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Published: Jun.9.2011

Three methods for examining experimenter effects in investigations of psychokinesis

Mark Boccuzzi

When designing experimental methodologies and analyzing study results, it is important to keep in mind the potential impact of the experimenter’s consciousness. These effects may result from conscious intention or subconscious desire (the latter of which may oppose the former). This presentation aims to explore the methods and outcomes from three different experiments varying in experimenter belief, desire, and intention. In the first experiment, the output from a random event generator (REG) is collected during forty 30-second trials. Each trial has an overall result of either ‘high’ (more ones than zeros) or ‘low’ (more zeros than ones). Software was developed to generate a hidden file containing a list of success criteria (i.e., high or low) for each of the 40 trials. With no outside influence, 50% of the listed criteria should match the outcomes for the respective trials. What happens, though, when the experimenter---who strongly believes in the effect of his consciousness on the outcome---sets the generalized intention that “the experiment is successful”? The second experiment uses no electronic equipment and examines macro- psychokinesis in the form of changes in air pressure by employing an air-tight chamber (roughly 1 cubic ft.), the opening of which is tightly fitted with a latex membrane. A small optical mirror is affixed to the membrane so that changes in air pressure within the chamber affect the orientation of the mirror. A tri-pod mounted laser is aimed at the mirror so that the beam reflects to a target roughly 10 feet away and any movement of the membrane due to changes in air pressure can be determined by the shift in the beam visible on the target. In this case, the experimenter does not believe that his consciousness can alter air pressure, but he has confidence that deceased people or other non-physical consciousnesses might be able to cause changes.
Will there be a difference between the distance the beam moves during control sessions and sessions in which the experimenter invites the pressure to change? In the third experiment, a target area is designated in a darkened room and bisected with a laser light source. Deceased individuals are invited to attempt to “push” more ambient dust into the visible beam during active periods of data collection. The numbers and position of highlighted airborne particulates are tracked and quantified: digital images of the target area are captured using extended exposures from a remotely triggered, tripod-mounted digital camera and the resulting images from active and control sessions are analyzed using particle analysis software. Will more dust enter the beam during active periods? The data collected to date, conclusions drawn, potential implications, limitations, and value of these research protocols will be discussed.

Bio: Mark Boccuzzi, researcher and Director of Operations at the Windbridge Institute for Applied Research in Human Potential, is currently an associate member of the Parapsychological Association. Mark’s research interests include intuition, animal psi, applied psychokinesis, photographic anomalies, distant mental interactions on living systems (DMILS), and instrumental transcommunication (ITC). He is the recipient of a 2011-2012 research grant from the Helene Reeder Memorial Fund for Research into Life after Death for a project titled “Invited Ostensible Discarnate Interactions with Electronic Equipment” and he has served as a researcher on two Windbridge Institute projects funded by the Bial Foundation. Mark’s research has been presented at the Toward a Science of Consciousness and the International Society for the Study of Subtle Energies and Energy Medicine (ISSSEEM) conferences and has been accepted for publication in the Journal of Scientific Exploration.