Testing Your ESP I: Syllabus


Course Objectives

Introduce students to the scientific method and research methodologies used in psychological sciences.  Specifically focus on the methods used in research of parapsychology and the methodology used to study anomalous phenomena and exceptional abilities.  Include discussions of the scientific method, hypothesis testing, ethical issues in research, evaluating results, and designing experiments. 


Course Outcomes

Students will have an understanding of basic experimental design principles and ethical issues related to research in parapsychology.  Students will understand how experimental results are analyzed, and they will demonstrate an understanding of testing principles for ESP.  Students will also understand issues related to the use of technology in testing for ESP and conditions that may affect results on ESP tests.


Course Outline

I.              Experimental Methodology Overview

II.            Basic Testing for Telepathy and Precognition

III.           Ethical Issues in Testing

IV.           Evaluating Results (Targets hits and Statistical Significance)

V.            Remote Viewing and Clairvoyance

VI.           Psychokinesis

VII.         Evaluating Mediums

VIII.        Technology Issues in Testing

IX.           State, Personality, and Other Variables

X.            Summary and special topics



Course Materials


Zener cards and the testing documentation provided by the Rhine Research Center.

Various articles selected by the instructor and provided for download throughout the course.


Course Activities

  • Students will be expected to view the class broadcasts or the recordings of the classes each week.
  • Students will be expected to participate in weekly discussion forums and activities. Each student will be expected to provide an original posting each week and to respond to at least one other student in the discussion forums. Greater participation in this area will be considered during class evaluations.
  • One multiple choice or short answer evaluations will be assigned after the 4th or 5th week of class.
  • The student will complete a basic design for an test for ESP which will include the components of experimental design learned in the class and will demonstrate a basic understanding of the concepts of testing for ESP.

Evaluations and Grading


Students will be assessed using a letter grade based on the standard letter grade format.

A – 90 - 100

B – 80 – 89

C – 70 – 79

D – 60 – 69

F – Below 60


Participation in the forums is a large component of the grading, and substantive postings are necessary to get full credit for each discussion topic. 


The following activities will be considered to contribute to the courses as follows:


Discussions (Total 30%)

-       Week 1-3 (10%)

-       Week 4-6 (10%)

-       Week 7-10 (10%)


Assessment #1 (30%)


Experimental Design (40%)