Exploratory Study of Physiological Connectedness among Twins in Relation to Attachment
Göran Brusewitz*1 , Adrian Parker2 , David Luke1 , Annekatrin Puhle3 & Ross Friday1
1. Department of Psychology and Counseling, Greenwich University, London, UK
2. Department of Psychology, University of Gothenburg, Sweden
3. University of Gothenburg, Sweden
Parapsychological research into distant interactions between individuals seems to indicate that the bond between sender and receiver is important. The present study was designed to investigate the ostensible relationship between telepathy and attachment between twins. By applying the concept of attachment from developmental psychology, this becomes the second in our series of studies in parapsychology to explore the degree of attachment between twins as a potential dependent variable relating to their apparent telepathic connection. At the current stage of evaluating a new methodology, we report the design and findings of this exploratory study. From an initial pool of forty pairs of twins, six pairs of identical and one pair of non-identical twins were selected on the basis of their responses to the Exceptional Experiences Questionnaire and on the availability of both twins to take part in the study. The test procedure required each of them to alternate in the role of sender in which they were exposed to a shock or surprise stimuli and in the role of receiver in which they were physiologically monitored for their electrodermal responses (EDR). Senders were presented with altogether five stimuli, one stimulus during each of the five trials per twin run. For each trial, the stimulus was presented during a 30 second period randomly chosen from eight possible such epochs within a four-minute trial. With a further 30 seconds added to establish baselines before and after each trial, this meant each trial would last five minutes. Graphs from 53 of the useable trials belonging to 7 pairs of twins were analyzed by the lead researcher (GB), who was blind to the time epochs in which the stimuli had been presented by the researcher working with the senders (AP). The task for the lead researcher was to identify a peak of the graph in the receiver’s reaction that might approximately correspond to the midpoint in the period that the stimulus had been presented to the sender. In 12 trials out of 53, these identifications corresponded to the actual exposure period for the shock or surprise stimulus – constituting so-called “hits”, compared to the MCE = 6.625 and was significant, p = .043 (one-tailed). Three out of these twelve correct placements were contributed by just one of the twins. The attachment data that twins contributed via the EEQ questionnaire indicated that all the twins in the current study seemed to experience similar high levels of attachment. This consistency in strong and close relationships meant of course there was a lack of variance as concerns the hypothesis that attachment would predict the scores. The results of the Experiences in Close Relationships – Revised (ECR) indicated that all the twins had very low scores on attachment-related anxiety and avoidance in their relationships. The profiles of twins having many hits in the telepathy experiment as regards any aspects of attachment were not significantly different from those of the others. The data provides justification for a major study using this methodology with selected pairs of twins. Some major improvements in the design were suggested. The synchronous monitoring of the electrodermal activity for the sender will later be carried out, giving possibilities to give a precise record of the timing and the effect of the shock stimuli.