The Controversy over psychic staring

The controversy over psychic staring. Write an article considering the implications and validity of Rupert Sheldrake’s claims that people are able to psychically sense that someone is staring at them. In preparation for your essay consider carefully Sheldrake’s discussion of this issue in Seven Experiments that Could Change the World, pages 99-124. You are also required to consult and refer to the following two articles from the Skeptical Inquirer and Rupert Sheldrake’s two responses to these articles on his own web-site. You may also want to consult other papers on staring that are available on Sheldrake’s site. All of these articles are available on the world-wide web. Most local public libraries have computers with internet access, so if you don’t have a computer or internet access at home, a visit to the library will be necessary: Robert A. Baker. March 2000. ‘Can We Tell When Someone Is Staring at Us?’ The Skeptical Inquirer Magazine. David F. Marks and John Colwell. September 2000. ‘The Psychic Staring Effect: An Artifact of Pseudo-Randomization.’ The Skeptical Inquirer Magazine. Rupert Sheldrake. ‘Follow‑Up: Research On The Feeling Of Being Stared At.’ Rupert Sheldrake Online. Rupert Sheldrake, ‘Experiments on the Sense of Being Stared At: the Elimination of Possible Artefacts.’ Journal of the Society for Psychical Research Vol. 65, pp.122-137 (2001). Rupert Sheldrake Online. If you wish, you can also conduct informal trials with a friend or relative of the experiment in staring that Sheldrake describes in his book. You can use the score sheets included in his book or available on his web-site. Your experience and results with the experiment can be used as an aid for your defence or criticism of his methods. Further Guidelines for the first assignment: Keep in mind that this should be a critical essay, which means that you must examine arguments for and against Sheldrake’s claims. Consider yourself as a mediator between Sheldrake and his critics, but, while taking the arguments of both sides into consideration, be sure to argue which position is strongest and why. The articles from the Skeptical Inquirer, and Sheldrake’s response, are essential sources for this. The first five units of the lectures form the necessary background for this assignment. Be sure to have completed the reading and considered the study questions before you proceed to the assignment. It is especially important to have read Sheldrake’s book Seven Experiments at least up to page 124 before planning your essay. It is not necessary to summarize all the material from Sheldrake’s book, or from the articles. You only need use material that is necessary for understanding the issues involved and the argument you are trying to make.

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