RESEARCH ON PSYCHOKINESIS
What is psychokinesis?
When thinking of the word psychokinesis, images of poltergeists get into most peopleís minds. But actually itís more than that. Psychokinesis is a phenomenon that seems to manifest as well in physical (e.g. spoon bending), as in living systems (e.g. healings). Not only has field research rendered a huge amount of case studies, also the laboratory work shows some very nice results.
Origin of the experimental work on psychokinesis.
In 1935, when Rhine was still in the middle of his work on ESP and Zener cards, he was suddenly confronted with a gambler who claimed to be able to predict how a dice would fall. Rhine of course did a series of experimental sessions with that particular gambler to investigate his claim. To his amazement, the tested person could indeed determine how the dice would fall. Afterwards Rhine has successfully completed many more experiments with different subject. The original test principal was very simple : a number (from 1 to 6) was determined beforehand. Next, a dice was thrown, while the subject used his concentration to try to define the outcome of the dice. In case the results corresponded to what had been determined beforehand, Rhine called it a hit. If there were significantly more hits than predicted by the chance, this was considered as a proof for the existence of psychokinesis.
Modern experiments with random-number-generators
Experiments with random-number-generators (RNG) are the modern equivalent of the dice experiments and were initially used in 1959 by Schmidt. (Boeing Laboratories) Due to the fact that RNG enables an entirely automatic and fast data-processing, the dice experiments soon became unnecessary. An RNG produces random numbers based on the radio-active decay of the element strontium or based on electrical fluctuations (electric noise). In this experiment, the subject has to mentally determine the output of the RNG. For example by asking the subject to get the RNG to produce the number 1 more often than the number 0. The experiment is successful when the number 1 has been produced more often than chances had predicted. During the experiment, the subject usually gets feedback via a graphical computer program or via a robot arm that reacts to the results. A meta-analysis (Radin and Nelson, 1989) of RNG experiments between 1959 and 1987 showed a most significant result. (p=.000000001) This meta-analysis even proved that the previous dice experiments showed the same general positive results and were therefore replicated successfully. In 1996, Dobyns of the Princeton University PEAR lab did a meta-analysis of the 1262 studies that had been carried out since 1987. He came to the conclusion that his results matched those of the meta-analysis by Radin and Nelson, which meant that the research of the PEAR lab was a successful replication of the results of the last three decennia.
Center for Psychotronical
Studies and Investigations