Accidental or Unconscious Psi

One of several theories in parapsychology involves the idea that psychic ability may operate in an unconscious manner. Thus, a person might avoid bad events while facilitating good events in their life as a function of their own unconscious psychic influence. Hitchman and colleagues conducted a replication study to see if previous laboratory findings supporting this effect were valid.


The research was conducted by letting participants select a preferred image out of a possible set of four over several trials. However, the computer would randomly and secretly select a picture as a target picture for participants. Thus, if participants unconsciously selected the computer selected target, they would score points that would show them a positive emotional image at the end of the series. Poor scores resulted in a neutral or negative emotional image.


Although participants in this study failed to perform above chance, when this data was added to previous studies using the same procedure, the overall rate remained above chance. Thus, the combined evidence continues to support that psychic ability may work unconsciously to facilitate positive outcomes for the person.




Hitchman, G. Roe, C. & Sherwood, S. (2012). A reexamination of nonintentional precognition with openness to experience, creativity, psi beliefs, and luck beliefs as predictors of success. Journal of Parapsychology, 77, 108-146

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