Am I Psychic?

Introduction

Have you ever wondered if you have psychic ability - the ability to perceive information hidden from the normal senses?. Here is your chance to find out.

This web page provides five cards (known as Zener cards). At the start of each test, the computer that hosts this web page makes five random card picks and stores those card picks. During the test, you try to make the same card picks as the computer by clicking on five cards. Since the computer's card picks are only revealed after you make your picks, your normal senses will be of no help. If you can consistently perform better than average, according to the "Psychic Ability" rating below, you may have psychic abilities!

This web page is provided as an educational tool, with a neutral stance towards the existence or non-existence of psychic ability.

The Cards

Click on the cards below to pick the same cards you believe the computer has already picked. Please note that during a test the computer may pick some cards more than once, and not pick other cards.

Circle Cross Waves Square Star

Your Scores


The average test score is 1 correct card out of 5 card picks. If you can consistently achieve higher than 1 correct card out of 5, you have passed the tests.

Discussion

Objections

If you have an objection to this test, you may find a response here:

Objection Response
I had great test scores in the first tests but the Psychic Ability comment said "Need more tests". A minimum number of tests are required to prove a consistent pattern of success. Without this requirement a few lucky high scores in the first few tests would be unjustly interpreted as passing the tests (cherry picking). With this requirement, enough tests are performed that any lucky high scores are balanced by unlucky low scores, leaving only real psychic ability to explain any consistent pattern of success.
I had some great scores but the average looks too low. The average is calculated correctly. It may seem low, but any excellent scores (greater than 50%) are too rare to significantly move the average score upwards.
I had some very low scores but was unable to start over. This web page stores all of your previous scores, and does not let you discard previous scores. This is to prevent cherry picking by restarting low scoring tests before they complete to exclude them from the overall results.
These tests are not valid ways of testing psychic ability. Zener cards are an accepted method for testing psychic ability. If the involvement of a computer is a concern, these tests may be repeated with real cards instead.
My psychic ability was blocked because of the negative attitude here. This web page is neutral regarding the existence or nonexistence of psychic abilities, although the author personally feels life would be much more interesting and exciting if psychic abilities exist.

Cherry Picking

"Cherry picking" is including evidence that proves a statement, while excluding evidence that that disproves the statement.

The following example graph demonstrates why a few high scores in the first few tests do not prove psychic ability. The average score starts at 3 out of 5, but that is only for a single test. The average score quickly drops down towards 1 out of 5 which is unremarkable. One could cherry pick by presenting only the initial high scores as proof of psychic ability, while overlooking the later low scores, but that would be cheating and prove nothing. All scores should be included when making conclusions from these tests.

Sample graph with high initial test scores

The Odds

A lucky score of 3 out of 5 on the first test means little (since a 3 out of 5 first score is common and occurs in one out of every twenty tests). However, an average score of 3 out of 5 over 30 tests would be phenomenal because the overall score always quickly settles down to 1 out of 5. To learn more about the odds of success when picking five cards, try out the binomial distribution animation.