NOTE: The names of researcher are being temporarily withheld pending official approval of these posts.
Dr. X brought a second researcher to the team, a clinical psychiatrist and psychology lecturer at UCC known at this time as Dr. Q. Our first informal preliminary testing took place after a long conversation over dinner (hand made tortelli) and drinks (pink wine).
The two researchers moved to the opposite side of a long table, and we set up folders to act as privacy barriers. Using a pack of vintage Duke University Zener cards, we conducted two runs of 10 cards, alternating our roles as sender and receivers.
In the first run of 10 cards, Dr. Q and Dr. X acted as senders, and I guessed 5 out of 10 cards correctly (30% above Mean Chance Expectation). In the second run of 10 cards, I acted as sender, and Dr. X and Dr. Q guessed 4 out of 10 correctly (20% above MCE). The cards and calls were recorded privately and compared at the end of the runs.
Of course, these informal tests meant nothing as the presence of alcohol, the lack of video documentation, and the lack of strict controls were not exactly scientific. Nevertheless, the results were striking and we agreed to move into the laboratory as soon as possible.