Friday, March 23, 2007

Publications

An article I mentioned earlier in this blog describing an experiment involving chocolate has been accepted for publication, so I post the abstract below. I'll say more about this study when the paper is finally published, sometime later this year. Other articles presently under review include one describing the results of a triple-blind experiment on the effects of distant intention on water crystalization, another reporting an experiment examining effects of distant observation on the behavior of photons in an interferometer, and a third study involving examination of visual evoked EEG responses prior to randomly timed light flashes. I'll post the abstracts of those papers after they are accepted for publication.

Effects of intentionally enhanced chocolate on mood

Dean Radin, Gail Hayssen & James Walsh

Objective: A double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled experiment investigated whether chocolate exposed to “good intentions” would enhance mood more than unexposed chocolate.

Design: Individuals were assigned to one of four groups and asked to record their mood each day for a week using the Profile of Mood States. For days 3, 4 and 5 each person consumed a half ounce of dark chocolate twice a day at prescribed times. Three groups blindly received chocolate that had been intentionally “treated” by three different techniques. The intention in each case was that people who ate the chocolate would experience an enhanced sense of energy, vigor and well-being. The fourth group blindly received untreated chocolate as a placebo control. The hypothesis was that mood reported during the three days of eating chocolate would improve more in the intentional groups than in the control group.

Subjects: Stratified random sampling was used to distribute 62 participants among the four groups, matched for age, gender, and amount of chocolate consumed on average per week. Most participants lived in the same geographic region to reduce mood variations due to changes in weather, and the experiment was conducted during one week to reduce effects of current events on mood fluctuations.

Results: On the third day of eating chocolate mood had improved significantly more in the intention conditions than in the control condition (p = 0.04). Analysis of a planned subset of individuals who habitually consumed less than the grand mean of 3.2 ounces of chocolate per week showed a stronger improvement in mood (p = 0.0001). Primary contributors to the mood changes were the factors of declining fatigue (p = 0.01) and increasing vigor (p = 0.002). All three intentional techniques contributed to the observed results.

Conclusion: The mood-elevating properties of chocolate can be enhanced with intention.

12 comments:

Tor said...

Dean, I've heard a podcast interview where you discussed the photon experiment. This must be the most clarifying physics experiment done in a long time. We can do away with many of the interpretations of quantum mechanics based on this one. It definitely favor some form of collapse interpretation (at least partly mind/consciousness based).

Are you planning a replication/extension?

Phronk said...

I can't wait to see the final publications for these studies.

I'm not sure if this is the right place to ask...but I have a question for you about a study mentioned in Entangled Minds. Writing about global consciousness, you mentioned a study in which you compared RNG data for days in which a significant news event occured (operationalized as being mentioned on a "year in review" web site) vs. other days.

Has this analysis has been replicated, using the same web site and same dependent measures, but different years? And if this has been attempted, is there any plan to publish the results (whether they were statistically significant or not)?

This seems like the type of study that could convince any critic that something interesting is going on. You have clearly defined variables, pre-planned analyses, and little room for conventional explanations. It would silence people who would accuse researchers of "fishing" for significant results among random data.

Thanks!

Dean Radin said...

Tor said...
Dean, I've heard a podcast interview where you discussed the photon experiment... Are you planning a replication/extension?

Possibly. The paper describing this study is still under review. I have two other experiments I have to complete (supported by grants) before I consider returning to this one. Those two studies will probably consume most of my time for the remainder of the year, so if I do repeat the photon experiment it will be next year at the earliest.

Dean Radin said...

Phronk said...
a study in which you compared RNG data for days in which a significant news event occured (operationalized as being mentioned on a "year in review" web site) vs. other days. Has this analysis has been replicated, using the same web site and same dependent measures, but different years?

I've looked at this correlation for each year 2000 through 2004.

And if this has been attempted, is there any plan to publish the results (whether they were statistically significant or not)?

I think I briefly mentioned these results in our GCP/911 paper published in Foundation of Physics Letters. But if not then I haven't yet published the results of all of my analyses. In brief, four of the five years replicated the predicted positive correlation; one year did not.

This seems like the type of study that could convince any critic that something interesting is going on.

One might think so if we lived in an entirely rational world. But as far as I can tell, that's not the world we live in.

Book Surgeon said...

For more fascinating work related to photons, look for the journal publication later this year of the results of the intention experiment conducted by Lynne McTaggart, Gary Schwartz, et al, recently. Their online experiment had to be postponed due to server crashes, but they still had a live audience in the UK send intention to a leaf in Arizona to increase its biophoton output vs a control leaf. Apparently, according to the preliminary report, the results were astonishing, so much so that they will withhold the full results for peer-reviewed publication.

M.C. said...

Tor and/or Dean,

Is that the Skeptico podcast where the photon experiment is discussed?

Dean Radin said...

Book Surgeon said...
results of the intention experiment conducted by Lynne McTaggart, Gary Schwartz, et al, recently.

I spoke to Gary about this and it does sound interesting. It's useful to keep in mind that the leaf experiment involves an N of 1 (as the jargon goes), so the proof of the pudding will be to see if a similar effect can be replicated later. The magnitude of this particular result seemed to be large enough to make replication possible. Likewise, the magnitude of my photon study, at least for experienced meditators as participants, was quite large, so these studies may be easier to repeat than mind-matter interaction studies with other targets. Time will tell.

Book Surgeon said...

Thanks for the clarification, Dean, as well as the reminder that it true science caution about any results should be the rule and the watchword.

Mark Szlazak said...

Dean can you give use more details about the photon study? Is there a pre-print available that we could view online?

Tor said...

m.c said:
"Is that the Skeptico podcast where the photon experiment is discussed?"

I believe it was a Coast to Coast AM podcast.

Tor said...

Dean Radin said:
"Likewise, the magnitude of my photon study, at least for experienced meditators as participants, was quite large, so these studies may be easier to repeat than mind-matter interaction studies with other targets. Time will tell."

That mind-matter effects would increase as the ability to calm the mind improves is what I'd expect. The way I think about a "normal" vs a quiet mediative mind is like the difference between a ordinary light bulb and a laser. While they both can have the same power output, we all know what the laser is capable of some amazing things. In addition to this I also think it's possible to increase the power output.

From a subjective point of view, the difference between being calm and quiet when practicing qigong, and being in a more ordinary mental state, can be enormous. And I'm not talking just about the "mental feeling" of it all, but the actual physical/physiological phenomena that happen in the body.

Another thing, as far as I know most mind-matter studies (like the PEAR studies) have used ordinary people, not trained in any form of meditation. I would expect there to be an increase in effect size with the use of meditators there too. From what I remember, the "entangled minds"-type of studies done with people that practice some sort of meditation-like technique suggests such an increase.

I suspect that, for other skeptical researcher to replicate such results, it will require that the meditator used be of a very high level. A rather experienced teacher of qigong once told me that if this was not the case (even though the there was a real ability involved), the investigators would probably cancel the effect, and the study would become non-significant.

Suzanne said...

I love the Conclusion that your study reached re: "The mood-elevating properties of chocolate can be enhanced with intention."

You may have heard that chocolate contains the same chemical that the brain creates when we’re feeling romantic love.

According to the ancient philosophy of ho'oponopono (www.zerolimits.info),
Dr. Ihaleakala Hew Len states
“Drinking hot chocolate releases error memories in the subconscious that put gain first as oppose to doing something because it is divinely correct to do.

Drinking hot chocolate releases error memories that cause violence in relationships, smoothing things out so that relationships are not about gain but about love….”

Suzanne Burns
"Designer of Chocolate Jewelry"
www.IntentionalTreasures.com