Research Item – J. E. Kennedy
ABSTRACT: Eleven hypotheses that have been proposed to explain why psychic phenomena are so weak, unreliable, and/or rare are reviewed. The hypotheses are (1) alleged psi results are actually due to methodological artifacts and oversights, (2) few people have psi, (3) psi depends on precarious psychological conditions, (4) psi occurs frequently without notice, (5) psi is an efficient goal-oriented process subject to shifting
goals, (6) fear of psi suppresses psi, (7) evolution has inhibited psi, (8) psi serves ecological rather than personal purposes, (9) the purpose of psi is personal or spiritual growth, (10) psi effects are influenced by many people in the future, and (11) psi is controlled by nonphysical beings. To integrate available data, a model is presented that proposes 2 distinct groups: those with many anomalous experiences and those with few or none. Genetic factors probably have a significant role in these differences. Those with actual psi experiences are a subgroup of those with many anomalous experiences. Psi practitioners are a smaller subgroup who have an ability to reliably guide psi by intention or motivation. Psi-conducive experimenters are psi practitioners who influence their experimental outcomes in a goal-oriented manner. Further research is needed on the distribution of psi, the possible genetic aspects of psi experiences, the effects of psi experiences, and several characteristics of psi that can be investigated with meta-analyses.