SSE Talks


Effects of Distant Group Intention on Seedling Growth
Apr 09, 2009 at 4:39 PM EST | G. E. Schwartz


Gary E. Schwartz, Mark Boccuzzi, Lynne McTaggart, and Melinda Connor


As reviewed in The Energy Healing Experiments (Schwartz, 2007) and The Intention Experiment (McTaggart, 2007), a body of evidence exists suggesting that human intention – both individual and collective – can have local and distal effects on living systems. With the emergence of Intention Experiments workshops conducted by L. McTaggart ( it became possible to conduct doubleblinded experiments on the effects distant group intention on the growth of barley seeds. Six experiments (one in Europe, four in the US, one in Australia) involving a total of 1940 subjects attempted to increase the growth of barley seeds tested at the Laboratory for Advances in Consciousness in Health at the University of Arizona in Tucson. Each barley seed experiment consisted of a 5 day double-blinded condition and a separate 5 day non-blinded control condition. Each testing condition consisted of four sets of seeds (A, B, C, D), n=30 seeds per set. On the double-blinded intention days, the experimenter prepared the four sets of randomly selected seeds, photographed each set of seeds, and emailed the photos to McTaggart at the workshop site. A member of the audience selected one of the sets (A – D) to be the set targeted for increased growth. A group intention protocol described in McTaggart (2007) was employed for ten minutes while the subjects saw an image of the seed set that had been selected projected on a screen. After the distant group intention intervention, the experimenter (who was kept blind to the set selected), planted the 120 seeds under standardized conditions. At the end of 5 days, the seeds were harvested and their lengths measured in mm. As a second control condition, on separate weeks 120 seeds were selected and placed into four sets, planted, and harvested after 5 days, but no distant group intention was involved. The total number of seeds tested was n=1440. A complex analysis of variance with Experiments (1-6), Intention (targeted growth versus not-targeted), and Day (intention day versus control day) was performed. The main effect of Day was highly significant (p<.0000001) as was the Intention by Day interaction (p<.003). A separate analysis of variance revealed that the Intention effect was significant for the intention day (p<.007) but not the control day (p = .205). Over the six experiments for the 5 day double-blinded intention condition, the mean intention targeted seeds grew 56 mm compared to 48 mm for the non-targeted seeds. For the 5 day non-intention control condition, the matched “targeted” set was 38 mm compared to 40 mm for the matched “non-targeted” control seeds. These data suggest that distant group intention can have selective effects on increasing the growth of seeds.


Gary E. Schwartz is a Professor of Psychology, Medicine, Neurology, Psychiatry, and Surgery, and Director of the Laboratory for Advances in Consciousness and Health, at The University of Arizona in Tucson. He is also Corporate Director of Development of Energy Healing at Canyon Ranch.




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