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Front Psychol. 2011 Jun 10;2:117. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2011.00117. eCollection 2011.

Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence: the case of non-local perception, a classical and bayesian review of evidences.

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Dipartimento di Psicologia Generale, Università di Padova Padova, Italy.


Starting from the famous phrase "extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence," we will present the evidence supporting the concept that human visual perception may have non-local properties, in other words, that it may operate beyond the space and time constraints of sensory organs, in order to discuss which criteria can be used to define evidence as extraordinary. This evidence has been obtained from seven databases which are related to six different protocols used to test the reality and the functioning of non-local perception, analyzed using both a frequentist and a new Bayesian meta-analysis statistical procedure. According to a frequentist meta-analysis, the null hypothesis can be rejected for all six protocols even if the effect sizes range from 0.007 to 0.28. According to Bayesian meta-analysis, the Bayes factors provides strong evidence to support the alternative hypothesis (H1) over the null hypothesis (H0), but only for three out of the six protocols. We will discuss whether quantitative psychology can contribute to defining the criteria for the acceptance of new scientific ideas in order to avoid the inconclusive controversies between supporters and opponents.


Bayes; frequentist; meta-analysis; non-local perception

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