Extrasensory Perception

What is extrasensory sensation?

Extrasensory perception is one of those lingering theories associated with the human mind that still captures everyone’s imagination. Most people believe that such a thing or skill exists and yet scientists have found it very difficult to prove such phenomena. Something unproven might be considered by many people as not true. And yet for all its worth, a great number of people do not seem to suggest that such an ability does not exist, despite being unprovable as of yet.

Extrasensory perception or ESP is that supposedly extraordinary ability to acquire information by means other than using one’s physical senses and deduction. The term was coined by J. B. Rhine, a researcher at Duke University to refer to several perceived psychic abilities in humans that are used without the help of the five senses. In time, this ability became known as the "sixth sense".

History of extrasensory sensation

Parapsychologists have divided extrasensory into several types. The most notable of these extraordinary abilities are telepathy, clairvoyance, precognition, extrasensory awareness and knowledge of future events. The history of extrasensory perception in humans has its roots long before scientists even have the term coined for it. Many ancient cultures have people being attributed with extraordinary skills and powers that allows them to communicate with deities, spirits and gain some sort of "second sight".

By the 1930’s Duke University researcher J. B. Rhine and his wife Louisa sought to develop the means to study such extraordinary human abilities in a more scientific forum. J. B. Rhine began to design experiments that sought to test extrasensory perception. This led to the creation of a simple set of cards now known as Zener cards or ESP cards. It is composed a pack of 25 cards with each pack containing five cards each of symbols such as a circle, square, a cross, star and wavy lines for each pack.

Card guessing has been the primary testing tool used for studying ESP. In an experiment in studying mental telepathy, a "receiver" is made to guess the symbols of a series of cards while a "sender" looks at them. In a test to demonstrate clairvoyance, a person is made to guess the series of cards that is hidden from everyone else. The order of the cards in such experiments must be random to rule out systematic biases. They are either shuffled by hand or by machine prior to the experiment.

Although some of these studies reported significant results that suggests of ESP in some people, the problems lies with failure to replicate the same results using the same test model and subjects. This inability has made extrasensory perception still one of the perplexities of the human mind or psyche. People citing rationality require more provable facts and tests in order to be scientifically believed as fact. But until then, the mystery of ESP remains.

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