Skepchick Quickies, 11.24


Jen is a writer and web designer/developer in Columbus, Ohio. She spends too much time on Twitter at @antiheroine.

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  1. Re: A study finds new evidence for precognition.

    The article says “The size of the seeming precognition effects is small, only slightly greater than chance.”

    Well if it is slightly greater than chance, then maybe it’s just that, pure chance. I’d bet that if repeated there may be a set of result slightly worse than would be expected by chance.

    Ridiculous claim.

  2. I believe that precognition article is talking about the same thing mentioned in the quickies for 11/12.

    So that means I’m not prescient?

    Damn, I was just getting ready to buy lottery tickets. I had two numbers I was fairly sure about.

  3. The precognition study is also sketchy from a statistical standpoint. I read a statement from the dude that said something like “I collected data until the effect was shown to be significant”, which indicates to me that he doesn’t really understand p values. It sounds like he must have run a test for statistical significance every time he got new data, which inevitably would have led to a false positive.

  4. Wait a minute – @Elyse already proved the existence of precognitive stupidity (which I mislabeled clairvoyant stupidity, probably due to another instance of precognitive stupidity.)

    Anyway, she has priority and should definitely get the JREF million bucks.

  5. I’m not sure of the pharmaceurical policies and/or procedures in Texas but it sounds like the Plan B medication is a ‘behind the counter’ item. With these items pharmacists usually will want to talk to the person taking the med. and ask questions. Obviously this cannot be done if a second party there to buy it so I’d have to side with the pharmacy.

  6. The pre-print on this has been available for a while at http://dbem.ws/

    Bem is not a bad researcher. In fact, he’s quite well respected. But look through his papers, he has a long history of taking the contrarian point of view.

    Overall, I’d say this paper is interesting, particularly the last two experiments, however as with most parapsychology, he does not bring the size of the effect under experimental control in a within-subjects manner.

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