Psi missing is one of the most startling discoveries of
modern parapsychology. At times, certain individuals persist in giving the wrong answers
in psi tests. The accumulation of systematically wrong answers can be so flagrant that it
suggests something quite different than a mere lack of psi abilities: it is as if people
use psi to consistently avoid the target, unconsciously "sabotaging" their own
A number of different psychodynamics could conceivably lead to psi missing, but one of the
most solidly established is quite simple: belief. In 1942, Gertrude Schmeidler, professor
of psychology at City University of New York, set up a questionnaire to explore students'
beliefs about psi. She used the term "sheep" to refer to those who were
confident about the reality of psi and "goats" for those who doubted its
existence or its pertinence in the context of the test. After the questionnaire, she gave
the students a classic psi test with ESP cards in which they tried to guess sequences of
target- cards. Then Schmeidler compared the results of the psi test and those of the
questionnaire. The remarkable conclusion was that the "sheep" had a significant
deviation above chance, while "goats" were significantly below it.