A concept in parapsychology relating to the effect of belief and attitude to success in ESP scoring. The term derives from the pioneer researches of parapsychologist Gertrude R. Schmeidler in 1958. She conducted experiments in which her subjects were divided into two groups—"sheep" and "goats." The sheep had belief in the possibility of psi, while the goats rejected the possibility.
It was observed that, in individual and group tests, the sheep scored higher in ESP trials than the goats, suggesting that belief strongly influenced successful ESP. The differences in scoring were relatively small, although statistically significant. Many later experiments have been conducted by other parapsychologists to test the hypothesis, and the term "sheep-goat" has now become commonplace in parapsychological discussions.
"Sheep-Goat Hypothesis." Encyclopedia of Occultism and Parapsychology. . Encyclopedia.com. (March 18, 2019). https://www.encyclopedia.com/science/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/sheep-goat-hypothesis
"Sheep-Goat Hypothesis." Encyclopedia of Occultism and Parapsychology. . Retrieved March 18, 2019 from Encyclopedia.com: https://www.encyclopedia.com/science/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/sheep-goat-hypothesis
Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).
Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.
Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:
Modern Language Association
The Chicago Manual of Style
American Psychological Association
- Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
- In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.