Monday, October 08, 2007

Intentional chocolate article published

Effects of Intentionally Enhanced Chocolate on Mood has been published in the Elsevier journal Explore: The Journal of Science and Healing, Volume 3, Issue 5, Pages 433-546 (September 2007).

The paper is coauthored with Gail Hayssen and James Walsh.

You can download the pdf for free by going to clicking on "current issue" or "past issues," depending on when you read this post. The issue to look for is September/October 2007.

I plan to continue a line of research focusing on the apparent intentional effects reported in that paper, across a wide variety of substances.


Topher Cooper said...

The conclusions section of the paper says "However, the same comparison for the preplanned subset of people who did not habitually eat much chocolate resulted in P = .0001. This is no longer easily attributable to chance, even given the small sample size of the experiment."

If the analysis is properly done a small sample size will not make it more likely to get a P of .0001, .04 or any other specific value when the null hypothesis holds (it can, however, make it less likely in some cases because of conservative handling of discrete distributions). A small sample size can only make a small P value harder to obtain when the alternate hypothesis is true.

See my note

on Hyman's confusion about Ioannidis's article on this point.

Dean Radin said...

Quite true.

koantum said...

Hi Dean,

I have posted something that may be relevant to your work:

All the best,
Ulrich Mohrhoff (koantum)

Annalisa Ventola said...

Guest blogger, Bryan Williams, has provided a summary of this research at Public Parapsychology. Check it out here:

Chocolate Intentions: A Tasty PK-related Study

Tor said...

Dean Radin Said:
"I plan to continue a line of research focusing on the apparent intentional effects reported in that paper, across a wide variety of substances."

So you are going to test for intentional effects manifesting in people? Or is it more along the line of structural changes like the ones in the water crystal studies you did?

Topher Cooper said...

I'm a bit unsure, Dean, about the treatment of DAT in the paper. Essentially you say that DAT seems unlikely since mood improves over time in the treatment groups but does not show a compensatory mood decline in the control group.

However, as you point out, chocolate has psychoactive properties that might be expected to cause a mood improvement over time in the absence of any treatment. Therefore DAT selecting those unaffected by the chocolate into the control group might be the best that it can do. We can't tell without some idea of what the "natural" change for that group over that time would be. This is compounded by the effect pointed out in the article that the small size of the control condition makes it difficult to be sure what is "really" happening there.

Dean Radin said...

Actually, optimal DAT could have created an even larger split between the intention and control groups because there were participants whose mood became worse over the course of the week. While chocolate is a mild stimulant, it is short-lived and cannot compete with the mood-modulating effects of uncontrolled events in daily life.

Future research will begin to look at this (and many other issues) in more detail. For a first study of its kind, I was mainly interested in learning whether there was a there there.

bqeu said...

The following might sound humerous but I am quite serious and do not mean any disrespect...

I think it would be interesting if intention could be shown to affect presentiment. Then you could make a candy bar that gives someone psychic powers. Or, if you could store intention in a bit of metal or other objects you could make a magic ring or a good luck charm.

On the other hand with negative intentions you could also make cursed objects. You'd have to consider the ethical side of experimenting with that. Not just for the obvious reason, but there might also be a danger of retrocausal effects from after the work is published that might amplify the results unexpectedly and have serious and undersirable consequences for the poor victims, uh, research subjects.

For experiments like this you might want to get research subjects from places were voodoo is practiced.

It would also be interesting to study how the effect depends on the time lag between intention and it's effects. That would be of grave interest to egyptologists.

Dean Radin said...

Can intention imbue an amulet with magical powers? This idea can be found in much folklore and is still the basis of many contemporary ritual practices.

The chocolate experiment suggested that there may be a kernal of truth hiding in that folklore. But how far this idea can be pushed, and verified, and understood, we don't know yet. I'll be conducting experiments throughout much of 2008 to see what can be learned.

bqeu said...

Dean Radin wrote:
"I plan to continue a line of research focusing on the apparent intentional effects reported in that paper, across a wide variety of substances."

Is there any more you can tell us about your long term plans for your research?

It seems that a lot of psi research is about demonstrating the phenomena are real. But I am also interested in how your research will eventually enable you to explain the underlying mechanism of the phenomena.

Sometimes such explanations come unexpectedly from simple observations but I am wondering if you have any more concrete ideas of experiements that you might do to help unravel the underlying physics of the phenomena.

For example, if you determine the mathematical formula to describe how intention or presentiment effects might decay with time, that formula tells you something about the "physics" of the phenomena. If the foumula is linear or exponential or whatever its value is more than just the ability to make predictions. It tells you something about the deeper mechanism of the phenomena just like the way the formula that describes how objects accelerate in a gravitational field tells us something deeper about the physics of gravity than just the rate at which objects fall. It gives theoreticians clues to the deeper mechanism of the phenomena because whatever they propose must explain the mathematical precision of the phenomenon.

So in addition to studying the effects across a wide variety of substances do you have plans to eventually study the effects in more detail in a few substance - maybe those which show the strongest effects?

Dean Radin said...

I'd rather not go into more depth about my plans for this line of research. With few exceptions, I prefer to discuss work that's already published or in press.

I do this because this line of work involves intention, so by analogy with biological studies, I prefer to work with clean test tubes by limiting who knows what.

Tor said...

As to describing psi phenomena as "pure" physics, I doubt something like that is possible. At least we have to massively expand what we mean by physics. I can imagine that some of the properties can be embedded in mathematics, but I strongly suspect that other properties are much more elusive. I wouldn't be surprised if we find out that all of this in some way is intertwined (or maybe even embedded in a way similar to that described by eastern lore) with a much expanded view of what we today call consciousness. This isn't to different to what you have been suggesting Dean, but it may be that I'm a bit more radical here.

anonymous said...

Some experiments suggest psi is not limited by time or distance. I wonder if psi is limited by energy?

Energy can have different forms. For example, light energy can take the forms of frequency and intensity. Ultra violet photons are higher in energy than infra red. A 100 watt incandescent light bulb has greater intensity (it gives off more photons) than a 10 watt incandescent bulb.

By analogy, psi seems to be limited in one measure of energy: effect size is often small. But what about some other form of psi energy? For example, might it not be possible for one person to put enough intention into the entire food supply of the earth to get the same effect that is seen in the intentional chocolate experiment but applied to each person in the entire population of the earth.

There are people who meditate and pray in various ways for the benefit of humanity as a whole. Who is to say this isn't effective. It would be hard to detect since it might only have a small effect on each person, but given the size of human population there could be by chance, situations here and there, where a small effect is enough to influence events in a big way.

anonymous said...

I noticed a similar phenomenon using a plastic jar as the storage medium instead of chocolate and an Egely wheel to measure the stored energy instead of a person.

When I do a type of spiritual healing meditation, I use a psi wheel or an Egely wheel to monitor the flow of healing energy coming from my hands. I have found that if I cover the Egely wheel with a jar to protect it from air currents, it seems like some energy gets stored in the jar. If after spinning the Egely wheel under the jar for some time, I put the jar next to the Egely wheel and take my hand away, the wheel spins as if my hand was next to the wheel. I take the jar away and the wheel stops. I put the jar back and the wheel begins to spin again. It is as if healing energy is stored in the jar. I describe this in slightly more detail on my blog:

anonymous said...

If anyone is interested, I added a couple of videos to the link in my previous comment (above). One video shows the Egely wheel turning under a jar, and another shows that the Egely wheel starts turning when the jar is placed near it.

The videos are not meant to convince anyone or prove anything, they are just there for people who want to see what I am referring to and who may want to try this themselves. I think most people could do this if they follow the instruction in the above link and the related posts on my blog.