Failing the future: three unsuccessful attempts to replicate Bem's 'retroactive facilitation of recall' effect

PLoS One. 2012;7(3):e33423. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0033423. Epub 2012 Mar 14.


Nine recently reported parapsychological experiments appear to support the existence of precognition. We describe three pre-registered independent attempts to exactly replicate one of these experiments, 'retroactive facilitation of recall', which examines whether performance on a memory test can be influenced by a post-test exercise. All three replication attempts failed to produce significant effects (combined n = 150; combined p = .83, one-tailed) and thus do not support the existence of psychic ability.

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mental Recall / physiology*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Young Adult