Zener Cards

Zenner Cards

I’m not sure if you are familiar with these cards or not, but many have at least seen them. They are a set of 25 cards which are used to test the abilities of those claiming to have ESP. The aim of using the cards is to have the person claiming to have ESP guess the image which will be on a card before it is turned over.

The cards were named after psychologist Karl Zener who developed the cards with parapsychologist J.B. Rhine to use in experiments to test for clairvoyance. In performing the test, all 25 cards are turned over and the results recorded. Supposedly, the average person will score around a 20% success rate. Of course, the more cards which the subject guesses correctly, the higher the chance that they have some degree of ESP.

Skeptics feel that the fact that there are only 25 cards in the deck make it easy for a person to cheat on the examination. The Zener cards are not accepted as scientific proof of ESP, but it has been noted that some people score remarkably high. Nevertheless, the scientific community is still highly skeptical of ESP in general. It goes without saying that there isn’t a lot of faith placed in the meaning of experiments with Zener cards by most scientists.

Whether these cards truly do measure the ability of ESP in a person or not, it is still fun to try it to see how many you can guess correctly. There are various places online where you can take simulated tests using these cards. Simply input Zener card test into your search engine if you are curious to see how you would do.

To see artwork which goes with this work, click here to go to the blog of Evangeline who I am collaborating with for this year’s A to Z!

7 thoughts on “Zener Cards

  1. Congrats on finishing both A to Z and NoNoPoMo – I don’t know how you did it all! Zener cards are interesting, but then again, the statisticians have it right.

    • Thanks Jemima! It was not easy to do both…won’t be doing it next year 😀

      My jury is out on the Zener cards. I’ve seen some people hit it like crazy and others be wrong most of the time. Another one of those mysteries.

      I’m wondering if you have a current blog. I followed the link back to you but it’s been a while since you’ve posted.

      • Ah! Sometimes my avatar shows to the old wordpress blog even though I redirected the stuff to that site – the new url is jemimapett.com

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