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“Clairvoyant” redirects here.
Clairvoyant (disambiguation).

For other uses, see

The term clairvoyance (from French clair meaning
“clear” and voyance meaning “vision”) is used to refer
to the ability to gain information about an object, person,
location or physical event through means other than the
known senses,[1][2] i.e., a form of extrasensory perception. A person said to have the ability of clairvoyance is
referred to as a clairvoyant (“one who sees clearly”).
Claims for the existence of paranormal and psychic abilities such as clairvoyance have not been supported by
scientific evidence published in high impact factor peer
reviewed journals.[3] Parapsychology explores this possibility, but the existence of the paranormal is not accepted by the scientific community.[4] Parapsychology,
including the study of clairvoyance, is an example of


Character reader and clairvoyant in a British travelling show of
the 1940s, collected by Arthur James Fenwick (1878–1957)

Early researchers of clairvoyance included William Gregory, Gustav Pagenstecher, and Rudolf Tischner.[12]
Clairvoyance experiments were reported in 1884 by
Charles Richet. Playing cards were enclosed in envelopes
and a subject put under hypnosis attempted to identify
them. The subject was reported to have been successful
in a series of 133 trials but the results dropped to chance
level when performed before a group of scientists in Cambridge. J. M. Peirce and E. C. Pickering reported a similar experiment in which they tested 36 subjects over 23,
384 trials which did not obtain above chance scores.[13]


Pertaining to the ability of clear-sightedness, clairvoyance
refers to the supposed paranormal ability to see persons
and events that are distant in time or space. It can be divided into roughly three classes: precognition, the ability
to perceive or predict future events, retrocognition, the
Ivor Lloyd Tuckett (1911) and Joseph McCabe (1920)
ability to see past events, and remote viewing, the peranalyzed early cases of clairvoyance and came to the
ception of contemporary events happening outside of the
conclusion they were best explained by coincidence or
range of normal perception.


A significant development in clairvoyance research came
when J. B. Rhine, a parapsychologist at Duke University,
introduced a standard methodology, with a standard statistical approach to analyzing data, as part of his research
into extrasensory perception. A number of psychological departments attempted to repeat Rhine’s experiments
with failure. W. S. Cox (1936) from Princeton University with 132 subjects produced 25, 064 trials in a playing
card ESP experiment. Cox concluded “There is no evidence of extrasensory perception either in the 'average
man' or of the group investigated or in any particular individual of that group. The discrepancy between these
results and those obtained by Rhine is due either to uncontrollable factors in experimental procedure or to the
difference in the subjects.”[16] Four other psychological
departments failed to replicate Rhine’s results.[17][18] It
was revealed that Rhine’s experiments contained methodological flaws and procedural errors.[19][20][21]

Early research

The earliest record of somnambulistic clairvoyance is
credited to the Marquis de Puységur, a follower of Franz
Mesmer, who in 1784 was treating a local dull-witted
peasant named Victor Race. During treatment, Race reportedly would go into trance and undergo a personality
change, becoming fluent and articulate, and giving diagnosis and prescription for his own disease as well as those
of others.[10] Clairvoyance was a reported ability of some
mediums during the spiritualist period of the late 19th
and early 20th centuries, and psychics of many descriptions have claimed clairvoyant ability up to the present

wishful thinking or failby Puthoff and Targ on remote viewing was published in ures to appreciate the base rate of chance occurrences Nature in March 1974.[23] In his report Soal wrote “In the case of Mrs. A three-step process was used.[34] Targ and Puthoff again refused to provide copies of the transcripts and it was not until July 1985 that they were made available for study when it was discovered they still contained sensory cues. in it.” attempted to replicate Targ and Puthoff’s remote view- . Tart’s failure to perform this Remote viewing also known as remote sensing.2 3 SCIENTIFIC RECEPTION Eileen Garrett was tested by Rhine at Duke University in 1933 with Zener cards.[27][28] and remotely linked groups search Council concluded “The committee finds no sciusing computer conferencing. Thirdly.”[24] and Puthoff’s experiments contained clues as to which order they were carried out. Eileen Garrett we fail to find the slightest confirmation of Dr.pseudoscience. participants were asked to ver. They also contend that those who believe in paranormal phenomena do so for merely psychological reasons. As previously perception.[29] entific justification from research conducted over a pefor the existence of parapsychological The psychologists David Marks and Richard Kammann riod of 130 years. eliminating several sources of cuing and extraneous evidence present in the original tests. In the early studies. produced negative results.[26] After the publication chology is regarded by the scientific community as a of these findings. such as referring to yesterday’s two targets.[46] According to David G.chological community [38][39] community.[43][44] In 1988. and she was asked to guess their contents.000 guesses were recorded but Garrett failed to produce above chance level. as part of the experiment protocol. self-delusion. a hu. as closely as possible. sensory leakcoined to describe this overall process. Secondly. remote basic task seems beyond comprehension. Most of the experiments were carried out in the Psychological Laboratory at the University College London. Statistical flaws in whether participants (the viewers or percipients) could rehis work have been proposed by others in the parapsyliably identify and accurately describe salient features of and within the general scientific remote locations or targets.[32] James Randi has written controlled tests by several other researchers. J. She performed poorly and later criticized the tests by claiming the cards lacked a psychic energy called “energy stimulus” and that she could not perform clairvoyance to order. Certain symbols that were placed on the cards and sealed in an envelope. [45] phenomena. expectancy with the intended targets. in the viewing step.[35] Marks and Christopher Scott (1986) wrote “considering the importance for the remote viewing hypothe2.”[36] A well known study of remote viewing in recent times has been the US government-funded project at the Stanford In 1982 Robert Jahn. man sender was typically present at the remote location. His paper included numerous [37] mote viewing studies at the time. Harold Puthoff and Russell Targ ini. In 1972. A total of over 12. but she failed equally when four other carefully trained experimenters took my place. Not only did she fail when I took charge of the experiments. They concluded that these clues were the reason for the experiment’s high hit rates.2 Remote viewing sis of adequate cue removal. Students were also able to solve Puthoff and Targ’s locations from the clues that had inadvertently been included in the transcripts. these descriptions According to scientific research. B.[22] The parapsychologist Samuel Soal and his colleagues tested Garrett in May. clairvoyance is generally were matched by separate judges. hallucination. telesthesia and travelling clairvoyance is the concluded. fraud. then Dean of the School of EngiResearch Institute during the 1970s through the mid. Marks and Kammann discovered that the notes given to the judges in Targ Skeptics say that if clairvoyance were a reality it would have become abundantly clear. or they had the date of the session written at the top of the page. they were unable to replicate the results so investigated the procedure of the original experiments. 8th ed.[25] of psychic phenomena from an engineering perreferences to retiated a series of human subject studies to determine spective.): In 1980. The term remote viewing was bias. subjective validation.and not as a paranormal power.neering at Princeton University wrote a comprehensive 1990s. The first paper age. the team reported some de. other attempts to replicate the experi. 1937. only the repeated failure of the investigators to remove sensory target without support of the senses. In a series of 35 studies. Myers (Psychology.[30][31] Marks was able to achieve 100 per cent accuracy without visiting any of the sites himself but by using cues. in the judging step.[33] ing experiments that were carried out in the 1970s at the Stanford Research Institute. Rhine’s remarkable claims relating to her alleged powers of extra-sensory perception. Charles Tart claimed that a rejudging of the transcripts from one of Targ and Puthoff’s experiments revealed an above-chance result.3 Scientific reception bally express or sketch their impressions of the remote scene. the US National Rements were carried out. the first step being to randomly select the target conditions to be experienced by the senders. explained as the result of confirmation bias. remote viewing has not been demonstrated in alleged paranormal ability to perceive a remote or hidden the experiments conducted by Puthoff and Targ.[3][40][41][42] Parapsygree of remote viewing success.

as opposed to paranormal seeing (clairvoyance) and feeling (clairsentience). reproducible ESP phenomenon. 2000. It is often considered to be a form of clairvoyance. The word stems from psyche and metric.” Susan Blackmore. 2004. clairaudience [from late 17th century French clair (clear) and audience (hearing)] is a form of extra-sensory perception wherein a person acquires information by paranormal auditory means. clairalience (or alternatively. One controlled procedure has invited 'senders’ to telepathically transmit one of four visual images to 'receivers’ deprived of sensation in a nearby chamber (Bem & Honorton. So far. clairsentience is a form of extra-sensory perception wherein a person acquires psychic knowledge primarily by feeling.4. claircognizance [presumably from late 17th century French clair (clear) and cognizance (< ME cognisaunce < OFr conoissance. 2002. one need only produce a single person who can demonstrate a single. but there are more specific names: 3 4.2 Clairaudience (hearing/listening) In the field of parapsychology. In the field of parapsychology. magician James Randi. 2001. the scientific seal of approval would be worth far more to anyone whose claims could be authenticated. 1999). One skeptic. clairgustance is defined as a form of extra-sensory perception that allegedly allows one to taste a substance without putting anything in one’s mouth.[49] • List of topics characterized as pseudoscience • Out-of-body experience • Postdiction (retroactive clairvoyance) • Precognition • Remote viewing • Second sight . It is claimed that those who possess this ability are able to perceive the essence of a substance from the spiritual or ethereal realms through taste. Storm. nothing. “Blackmore’s first law”. Still. To refute those who say there is no ESP. like the concept of mediums.3 Clairalience (smelling) Also known as clairescence. 2003). The result? A reported 32 percent accurate response rate.[47] 4 Other related terms The words “clairvoyance” and “psychic” are often used to refer to many different kinds of paranormal sensory experiences. Psychometry is related to clairsentience. 4. knowledge)] is a form of extra-sensory perception wherein a person acquires psychic knowledge primarily by means of intrinsic knowledge.[51] 4. “to feel”. clairolfactance) [presumably from late 17th century French clair (clear) and alience (smelling)] is a form of extra-sensory perception wherein a person accesses psychic knowledge through the physical sense of smell. Randi’s offer has been publicized for three decades and dozens of people have been tested.[50] Clairaudience is essentially the ability to hear in a paranormal manner.S.5 Clairgustance (tasting) In the field of parapsychology. It is the ability to know something without a physical explanation why you know it. and “sentience” is derived from the Latin sentire.4 Claircognizance (knowing) In the field of parapsychology.2 Clairaudience (hearing/listening) The search for a valid and reliable test of clairvoyance has resulted in thousands of experiments. 4. 2003). $1 million—“to anyone who proves a genuine psychic power under proper observing conditions” (Randi. 1994). Australian. But follow-up studies have (depending on who was summarizing the results) failed to replicate the phenomenon or produced mixed results (Bem & others. sometimes under the scrutiny of an independent panel of judges. and Indian groups have parallel offers of up to 200.[48] The word “clair” is French for “clear”. 5 See also • Astral projection • Aura 4. which means “soul-measuring”. Milton & Wiseman. “People’s desire to believe in the paranormal is stronger than all the evidence that it does not exist. has a longstanding offer—now U.1 Clairsentience (feeling/touching) In the field of parapsychology. surpassing the chance rate of 25 percent. French. no such person has emerged. Large as these sums are.000 euros to anyone with demonstrable paranormal abilities (CFI.

623-634. “Pseudoscience"". Co. “Clairvoyance”. (1938). Trances. 4. Masters thesis. ISBN 9780810385702.4 6 6 References [1] “Merriam-Webster Online dictionary. p. clairvoyance. Treatise on Basic Philosophy: Volume 6: Epistemology & Methodology II: Understanding the World. Ray. Princeton University Press. Pseudoscience and the Paranormal. Johnson. or psychokinesis. (1938). A Critical Historical Overview of Parapsychology. ESP. M.” [5] “Dictionary. at Chicago (extensive series on 315 students). 1. The American Scholar. (1999). [2] Britannica Online Encyclopedia. Retrieved 200710-05 “1: the power or faculty of discerning objects not present to the senses 2: ability to perceive matters beyond the range of ordinary perception: penetration"". we owe no single firm finding to parapsychology: no hard data on telepathy. The Encyclopedia of Occultism & Parapsychology. (2003). ISBN 0534165966 “There exists no good scientific evidence for the existence of paranormal phenomena such as ESP. Scotland (6. ISBN 0-87975300-5 [14] McCabe.” • Stenger. (1990). Journal of Parapsychology 2: 232236. Harold. (1911). 93-108 [15] Tuckett. Prometheus Books. (1938). Trench. London: Watts & Co. (2001). evidence must be both valid and reliable. Robert Todd. 2012. precognition. 115. [7] “Science Needs to Combat Pseudoscience: A Statement by 32 Russian Scientists and Philosophers”. [8] “International Cultic Studies Association “Science Fiction in Pseudoscience"". 13-22. there has never been a single adequate demonstration of the reality of any psi phenomenon. Retrieved September 22. Plato. pp. T. Dictionary. Paul. Gale Group. Critical Thinking: A Functional Approach. 1998. and Visions: Experiencing Religion and Explaining Experience from Wesley to James. 166. 450. September 3. Heinlein. (2003).org. J. A summary of some negative experiments. Chapter The Subtle Art of Clairvoyance. Retrieved September 22. Is Spiritualism Based On Fraud? The Evidence Given By Sir A. “Investigating Rhine’s Eugene.” • Hines. Retrieved 2014-04-30. R. [18] Hansel. in one hundred years of parapsychological investigations. Journal of Psychology 18: 3-13. C. E. Mario. 000 tests). • Adam. R. Elsevier’s Dictionary of Psychological Theories. Critique of the premises of statistical methodology of parapsychology. • Heinlein. • Willoughby. Mw1. No. 2012. A Skeptic’s Handbook of Parapsychology. The Search for a Demonstration of ESP. The ESP entry includes clairvoyance [3] Carroll. Prometheus Books. (1985). Chapter Telepathy and Clairvoyance. (1938). Retrieved 2007-10-07. pp. (1936). Physics and Psychics: The Search for a World Beyond the Senses. American Journal of Sociology. Southern Methodist University. (1985). 97-127. p. P. Retrieved November 17. Fits. pp. p. No. Ann. K. Terence. Retrieved September 22. C.” • Zechmeister. [17] Jastrow. pp. p. (1985). 2008. and at present a scientific consensus that psychic phenomena exist is still not established. Joseph. ISBN 087975-300-5 [12] Roeckelein. • Crumbaugh. 650 tests).com. Joseph. pp. 144.” REFERENCES [10] Taves. Extra-Sensory Perception: What Is It?. (1938). At Stanford University it has been convincingly shown that the conditions favorable to the intrusion of subtle errors produce above-chance records which come down to chance when sources of error are eliminated. p. Jon. Vol. ISBN 0-87975-575-X “The bottom line is simple: science is based on consensus. Brooks/Cole Pub. ISBN 087975-300-5 [6] “Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy “Science and Pseudo-Science"". 8. at London University (105. The Evidence for the Supernatural: A Critical Study Made with “Uncommon Sense”. John. House of Cards. p. at Glasgow. Detroit. C.reference. and having attracted a large number of researchers over the past hundred years. (1920). [4] • Bunge. (1992). In Paul Kurtz. . Retrieved September 22.merriam-webster. 000 tests). ISBN 0-44451750-2 [13] Hansel. (1983). Prometheus Books. Ivor 000 tests. Further card-guessing Springer. p. [19] Gulliksen. not a single individual was found who under rigidly conducted experiments could score above chance. 105-127. S. pp. (2006). ISBN 157392-979-4 “It is important to realize that. [9] Melton. Quackwatch. “Rhine’s results fail to be confirmed. H. 7 subjects). 43. In Kurtz. July 17. at Southern Methodist College (75. Elsevier Science. Paul. James. ISBN 0-69101024-2 [11] Hyman. To be acceptable to the scientific community. M. C.stanford. Prometheus Books. pp. Victor. (1938). E. 3-96. 2011. 107-142 [16] Cox. Journal of Parapsychology 5: 135-148. J. Doyle and Others Drastically Examined. “An experiment in ESP”. Journal of Experimental Psychology 12: 437. A Skeptic’s Handbook of Parapsychology. Vol. 2012. Prometheus Books. At Colgate University (40. 126. C. A Skeptic’s Handbook of Parapsychology. An experimental study of extra-sensory perception. Csj. ISBN 90-277-1635-8 “Despite being several thousand years old. 2012. The Search for a Demonstration of ESP. In Paul Kurtz. E. 297. Trübner. 226.

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Prometheus Books. University Of Chicago Press p. E. 160. M. 119. Retrieved 2006-01-24 [51] “Supernatural Glossary”. WI: Heaney Magic. ISBN 978-0-02-911706-4 [46] French. Macmillan of Canada. ISBN 1-57392798-8. Free Press. ISBN 978-0-02-911706-4. Doyle and Others Drastically Examined.3 [50] Parapsychological Association website. Retrieved November 17. Manual of Psychometry : the Dawn of a New Civilization 3-22.The Skeptic’s Dictionary . 1893 p. Ghostvillage. Shirley MacLaine. Tall Tales About the Mind and Brain: Separating Fact From Fiction. Thomas. Free Press. retrieved 2006-12-17 [49] Joseph Rodes Buchanan. David. ISBN 0-87975-516-4.Science Daily • Clairvoyance . • David Marks. ISBN 0-08-025772-0. 158. 2011. ISBN 1-57392-979-4. Oxford: Oxford University Press. • Joseph McCabe (1920). ISBN 978-0-898-59017-3. (2013). Hansel (1989). • Willis Dutcher (1922). Glossary of Key Words Frequently Used in Parapsychology. Pseudoscience and the Paranormal. pp. Psychics. Hodges (4th edition). Westview Press. Extrasensory Perception: A Problem. Sergio. p. UFOs. ISBN 978-0-226-05196-3 “Many observers refer to the field as a “pseudoscience”. Massimo. Prometheus Books. ISBN 978-0716764281 [48] Parapsychological Association historical terms glossary.” • Terence Hines (2003). The Search for Psychic Power: ESP and Parapsychology Revisited. 8th edition.Joe Nickell • Debunking the Sixth Sense . Philosophy of Pseudoscience: Reconsidering the Demarcation Problem. (2006). 93–108. On the Other Side of the Footlights: An Expose of Routines. London: Watts & Co. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. 8 External links • Springer Psychic: A Study in ‘Clairvoyance’ . • C. Prometheus Books. Krissy. Apparatus and Deceptions Resorted to by Mediums. Wilson. Worth Publishers. Chis. Michael W. Maarten. The Psychology of the Psychic (2nd Edition). • Henry Gordon. Ghosts. When mainstream scientists say that the field of parapsychology is not scientific. Parapsychology: Science or Magic? A Psychological Perspective. ISBN 0-7715-9539-5. (2007). (2000). pp. Boudry. p. ISBN 0-8133-2200-6 “Parapsychology has failed to gain general scientific acceptance even for its improved methods and claimed successes. Is Spiritualism Based On Fraud? The Evidence Given By Sir A. In Sala. (1998). • Thomas Gilovich (1993). Fortune Tellers and Crystal Gazers in Deluding the Public. Frank H. they mean that no satisfying naturalistic cause-and-effect explanation for these supposed effects has yet been proposed and that the field’s experiments cannot be consistently replicated. Extrasensory Deception: ESP. (1988).6 8 EXTERNAL LINKS [43] Friedlander. Clairvoyants. In Essays on Mind. 7 Further reading • James Alcock (1981). Berlin. [45] Gilovich. Most scientists write it off as pseudoscience unworthy of their time. Cognitive Factors Underlying Paranormal Beliefs and Experiences. and it is still treated with a lopsided ambivalence among the scientific community. Pergamon Press. (1993). How We Know What Isn't So: The Fallibility of Human Reason in Everyday Life. C. Chapter “The Subtle Art of Clairvoyance”. ISBN 978-0198568773 [47] Myers. Psychology. At the Fringes of Science. How We Know What Isn't So: Fallibility of Human Reason in Everyday Life. [44] Pigliucci.” • Donald Hebb (1980).

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