ASTRONOMICAL OVERKILL

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Abstract

Originally published in Contemporary Psychology: APA Review of Books, 1979, Vol 24(3), 269–270. John Palmer responds to Ray Hyman's review (see record 2006-06398-028) of the book, Handbook of Parapsychology edited by Benjamin B. Wolman et al (1977). Palmer comments on certain points Hyman raises about Palmer's chapter in the book, including Hyman's statement that the astronomical odds that Honorton and Palmer calculate from such summaries are totally meaningless. First of all, the “astronomical odds” in the chapter never exceeded the 01 level. Secondly, Palmer bent over backward at several places in the chapter to caution readers about the limitations of such summary analyses, specifically mentioning some of the same points Hyman raises in his critique. To say that the odds are “totally meaningless” is a gross exaggeration. Palmer also takes issue with Hyman's statement that “no one can specify or provide these [psi-conducive] conditions[for psi tests]. The whole point of Palmer's chapter, as well as Honorton's, and others in the book, was precisely to specify those conditions. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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