PSI assumption

The phrase psi assumption has been coined by skeptics to refer to the belief, held by parapsychologists and others, that the laws of chance can be used as a basis for proving psychic ability. Skeptics argue, for example, that just because there is a one-ina-million chance that someone would be able to predict which cards will turn up in a particular order in a particular stack of cards during an extrasensory perception (ESP) test, it does not follow that someone who succeeds in making such a prediction is exhibiting ESP. Instead, skeptics say, that person could be cheating on the test or exhibiting incredible luck—that is to say, he or she simply beat the odds.


  • psi


The Greenhaven Encyclopedia of Paranormal Phenomena – written by Patricia D. Netzley © 2006 Gale, a part of Cengage Learning

Related Articles

Zener cards

Designed by Dr. Karl Zener during the 1930s for psychologist J.B. Rhine, Zener cards are used to test the Extrasensory Perception (ESP) ability known as…

The Skeptics Society

Headquartered in Altadena, California, the Skeptics Society investigates paranormal phenomena and publishes the quarterly magazine Skeptic. Its board members include the noted media skeptic James…


Superstitions are beliefs and practices that are not based on rational thought. In most cases these beliefs involve causal relationships. For example, a hockey player…