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EVALUATION OF THE USE OF PSYCHICS IN THE INVESTIGATION OF MAJOR CRIMES

NCJ Number
56166
Journal
Journal of Police Science and Administration Volume: 7 Issue: 1 Dated: (MARCH 1979) Pages: 18-25
Author(s)
M REISER; L LUDWIG; S SAXE; C WAGNER
Date Published
1979
Length
8 pages
Annotation
RESULTS ARE REPORTED FROM AN EXPERIMENTAL TEST TO DETERMINE IF THE NATURE AND ACCURACY OF INFORMATION PROVIDED BY PSYCHICS IN CRIME CASES IS USEFUL IN THE SOLUTION OF THOSE CASES.
Abstract
TWELVE PSYCHICS PARTICIPATED IN THE STUDY PROJECT. EIGHT ARE CONSIDERED PROFESSIONAL PSYCHICS, SINCE THEY ARE EITHER PARTIALLY OR WHOLLY DEPENDENT FOR THEIR LIVING ON FEES FROM PSYCHIC SERVICES. PARTICIPANTS WERE SELECTED BY ONE OF THE RESEARCHERS FROM AMONG THOSE CONSIDERED MOST REPUTABLE AND ABLE IN THE LOS ANGELES (CALIF.) AREA WHO WERE WILLING TO PARTICIPATE. FOUR CRIMES, TWO SOLVED AND TWO UNSOLVED, WERE SELECTED BY AN INVESTIGATOR NOT INVOLVED IN THE RESEARCH. NO INFORMATION ABOUT THE CRIMES WAS GIVEN TO THE PROJECT STAFF OR TO THE ACADEMIC CONSULTANT. OF THE UNSOLVED CASES, ONE CONTAINED A DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE SUSPECT AND THE CRIME ITSELF, AND NO SUSPECT INFORMATION WAS AVAILABLE IN THE OTHER. PHYSICAL EVIDENCE FROM EACH OF THE FOUR CRIMES WAS PLACED IN SEALED, NUMBERED ENVELOPES. EACH PSYCHIC INTERVIEWED INDIVIDUALLY WAS FIRST ASKED TO PROVIDE INFORMATION ABOUT THE CONTENTS OF THE SEALED ENVELOPE AND ANY OTHER INFORMATION TO BE DERIVED FROM THE CONTENTS. THEN THE PSYCHIC WAS ASKED TO OPEN EACH ENVELOPE, EXAMINE THE EVIDENCE, AND PROVIDE INFORMATION FROM THE CONTENTS. NEITHER THE PARTICIPANTS (PSYCHICS) NOR THE PSYCHOLOGIST-EXPERIMENTER HAD ANY PRIOR KNOWLEDGE OF ANY OF THE CASES OR THE EVIDENCE. DATA WERE GROUPED INTO THE FOLLOWING CATEGORIES WHICH CORRESPOND WITH THE INFORMATION RECORDED ON THE ORIGINAL CRIME REPORTS: CRIME COMMITTED, VICTIMS, SUSPECTS, PHYSICAL DESCRIPTIONS, AND CRIME LOCATIONS. THE RESEARCH DATA DO NOT SUPPORT THE CONTENTION THAT PSYCHICS CAN PROVIDE SIGNIFICANT ADDITIONAL INFORMATION LEADING TO THE SOLUTION OF MAJOR CRIMES. THE AREA OF GREATEST ACCURACY INVOLVED THE SEX OF THE SUSPECT AND THAT OF THE VICTIM. SOME DEGREE OF ACCURACY WAS ALSO DETECTED IN THE TYPE OF CRIME COMMITTED. TABULAR DATA ARE PROVIDED. (RCB)