Ever think you could predict the future? The good news is, you're not crazy. The better news is—there's now scientific evidence that backs you up.
For most of us, the idea of psychic phenomena is just too science-fictiony. But it's true, according to Dr. Daryl Bem, a social psychologist who conducted nine different experiments on the phenomena.
Have you've ever taken a psychic test with Zener cards (the ones with the plus sign and the wavy lines)? If you have, you'll have averaged one correct answer, or "hit," out of every five cards. Psychology Today says the Zener test and others like it are flawed, because "such studies often fail to meet the threshold of 'scientific investigation.'"
However, Bem's studies are unique in that they represent standard scientific methods and rely on well-established principles in psychology. Essentially, he took effects that are considered valid and reliable in psychology—studying improves memory, priming facilitates response times—and simply reversed their chronological order.
In a test that we wouldn't have believed had it not been documented, 100 Cornell students were shown 48 common nouns and given three seconds to observe and visualize each word. Then they were asked to type out as many words as they could remember. After that, a computer re-displayed half of those words, which the students then retyped.
You don't have to be psychic to know where we're going with this: It turns out that the students more likely recalled the words that they were later asked to retype.
In his original paper, Dr. Bem wrote, "The results show that practicing a set of words after the recall test does, in fact, reach back in time to facilitate the recall of those words."
The reason for this phenomenon can be explained through science (or in this case, SCIENCE!), specifically physics:
Einstein believed that the mere act of observing something here could affect something there, a phenomenon he called "spooky action at a distance."
Similarly, modern quantum physics has demonstrated that light particles seem to know what lies ahead of them and will adjust their behavior accordingly, even though the future event hasn't occurred yet.
The study will be published in an upcoming volume of the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. But if you can't wait to read it, the adventurous among you can download the non-edited draft of Bem's paper for yourselves.
We predict you'll be conducting your own psychic experiments with lottery numbers.