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Remote viewing research pioneer Russell Targ isn’t getting left behind by the march of technology – he’s just released a new, free iPhone (and iPod touch) app named the ESP Trainer. Originally developed at Stanford Research Institute (SRI) as part of a NASA program, the trainer is meant to help improve ‘psychic talent’ (if such a thing exists – though you can always substitute ‘intuitive awareness’ if it sounds too woo…) by giving feedback to the ‘player’ after each hit or miss in order that they may recognize that ‘psychic’ feeling for future reference. Don’t stress though, there’s no Peter Venkman-style negative feedback:

We have found that people are able to improve their ESP scores by using a machine just like this and get in touch with the part of themselves that is psychic. This is often called a clairvoyant ability, and can enhance your life in many surprising ways.

The player is presented with four colored squares. For each trial, one has been selected at random by the ESP Trainer. Your task is to choose the correct square.

If you succeed, you will hear a chime, feel a vibration, and see a large color picture. Otherwise, the system lights up the correct square, and you proceed with the next trial. The score indicator at the top counts the number of correct choices. Words of encouragement appear as you achieve the scoring levels of 6, 8. 10, 12 or 14 hits. After 24 trials you may begin a new game.

…When you don’t have that special feeling, we encourage you to press the Pass button. (So this is not a “forced choice” test.)

With four targets, and 24 ‘tests’, obviously six correct guesses is the chance result. If you’re like me, you can be anti-psi and get 4 or 5 each time, or perhaps if you’re more intuitive like my wife, you can get 7 or higher each time. Or maybe it’s all simple variation around the chance result and there is no such thing as psi. In any case, Targ does ask any players “frequently scoring 12 or more” to contact him.

I like this a lot. It’s a simple, no-nonsense test with the ability to indicate if any individuals out there truly do have a ‘psychic talent’. By spreading such simple, fun tools freely through Apple’s App Store, more people out there will test themselves and may help to identify future areas/subjects for research into psi. Alternatively, it may also show people that though they might feel like they are able to guess things well, over 24 trials their ‘skill’ tends to work out at chance only.

There is a link on Targ’s page directly to the ESP Trainer in the App Store – you’ll need an iPhone or iPod Touch and version 3.0 or higher of the OS.

So, any Grailers out there able to clock the game?