Human psychic power

A new study has claimed that humans may have the ability to see into the future and influence events before they happen.

The report, by a part-time magician turned psychologist, suggests that people may have latent psychic powers which allow them to sense future events.

Professor Daryl Bem, of Cornell University in New York State, US, carried out nine different experiments involving more than 1,000 volunteers, and all but one appeared to point to psychic powers.

In one experiment, students were given a list of words to memorise which they were later asked to recall, before being given a selection of the words to type out.

The volunteers were able to recall some words more easily than others, which tended to be those that they would later be asked to type.

In another experiment, the students were shown an image of two curtains on a computer screen and told to pick the one that concealed an erotic picture. They chose the correct curtain more often than could be explained by coincidence.

The position of the picture was randomly determined by a computer after the students made their decision, which Prof Bem views as evidence that the students were influencing future events.

Joachim Krueger, a US psychologist, said the claim that humans may have psychic powers is “ridiculous” but admitted that, having examined Prof Bem’s methodology, “frankly, everything seemed to be in good order.”

The New Scientist, which published the study, said that the results will gain credence if other scientists can repeat them.