The Afterlife Experiments: The Testing of John Edward

January 22, 2013 § Leave a comment

While many skeptics deny psychic mediumship as a true ability, recent scientific experiments suggest that the phenomenon might have some validity. Dr. Gary E. Schwartz of the University of Arizona tested several psychic mediums’ abilities in a series of increasingly controlled laboratory experiments utilizing scientific protocols.

Dr. Schwartz relates the results of these experiments in his book, The Afterlife Experiments: Breakthrough Scientific Evidence of Life After Death. During the experiments, which occurred starting in 2000, Dr. Schwartz studied five psychic mediums, including the well-known television personality, John Edward.

1. The HBO Dream-Team Experiment was filmed for an HBO documentary. Five mediums sat on one side of a partition while their subjects sat on the other. Subjects were allowed to answer yes or no questions as the psychics provided a reading. Correct information related to names, sex, and similar data expressed by the psychic was judged by the researcher. The psychics’ collective average accuracy per reading was 83 percent.

2. During the Miraval Silent-Sitter Experiment, Schwartz tested four mediums including Edward. The psychic and subject were not allowed to see one another. During the first 10 minutes of the reading, the psychics spoke without any verbal cues from their subjects. In the second half, the subjects were allowed to answer the psychics’ yes or no questions. The subjects then judged the accuracy of the psychics’ readings. Average accuracy was 77 percent during the silent portion and 83 percent during the yes/no portion of the experiment.

3. The Canyon Ranch Totally Silent Sitter Experiment involved three psychics performing readings with no responses from the subject. In the second part, the subject responded via an experimenter, who relayed their yes/no answers to the psychic. The subjects then rated the accuracy of information the psychics provided. Accuracy results were well above chance for both portions of the readings, although lower than previous experiments.

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