Imagination and Reactance in a Psi Task using the Imagery Cultivation Model and a Fuzzy Set Encoded Target Pool

Lance Storm

Abstract


A psi-conducive altered state of consciousness can be induced through a shamanic-like journeying protocol in accordance with the Imagery Cultivation (IC) model proposed by Storm and Rock (2009a). Storm and Rock (2009b) found that the protocol helped cultivate psi-related mental imagery (see also Rock et al., 2012). Alternatively, it is hypothesized that individuals who do not believe in psi or paranormal phenomena (i.e., non-believers = ‘goats’) are prone to so-called reactance (Brehm, 1966). Theoretically, a reactance treatment in the form of an opinionated communication (perceived as a threat to freedom) raises reactance, which remains high if no outlet is provided. Since there is a relationship between attitude and behaviour, it is hypothesized that higher noncompliant behaviour (e.g., psi-missing) can be induced in goats. Storm, Ertel, and Rock (2013), and Storm and Rock (2014), found support for the reactance hypothesis. IC and Reactance principles were used in  the present study to manipulate psi in positive and negative directions, respectively. Four groups (total N = 240) were formed: (i) IC/Reactance, (ii) IC/No-Reactance; (iii) No-IC/Reactance, and (iv) No-IC/No-Reactance. The IC treatment produced a non-significant but slightly higher psi effect than the control condition. The reactance treatment had a stronger psychological effect on goats compared to sheep, indicated by a significantly greater discrepancy in goats over the opinionated communication. Significant reactance effects were not found, but specific effects were in the directions expected, with reversals of effects probably due to goats and ‘indecisives’ (mid-range scorers on paranormal belief) in the No-IC/Reactance group. A marginally significant sheep-goat effect was found. Replication attempts would be worthwhile that include refinements to the various IC conditions, and a less persuasive (more challenging) reactance communication.


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