REPLICATION REGISTRY


Are you conducting a replication of Daryl Bem's 'Feeling the Future' experiments?

Psychologist Daryl Bem of Cornell University has just published a parapsychology paper entitled 'Feeling the Future: Experimental Evidence for Anomalous Retroactive Influences on Cognition and Affect' in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology (there is a draft of the article here).

Bem’s experimental design is straightforward and appears to reliably produce evidence for psychic functioning. Because of this, several researchers have expressed an interest in replicating his work. Although this is good (attempted replications are an important part of establishing whether an effect is genuine), such large numbers of unsystematic replications can be problematic. Some researchers might, for example, start an experiment, obtain initial results that are not in line with their desired outcome, and terminate the study early. Alternatively, they may complete the study but not publish it. These types of issues make it difficult to assess whether an effect has been replicated.

To avoid these potential problems, we believe that it is important to create a registry of attempted replications BEFORE the studies are conducted. As far as we know, this is the first time that this has been attempted with research into extrasensory perception.

If you are intending to replicate one or more of Bem's studies, please take a few moments to register the details of your studies by emailing caroline.watt AT ed.ac.uk with the following information:

Which of Bem's studies do you intend to replicate?

How many participants will be involved in each replication?

Please only send through the details of studies that you intend to be replications. If you are altering the original method in a way that you consider to be significant, there is no need to send us the study details.

Also, if you are running several conditions, with only one of them being a strict replication, please only submit the details of the condition intended to act as a replication.

We will then copy your email back to you, confirming the details. If you have not received a reply within a few days of sending your email, please contact us.

We will carry out a meta-analysis of all registered studies. This analysis will only include those studies that have been registered by 1 June 2011, and that have been completed by 1 December 2011. In twelve months' time we will contact everyone who has registered and ask for the data required to calculate the outcome measures used in Bem's paper.

UPDATE: As of 23 April we have received details of 5 replications.

Many thanks for being part of this initiative.

Professor Richard Wiseman
University of Hertfordshire, UK

Dr Caroline Watt
University of Edinburgh, UK