Nomenclature and Methodology
Baker (Ian S.)
Source: Journal of Consciousness Studies, Volume 12, Number 6, 2005 , pp. 56-63(7)
Paper - Abstract

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Author’s Abstract

  1. In his first paper Sheldrake attempts to uncover whether or not the ‘sense of being stared at’ is real or illusory, concluding that ‘the great majority of the evidence supports the reality of this sense’ (p. 29).
  2. I would like to discuss some of the issues that he raises and how they pertain to his central argument and the body of evidence for and against remote staring detection. I will be focussing most of my comments on part one of his paper. I have divided my comments into three main areas.
  3. First, I will discuss the nomenclature that Sheldrake uses in the paper and which is used in the field as a whole to describe this phenomenon and why a consensus is required.
  4. Secondly, I will illustrate how there are issues between the different methodologies used in this area concerning two subtly different senses of the concept of ecological validity, namely: realism and generalisability.
  5. Finally, I will show how the CCTV-based method offers a superior methodology for the investigation of remote staring detection, and that it represents a considerably different methodology to the other methods listed. This difference, both in terms of the greater robustness and validity when compared to the other approaches, means that the results from the CCTV method have to be considered separately to the other results. This has consequences for the main thrust of the argument that Sheldrake puts forward in this paper.

  1. Definition
  2. Issues of Ecological Validity
    • Realism
    • Generalisability
  3. Can the EDA-CCTV and Direct Looking Methods Be Directly Compared?
  4. Conclusions


Part of Open Peer Commentary on ‘The Sense of Being Stared At’ Parts 1 & 2

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  1. Blue: Text by me; © Theo Todman, 2019
  2. Mauve: Text by correspondent(s) or other author(s); © the author(s)

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