This is part of a comment left by Paul H Smith on this post about Remote Viewing. It is part of a series that will address his points of contention.
1. Concerning subjective validation: I feel the need to amend my original argument against subjective validation/confirmation bias as an adequate explanation for remote viewing by making my argument stronger (rather than weaker): Subjective validation cannot be used to explain _any_ instance of actual remote viewing. It can only explain either 1) cases where real remote viewing took place but the viewer rates his or her performance more highly than it deserves; or, 2) false positives (cases where remote viewing is claimed to have occurred but has in fact not). You have demonstrated in a round-about way an instance of case 2).
I am not asserting that Subjective Validation to be an explanation OF “actual” remote viewing, My assertion was that Subjective Validation to be a phenomena that can lead to people to believe they are performing remote viewing when they are not; and as you have noted – this is a Type 1 Error – a false positive.
To rehash (for the benefit for readers who are not aware of what subjective validation is). Subjective Validation is the pattern-seeking tendency of humans to misread either unfavorable, or even neutral evidence as being positive support for a preconception.
This occurs when two or more unrelated events are deemed to be related because of an expectancy, or the hypothesis being tested demands there is a relationship.
This processes is evident in other paranormal research, such as that of the Global Consciousness Project.
Note, indeed, that it is according to your own criteria alone that you can count your demonstration as “remote viewing.” Merely performing an arbitrary sketch, matching it to a presumed RV target, and then self-declaring that you have performed RV does not in itself constitute RV. (Indeed, if you were my RV student, even if you were really trying to execute a real RV session, I would have counted your result as a miss.)
I absolutely agree. It is not appropriate that I judge my own sketches, however, my intention was not to perform a rigorous investigation in to Remote Viewing, but to demonstrate an example of how subjective validation and confirmation bias can lead to an erroneous conclusion.
There is thus no inconsistency in my objection that your claim commits a logical fallacy, even though I acknowledge that some remote viewers may be unaware of subjective validation (and may even have performed weak or no remote viewing and used subjective validation to try to interpret it as a success).
From what I understand, you claimed that I had committed the logical fallacy of “Begging the Question” , better known as “Circular Reasoning” – yet, I am unsure how you have come to this conclusion. There is no argument presented in which the premises include the claim that the conclusion is true or (directly or indirectly) assume that the conclusion is true.
Though my post is not long, perhaps I have missed it, if this is so can you can you please point it out so I can address it?
I argue that what you have done is claim that you have performed remote viewing when in fact you haven’t.
Your demonstration may bear a superficial similarity to remote viewing. But it presents no external nor internal identities with remote viewing. For your argument to go through, you must claim that what you did is identical to remote viewing. But by attempting to assert such an identity based only on a superficial similarity, you commit a logical fallacy, because no such identity exists.
As stated, I am not genuinely claiming to have performed an “actual” remote viewing at all, nor have I genuinely done so in the past. In fact, in my original post, I explicitly state: “Which means what? I’M PSI! It’s so obvious! .. No. Far from it.”
Again, my intention was to present information that demonstrates a psychological phenomena that can lead people to a Type 1 Error; a Type 1 Error that can easily lead someone to _believe) they have remote viewing abilities, or a _demonstrating_ “actual” Remote Viewing when they are not.
Subjective Validation is obviously something can be controlled against – through a number of methods, but this is not the end all of the problems with the assessment methodology.
Your demonstration may bear a superficial similarity to remote viewing. But it presents no external nor internal identities with remote viewing. For your argument to go through, you must claim that what you did is identical to remote viewing. But by attempting to assert such an identity based only on a superficial similarity, you commit a logical fallacy, because no such identity exists. You can only escape this charge by demonstrating that your performance is indeed identical to remote viewing. But this you cannot do, because the only linkage with actual remote viewing is the (very) superficial similarity and your self-declaration that it is remote viewing. Thus you beg the question.
It seems you’re misusing “Begging the Question”, or at least using in a different way that is contrary to its references to a logical fallacy.
An Example would be:
“Remote Viewing is a real phenomena because I have experiences that I consider good examples of Remote Viewing.” This is a statement begs the question (as it uses circular reasoning). The question it begs is: “How do you know your examples are remote viewing?”.
If I am appear to be confusing the issue, Grammar Girl may help in distinguishing the two.
Indeed, the existence of significant numbers of prima facie remote viewing results (which I turn to next) makes the subjective validation argument against remote viewing of little weight.
Additionally, Prima Facie results is not evidence AGAINST subjective validation. Subjective Validation is not even an argument AGAINST remote viewing, rather an phenomena that may lead to a Type 1 Error in regards to Remote Viewing. It is merely one of the many phenomena that must be controlled for in the analysis of a “Remote Viewing Sessions”.
Read the next post HERE (when it is available)