of 55 per
cent of the time during the first 10 minutes of PS return journey, as opposed to 4 per cent of the
time during the main period of PS's absence. During the 10-minute pre-return period he was at the
window 23 per cent of the time. These differences were highly significant statistically (repeated
measures ANOVA, F-value (df 2,22)=20.46; p<0.0001; paired-sample t test comparing main
period with return period p=0.0001).


Well of course it's significant. PS consistently returns home within a fairly narrow time window, so as time increases we should expect the window visits to increase. This is demonstrated by Fig 2 where he tries to show that the beeps predict the window visiting behavior, however, you can see that in most trials the window visiting behavior starts at zero, increases dramatically as time goes on, and then there is a beep - after the behavior has already increased.

When Jaytee's irrelevant visits to the window were excluded from the analysis, the general pattern
was very similar (Fig. 1B), but the percentage of time at the window was of course somewhat
lower. In the main period Jaytee spent 0.5 per cent of the time by the window; in the pre-return
period 18 per cent and in the return period 54 per cent. The significance of these differences was
higher than when all Jaytee's visits were included (repeated measures ANOVA, F-value (df 2,22)
24.36; p=3x10-6).


Of course it is....

Thirty ordinary homecomings
In order to observe how Jaytee behaved under more or less "natural" conditions, we made a
pre-planned series of 30 videotapes of Jaytee at PS's parents' flat while PS went out and about.
She returned at times of her own choosing, ranging from 11:13 AM to 10:45 PM, with absences
ranging from 85 to 220 minutes. PS did not tell her parents when she would be returning, and
usually she did not know in advance herself.


Uncontrolled setting, results are useless. Interestingly, Sheldrake uses this information to analyse window visiting behavior as a function of increasing duration! Naturally it shows what we would expect - the dog is able to "predict" when the owner will return. Why is this? Well the experiment took place at the parent's house so presumably they had some idea when their daughter was going to return, PS would obviously dress or behave in different ways that indicate different return times (e.g. perfume might indicate an hour out having a drink with a friend, whilst leather shoes indicate 4 hours out at work), etc.

Figure 5. Time sent by Jaytee by the window on evenngs when PS was not coming home. The
first of the 30-10 minute periods was from 6:30 top 6:40p.m., the last form 9:50 to 10:00p.m. The
figures shown are averages from 10 evenings. The bars show standard errors. Observations on
Jaytee at PS's sister's house


He uses data from her sister's house to show his behavior when she doesn't return. Why does he pick her sister's house? Presumably because the behavior measured here is "balancing on the back of the sofa" instead of "waiting by the window" - the difference of course is that the duration of this behavior will be near-zero, even when he has correctly predicted the return of PS because it's difficult to balance on the back of a sofa..

Ridiculous study. Incredibly poorly written too, the methodology section was like something from a high school student's science assignment. He didn't even mention how they defined their target behavior, how they trained the observers to identify the target behavior, what the inter-observer accuracy was, or any vital information like that. It would have been smarter to train the dog to press a button or lever to indicate when he thought PS was coming home, then you'd get a clear indication of hits and misses.
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Re: Jaytee the Psychic Dog

#10  Postby VK-machine » Oct 21, 2010 9:27 am

jerome wrote:
VK-machine wrote:
For a start, Carter completely fails to mention that Demkina was tested as part of the Million Dollar Challenge. A clear lie of omission
I may or may not write more on it, depending how I feel about it. Let's face it, it's pointless.


I don't know Carter at all, but this is hardly a lie of omission? However, I do know about the JREF Challenge - I'm CJ.23 over there - and I am pretty much certain the JREF never tested Natasha Demkina as part of the Million Dollar Challenge (or at all). I think you may be confusing her with Anita Ikonen, who did do a MDC approved preliminary test.j x

You're right. I misremembered.
I will retract the accusation that Carter's piece contains lies. It is only dishonest and misleading.
Let me also clarify that I do believe that Carter is honestly delusional. IE he believes what he says. It is just objectively dishonest. IE a rational person writing such a thing would have to be dishonest.
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Re: Jaytee the Psychic Dog

#11  Postby ersby » Oct 22, 2010 4:05 pm

Chris Carter's paper is a bit strange. Instead of rebutting Wiseman's claims of what parapsychologists do to maintain significant results, he simply says "Well, you do it too!" which is fine as a playground squabble, but leaves the initial claims untouched.

He's misleading on a few things. He says Wiseman doesn't offer a shred of evidence regarding cherry-picking new methods, but in Wiseman's paper, he references a paper by Caroline Watt. So that's a shred of evidence, no?

Regarding the experimenter effect, Carter only references the Wiseman/Schlitz work and doesn’t even mention the follow-up paper in which the effect no longer seemed to occur (Schlitz, Wiseman et al, 2006) though I’d expect he’s heard of it.

Regarding the debate about Jay-tee, I’d say that Wiseman’s position isn’t very strong, and I do wonder what he was expecting to prove with just four trials. (I could hazard a guess, though)

The stuff Chris Carter writes on meta-analyses is just plain wrong. He says M&W used a statistical measure that didn’t take sample size into account, but Milton & Wiseman used z-scores (which includes the standard deviation which is linked to sample size) and the weighted z (or Effect Size ES – my least favourite statistcial measure) which is the z-score divided by the square root of the number of trials. So it is taken into account, although a binomial distribution would’ve been better. (I should also point out that in the past Radin, Utts and the most recent meta-analysis by Storm et al have also used Effect Size ES on individual experiments, but he doesn't seem to be complaining about them!)

Meanwhile, he mentions that Dalton’s work was published two years before M&W’s meta-analysis was published. This isn’t quite true. It was presented at a PA Convention (it’s never been published in a peer-reviewed journal) in 1997, and so was Milton and Wiseman’s meta-analysis. Plus, the pdf of the PA article of M&W’s work states it was received in June 1997. (Of course, that leads into debates about the haste with which they went to print... etc etc.)

I find Chris Carter quite a tedious writer. He presents such an incomplete picture of the debate that it’s depressing just to wade through it all.
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Re: Jaytee the Psychic Dog

#12  Postby Ihavenofingerprints » Oct 24, 2010 2:17 am

This is interesting, there is a nice range of data you provided. I am not convinced simply because dogs are good at guessing when their owners will be home for reasons we may or may not know. The longer into the afternoon the lady stays out of her house, the more likely she is to get home in the next few hours.

I didn't get enough time to read through much of the paper i selected. But i didn't find if they tested whether this dog still had an 85% success rate, even when she starts getting home at 4am in the morning, or only leaving for one hour. Having an 85% success rate when she is going to come home before dinner isn't too impressive.

That is just my take on it though, it is probably just as likely the dog isn't psychic, but can use some unknown factor to tell when his owner is going to arrive home. Which would make me wrong by saying he wouldn't pick the right times if she started arriving home well before or well after dinner.

I'll read more when i get the time. I'll dig deeper for the info on obscure arrival time predicting!
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Re: Jaytee the Psychic Dog

#13  Postby Mr.Samsa » Oct 24, 2010 2:26 am

Ihavenofingerprints wrote:This is interesting, there is a nice range of data you provided. I am not convinced simply because dogs are good at guessing when their owners will be home for reasons we may or may not know. The longer into the afternoon the lady stays out of her house, the more likely she is to get home in the next few hours.

I didn't get enough time to read through much of the paper i selected. But i didn't find if they tested whether this dog still had an 85% success rate, even when she starts getting home at 4am in the morning, or only leaving for one hour. Having an 85% success rate when she is going to come home before dinner isn't too impressive.


This was exactly the problem that I (and I think Wiseman et al. in the papers provided by Jerome) had with the "experiment". I think there was at most a 4 hour time window with which the owner would return and these were the similar every day. This 4hour time window is also shortened by the fact that from the time that she left the house the shortest time that she would return was 85 minutes, and the longest was 220 minutes - so when the left the house, the dog knew that within about 2hours she should be home. From the paper:

Seven of PS absences were in the daytime, at various times in the morning and
afternoon, with PS's times of return ranging from 11:13 AM to 3:36 PM. Twenty-three were in
the evening, with PS returning at a range of times between 7:30 and 10:45 PM.


And given that the increase in the dog's behavior began before she even decided to come home, then the dog clearly was not psychic.
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Re: Jaytee the Psychic Dog

#14  Postby jerome » Oct 24, 2010 8:57 pm

The Society for Psychical Research's (www.spr.ac.uk) Facebook page now links here. They have linked t discussions on the forum in the past, and have great members, including many of those involved `here.
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Re: Jaytee the Psychic Dog

#15  Postby Denny » Oct 24, 2010 10:14 pm

Here's my test... I'm going to take my shotgun and drive to residence of this Jaytee dog and shoot it in the head. If this dog IS psychic, then it will:

A: Escape from the residence

B: Try to escape all day whilst scared shitless.



I mean... Comon... This is a joke, right? You guys aren't seriously debating this...
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Re: Jaytee the Psychic Dog

#16  Postby Mr.Samsa » Oct 24, 2010 11:27 pm

Denny wrote:I mean... Comon... This is a joke, right? You guys aren't seriously debating this...


It's fun discussing methodology and to observe how science can be manipulated show false effects.. :dunno:

And whilst it may seem silly to investigate "psi phenomena", it would be unscientific to ignore it on the basis of "it sounds a little crazy". There's also the fact that even if the conclusions confirm what we would expect (that the dog isn't psychic), then there's still the possibility that the techniques or procedures used to study it could improve other (more valid?) areas of science. For example, as mentioned somewhere in this thread or the Daryl Bem thread, research in the area has resulted in a greater discussion and concern of things like the file drawer effect and publication bias.
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Re: Jaytee the Psychic Dog

#17  Postby Denny » Oct 24, 2010 11:57 pm

Mr.Samsa wrote:
Denny wrote:I mean... Comon... This is a joke, right? You guys aren't seriously debating this...


It's fun discussing methodology and to observe how science can be manipulated show false effects.. :dunno:

And whilst it may seem silly to investigate "psi phenomena", it would be unscientific to ignore it on the basis of "it sounds a little crazy". There's also the fact that even if the conclusions confirm what we would expect (that the dog isn't psychic), then there's still the possibility that the techniques or procedures used to study it could improve other (more valid?) areas of science. For example, as mentioned somewhere in this thread or the Daryl Bem thread, research in the area has resulted in a greater discussion and concern of things like the file drawer effect and publication bias.


I want you to know that I completely understand where you are coming from. However, I like to think that we can, collectively, draw a line.

Mr.Samsa wrote:For example, as mentioned somewhere in this thread or the Daryl Bem thread, research in the area has resulted in a greater discussion and concern of things like the file drawer effect and publication bias.




=] :thumbup:
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Re: Jaytee the Psychic Dog

#18  Postby Mr.Samsa » Oct 25, 2010 12:13 am

Denny wrote:
I want you to know that I completely understand where you are coming from. However, I like to think that we can, collectively, draw a line.


:lol:

Fair enough. I mean, I do agree that personally it's not an avenue of research that I would think was worth my time, and I'd be a little miffed to see public money being pushed into such questions - but if people want to get private funding to investigate crazy claims, then this shit is like Survivor or Jersey Shore to scientists! :popcorn:
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Re: Jaytee the Psychic Dog

#19  Postby EeekiE » Oct 28, 2010 8:31 am

Mr.Samsa wrote:
Denny wrote:I mean... Comon... This is a joke, right? You guys aren't seriously debating this...


It's fun discussing methodology and to observe how science can be manipulated show false effects.. :dunno:

And whilst it may seem silly to investigate "psi phenomena", it would be unscientific to ignore it on the basis of "it sounds a little crazy". There's also the fact that even if the conclusions confirm what we would expect (that the dog isn't psychic), then there's still the possibility that the techniques or procedures used to study it could improve other (more valid?) areas of science. For example, as mentioned somewhere in this thread or the Daryl Bem thread, research in the area has resulted in a greater discussion and concern of things like the file drawer effect and publication bias.


It would be unscientific to ignore it on the basis of "it sounds a little crazy", but would it be unscientific to ignore the same tired crazy old claim for the 50,000,000th time, that's had no positive results, and doesn't even have a proposed method of how what they're testing for could EVEN work in the first place?
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Re: Jaytee the Psychic Dog

#20  Postby Mr.Samsa » Oct 28, 2010 9:45 am

EeekiE wrote:It would be unscientific to ignore it on the basis of "it sounds a little crazy", but would it be unscientific to ignore the same tired crazy old claim for the 50,000,000th time, that's had no positive results, and doesn't even have a proposed method of how what they're testing for could EVEN work in the first place?


50,000,000th time? That seems like a bit of an exaggeration.. :grin:

Generally the beginning of a scientific investigation is simply description, not explanation, so not having a proposed method for how such things could work isn't a problem, but I agree that if something has been tested many times and continually produce negative results then we should realistically give up on it. However, the problem is that some of these tests, like the one in the Daryl Bem thread and the Ganzfeld's etc, seem to be giving positive results. Personally, I think these are weird statistical effects combined with methodological issues.. but it's interesting to try to figure out what's going on.
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