The first psionics based concept that we will discuss is “expectation”. Expectation means “expecting” or “willing” a certain event or outcome to occur. Self-affirmation is one portion of the “expectation” concept, however, ideas that promote confirmation bias, and its associated problems, is not.
Confirmation bias means having a tendency to believe or disbelieve in psychic phenomena in correlation with one’s prior hypotheses or preconceptions. What this means, is people that tend to believe heavily in psychic or psionics – based content tend to report their experiences in a more positive light than what a non-biased, 3rd person observer would report. Many psychics that engage in cold reading(cold reading is a method of “reading” someone’s thoughts on the basis of bodily movements, and other methods that are “non-psychic” in nature) use confirmation bias in order to convince the audience that they are in fact psychic, even though this reality may be far from the truth.
When practicing Psionics, it is important that you maintain a very critical viewpoint regarding your results. You might wonder how this is possible when you are supposed to be confident, and “expect the unexpected”. Just because you are supposed to maintain an active state of expectation, does NOT mean that you shouldn’t be critical of your results.
Scenario #1: Let’s consider an individual(lets call him Joe), who is new with practicing psychokinesis. Joe has made a psiwheel (an object that has little friction, which is commonly used by beginners to practice psychokinesis). Joe has had perceived success in moving the psiwheel. He gets excited and proceeds to tell and show his friends, and is unsuccessful. At first, you might assume Joe is just new with practicing Psychokinesis, which accounts for his apparent failure. However, upon closer examination, it is realized the Joe actually has a vent in his room that has been causing the movement. This is a critical issue with practicing psychokinesis, and can be remedied by putting a see-through glass container over the item that one is practicing on, to prevent airflow in and out of the area.
Scenario #2: Let’s consider another scenario, in which another individual(let’s call her Ming), is doing basic psychic training in telepathy using meaningful stimuli, such as scenes and images. Ming seems to be getting positive results, with consistent “hits”(a hit in telepathy or remote viewing is where one describes a detail about an object correctly). Ming believes that she is having successful results with telepathy. One might also agree that her psionics success is consistent enough to be considered statistically significant(having a p-value under .05, indicating that there is a probability of this event happening by chance of less than 5%).Upon closer examination, Ming might also be reporting(often unintentionally) results are “hits”, even though the reported details are either 1.off-base, 2.vague, or 3. not completely accurate. Furthermore, she may be examining the “hits” as concrete proof that she is successful, without considering the “misses”(inaccurate predictions). Another possibility is that Ming might be getting positive results, but also has enough negative results for her results to be considered “chance” results, or results that, unfortunately, cannot be considered statistically significant.
Scenario #3: Lets consider a final scenario, in which Sophie is focusing on precognition, the skill of predicting future events. Sophie has been focusing on predicting tomorrows events for a significant amount of time, and finally has what could she would consider to be a “successful” prediction. Let us reference the article where we discuss maintaining a , within the context of clairvoyance-based practices, such as precognition. Sophie, although she has received her first perceived “success” in precognition, she has a result which cannot be considered “statistically significant” because it his her first result of very many. Sophie cannot attribute this correct prediction to a Psionics event because there were many failures within the context of that one success. Sophie may finally consider her results to be valid if that are happening on a consistent basic that cannot be attributed to chance.
Expecting results is foundation when it comes to being successful with psychic phenomena. An example of the importance of being confident can be mirrored in psi and parapsychology experiments designed to test success in psychic or psionics – based skills. The phenomenon whereby individuals confidence level affects their psi performance is known as the sheep-goat effect. “Sheep”, within the context of Psionics practice and parapsychology, can be defined as individuals who(often unintentionally), perform at a level greater than chance, who also exhibit a positive belief in psychic events. Sheep are said to engage in an activity(often unintentionally) called psi-hitting, whereby they get statistically significant results with psi, without prior practice, which positively affect the results in favor of a “proof” for psychic phenomena. “Goats”, conversely, have strong negative feelings towards the belief in psychic phenomena, who are said to engage in “psi-missing”, or performing at a level greater than chance in regards to “missing” the intended target. The combination of sheep and goats in a normal psi experiment often attibute to near-chance results, or results that, while statistically significant, aren’t so much so as to “prove” psychic phenomena as legitimate. The “sheep-goat effect” is often targeted by skeptics as being a “convenient” way to prove legitimacy within the field of parapsychology, regardless of the results.
Scenario: Lets return to Joe(explained above), an individual who thought he had positive results in regards to psychokinesis, but found that his positive results could actually be attributed to movement by a nearby vent. Instead of Joe remaining overly positive and not critical(or overly negative after the recent revelation), Joe decides to remain confident by practicing self-affirmations, and by consciously maintaining a heavily expectant view regarding his success in psychokinesis, and decides to take a critical approach by practicing the psiwheel underneath glass(in order to prevent movement from the vent), and maintains a highly critical view regarding the effects of using his hands, or the effects of his breath on the psiwheel. These two attributes act in harmony to create a practitioner that engages in a sort of “practiced” sheep view, while maintaining a critical stance regarding his/her results to determine whether or not he/she is actually successful, or whether his/her events can be attributed to chance.
In light of these recent views, one might maintain that there is a possibility of receiving statistically significant, true, results by maintaining an intentionally uncritical view. In layman’s terms, this means that in the case of Joe above, having a vent running that intentionally moves the psiwheel while convincing oneself that he/she is in fact the one moving the psiwheel, rather than the vent. This might be done in hopes of maintaining an “expectant” view in light of failures. While, hypothetically, this is an option, it encourages bad habits. Instead of using an uncritical view as a means of psi-hitting, one can simply engage in self-affirmations or mindfulness meditation as a means to maintain a confident or “sheep”-based view.
The experiences of our members with the methods presented in this article are contained here.