About ESP Tests (Zener Cards)
The ESP Targets
The targets used for these tests are the standard ESP Cards (sometimes called Zener Cards) as used by the parapsychologist J.B. Rhine in his classic studies of Extrasensory Perception. These show five different symbols.
In these tests, a card is selected on each trial by a pseudo-random computer algorithm. There is no discernible pattern to the sequence of cards. Although equi-probable, the cards will generally differ in the overall frequency with which they are selected (in the same way that tossing a coin several times will not necessarily result in equal numbers of heads and tails). With Advanced ESP Test, however, you can choose a Closed Deck procedure in which the frequencies of different cards will be the same.
Here you have to guess 25 cards, each of which is selected by the computer prior to your guess. The actual card will be shown after you click on your chosen symbol. To show evidence of ESP, you need to score at least 10 correct guesses (hits). The chances of obtaining 10 or more hits by luck is less than 1 in 20.
Here you have to guess 50 cards, each of which is selected by the computer prior to your guess. The actual card will be shown after you click on your chosen symbol. A statistical analysis of your results will be shown at the end (for details on this, see the instructions for the Advanced ESP Test below). To show any evidence of ESP in our championship test, you need to score at least 17 correct guesses (hits). The chances of obtaining 17 or more hits by luck is less than 1 in 20.
If you obtain a score that is equal to or higher than the top scores obtained by our users, you will be given the opportunity to submit your data to us so that you can be added to our published list of champions!
Here you can choose different test procedures, which is especially useful for research purposes.
Clairvoyance and Telepathy
In the Clairvoyance procedure, the computer will select a card prior to each guess (as in Quick ESP Test). You have to guess each card.
In the Telepathy procedure, two people are needed. One acts as "sender", the other as "receiver". The sender is shown each card as it is selected by the computer and tries to "send" the image telepathically to the receiver. The receiver then guesses the card and informs the sender who clicks the guessed symbol. The next card will then be shown to the sender and the procedure is repeated.
Open and Closed Decks
In the Open Deck procedure, the card for each trial is chosen by the computer without taking into consideration which symbols have already been chosen. This is equivalent to shuffling a deck of cards, choosing one card, and then replacing the card in the deck before it is shuffled again. In this way the different symbols will not necessarily be chosen the same number of times in total. Open Deck procedures are generally preferable because the probability of selecting any symbol on each trial always remains the same.
In the Closed Deck procedure, each card is chosen the same number of times in total. This is equivalent to shuffling a deck of cards and then guessing each card in turn, without replacing the cards in the deck after each guess.With the Closed Deck procedure, the probabilty of selecting symbols will vary throughout the test, depending on which cards have already been chosen. This makes the statistical analysis of results rather more complex.
Cards Seen or Unseen
In the Cards Seen procedure, the actual card is shown after every guess, together with a running total of hits.
In the Cards Unseen procedure, the actual card is not shown after the guess and the number of hits obtained is hidden until the end of the test.
If the Closed Deck procedure is selected, then the Cards Unseen option MUST be selected. Otherwise it is possible to count the cards as they are shown, enabling the person to guess more accurately as certain cards are eliminated. The program will not let you choose this combination of options.
Number of Cards
You can choose various options for the number of trials in the test (up to a maximum of 1000 individual trials). You should choose at least 50 trials to obtain a reliable indication of your performance
Your results will automatically be analysed statistically at the end of the test. The statistical procedure used is known as the z-test.This compares the number of hits obtained with the number expected by chance. The probability (p) of obtaining hits as high (or as low) as those obtained is determined. If this probability is small (less than 1 in 20, i.e., less than 0.05) the results are said to be statistically significant and may show evidence of ESP. The smaller the probability (p) obtained, the greater the possible evidence for ESP. If significantly more hits are obtained than expected by chance, this indicates psi-hitting. Paradoxically, if significantly less hits are obtained than expected by chance (known as psi-missing), this can also indicate ESP (because to consistently make an incorrect guess indicates some awareness of the actual target to avoid). Results in the direction of psi-hitting are indicated by a positive z score, whereas a negative z score indicates results in the direction of psi-missing.
If you wish to test your performance over several tests, record the number of hits (and total guesses) on each test. You can then test for the combined significance of your results using our Hit-Miss Psi Test Statistical Calculator.