Can you tell who is calling?

Many people have had the experience of thinking of someone who then calls, or else they just know who is calling when the phone rings, before looking at the caller ID display or answering the phone. This experiment is designed to investigate this phenomenon in more detail.

In this test there are three participants, who can use either mobile phones or landlines. In each trial, one of these people is the caller, and the other two are potential receivers. The test involves the potential receivers guessing who is the caller. The entire test lasts less than 15 minutes and is free.

Register for the test by putting in your own name and telephone number (landline or mobile). Then enter the names and numbers of two friends (landline or mobile). If you supply a username and password, you will be able to go back and retrieve all these details at any time, to save you re-entering them. You will be able to initiate the test whenever you want. When you do, the system will call all three participants right away so please make sure you the other two people are free to take part before starting a test. You will all be put on the line together in a conference-call format, where you can talk to each other.

The system will tell you when the first trial is about to start. One of you will be the caller, and the other two will be receivers. For each trial the caller is picked at random, so you may all have turns at being the caller. If you are the caller, you will be told which of the receivers to focus on, and you will hear a ring tone until you are connected to be the person you are thinking about. If you are the receiver, you will be asked to guess who is the caller. If you are not the receiver you will be told you are not being called, but you will be asked who you think the caller is. The caller will then be connected with the receiver. After they have had a chance to speak for a while, the other person will be linked up again so all three can talk together until the next trial begins.

There will be six trials altogether and at the end you will all be told the results of the test. You can repeat the test at any time. But please make sure the other two people are free to take part before starting a new test.

It may sound complicated, but it's quite easy and you will be given clear instructions as you go along!

If you experience any problems, find the procedure unclear, or have any suggestions, please contact Rupert.

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