ESP? Dr. Lindsey Osterman Takes a Look

Dr. Lindsey Osterman was recently interviewed by a student assistant on a podcast about ESP or extrasensory perception.

ESP is believed to be akin to a “second sight” or “sixth sense”.

For their 149th episode, the podcast, Serious Inquiries Only, focused on a meta-study published in the American Psychologist that indicates there might be some truth to the existence of ESP.

As a follow-up to their initial podcast, they asked Dr. Osterman, an expert in Experimental Psychology, to discuss the article and whether the findings reported in the meta-study were legitimate.

According to Dr. Osterman,

“…the podcast itself [Serious Inquiries Only] is a show about science, philosophy, and current events, all discussed from a ‘skeptical’ perspective in the truest sense of the term ‘skeptical.’ The host (Thomas Smith) is committed to approaching all the topics he covers with both curiosity and a critical evaluation of the evidence, and he does his best to correct for (and be transparent about) the preexisting biases that might be contributing to his thinking about those topics.”

Dr. Osterman had been featured on Serious Inquiries Only two years previously, where she discussed a critique on the history of evolutionary psychology published by a historian.

Both of my appearances served a similar goal, which was to provide a nuanced and evidence-based opinion about a scientific-sounding claim that was not actually rooted in high-quality evidence. In the first one [from two years ago], I responded to an interview that Thomas conducted with a historian, who had published a very-detailed — but in my opinion, very ill-informed — critique of evolutionary psychology.

Similarly, in this latest podcast, Dr. Osterman responded to a conversation…

[Smith] recorded with a professor of philosophy and a clinical psychologist about a review paper (published in American Psychologist, a respected, peer-reviewed journal), which argued that the empirical evidence for psi (or paranormal cognitive abilities, like being able to see the future) is very strong and consistent. My contention was that the article omitted critical details about the evidence, and in turn, presented a case that looked much stronger than it actually was.

Thank you to Dr. Osterman for being awesome as usual.

For those interested in knowing more details about the article and what Dr. Osterman found within it, the links to the podcasts are below. The first episode has been included for those who want to know what sparked the debate and to have a better idea of what Dr. Osterman and Thomas are discussing in the later episode.

In addition, click here for the link to the PDF of the article that sparked this debate.

Take a listen.

SIO149: Is ESP Real? No, Really… It Might Be…

Dr. Osterman’s analysis:

SIO150: Ok ESP Isn’t Real… with Dr. Lindsey Osterman




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