Friday, October 02, 2009

Mind modulated randomness?

Exploratory Evidence for Correlations Between Entrained Mental Coherence and Random Physical Systems

Journal of Scientific Exploration , Vol 23 (3), 2009

DEAN RADIN
Institute of Noetic Sciences

F. HOLMES ATWATER
The Monroe Institute

Abstract - An experiment tested whether mental coherence entrained in groups would affect sequences of data generated by truly random number generators (RNGs) in the vicinity of those groups. Coherence was entrained by having groups listen to a prescribed series of binaural-beat rhythms during a 6-day workshop. Two RNGs based on electronic noise and one on radioactive decay latencies were located in the building where the workshops took place. Random data were continually collected from these RNGs during 14 workshops. As controls, the same RNGs generated data in the same locations and times but during 8 weeks when no workshops took place. Other RNGs in two distant locations were run as additional controls.

An exploratory hypothesis predicted that fluctuations in entrained mental coherence associated with the workshop activities would modulate the random data recorded during the workshops. This was predicted to result in positive correlations between random data streams collected from one workshop to the next. Results showed that during the workshops the overall correlation was positive, as predicted (p = .008); during control periods the same RNGs produced chance results (p = .74). Random data generated in distant locations also produced results consistent with chance."



Overall, this study involved collection and analysis of 143 billion random bits from different kinds of random number generators.

12 comments:

nick herbert said...

Interesting results from the bold frontier scientists at Monroe Institute. What was the "effect size"?

Most of these random event generators consist of crowds of independent systems whose intrinsic randomness is increased by the fact that they are all independent. Would be great to discover/invent some Skimble-Skamble Single System (S4) that is "quantum random", but not subject to the crowd-dilution effect and that would produce lots of "random" bits as a target for experiments which attempt to measure the influence of coherence human intent.

A challenge to physicists. I wish I was smart and knowledgeable enough to come up with a robust and viable S4 system.

David Bailey said...

It is interesting that this experiment shows a distance effect - whereas Sheldrake claims some of his results are distance independent.

I guess the obvious next step is to set up a number of RNG's at different distances from such a group.

I imagine getting a group together for such an experiment, may be logistically difficult, and I wonder if pop concerts could be useful (everyone listening to the same music, and more or less in tune emotionally).

dawnow said...

I just read this article, and Stephen Braude's editorial in the same issue of JSE. He points out the fact that there really can't be a truly double blind or even single blind experiment in parapsychology (or for that matter in any other scientific discipline), since the very phenomena being investigated involve remote influences of conscious or subliminal (unconscious) minds including the researchers' themselves, which may have themselves influenced the experiment in unknown ways. This concern seems minor in this case, but I guess it must be a remote possibility.

Dean Radin said...

> Skimble-Skamble Single System

A sort of S4 system is made by a Swiss company named idQuantique. See http://www.idquantique.com/products/quantis.htm. I have one of these.

Many other commercially available RNGs involve processing electronic noise of one flavor or another, although the radiation-based version I use works via detection of individual radioactive hits. I use the RM60 detector, made by Aware Electronics. See http://www.aw-el.com/

Dean Radin said...

> I guess it must be a remote possibility

But we're not so sure how remote. My colleagues and I have often pondered this "source of psi" issue.

Tor said...

Dean Radin said:

But we're not so sure how remote. My colleagues and I have often pondered this "source of psi" issue.

I suspect that some people are like powerful permanent magnets and others more like iron filings. So these powerful magnets can have a much more powerful influence on the environment, including other people, than the average person. Probably anyone can increase their own level of permanent magnetism by training some suitable method.

Dean, I wouldn't be surprised if you yourself act as an amplifier to the effects that you see in your own experiments (I remember you reflected on this in the paper on with the meditating monks observing the double slit). I haven't looked into this in detail, but don't you have an unusual high success rate in your experiments? Have you looked at the effect sizes in your experiments compared to that of others?

Tor

Dave said...

How does the effect on the RNGs in this experiment, where you have a relatively small group of "entangled minds", compare to the effects seen in the average Global Consciousness Project experiment where much large groups are involved? And how does the effect (in this experiment) compare to those experiments where you have a single meditator intentionally trying to effect an RNG?

Given all the variables that differ in each of these types of experiments, do these comparisons tell us anything interesting?

Dean Radin said...

> Have you looked at the effect sizes in your experiments compared to that of others?

It's good, but not as good as some others. Helmut Schmidt, for example, obtained results with highly selected subjects that I practically never see in my studies. When I've worked with "special subjects" I do get bigger effects, but having the opportunity to find and work with those people is rare.

Dean Radin said...

> Given all the variables that differ in each of these types of experiments, do these comparisons tell us anything interesting?

A systematic comparison would be interesting, but so far no one has done it because these types of experiments are so different.

FB said...

Tor:'Dean, I wouldn't be surprised if you yourself act as an amplifier to the effects that you see in your own experiments (I remember you reflected on this in the paper on with the meditating monks observing the double slit). I haven't looked into this in detail, but don't you have an unusual high success rate in your experiments? '

Part of this is IMHO a non-paranormal "coaching" effect. Researchers like Schmidt and Radin are like football coaches who are motivated to lead winning teams. Researchers like Wiseman and Hyman are like coaches who are (perhaps subconsciously) trying to get fired. Similarly, a lot of research with "friendly audiences" resembles a sports effect sometimes called "the crowd is the extra team-member."

There is also the possibility that some people are, like Socrates in Plato's dialogues, the "midwives" of talent. Thus (assuming Plato to be accurate) Socrates could teach people to be excellent navigators, although Socrates himself was not a navigator. Possibly some people are "anti-midwives," who manage to jinx budding talents by steering them into self-defeating paths.

I am very excited by the binaural beat results. For several decades I have been interested in a goal that I sometimes call "the industrial engineering of psi." Just as automobiles existed before Henry Ford, but mass production made automobiles a pragmatic technology, just as computer workstations existed at Xerox PARC but Timex, Apple, Amiga, and Tandy made computers into pragmatic tools, I would like to see psi become a pragmatic tool.

This goal is hard to publicize, because I don't mean "commercialization" or "militarization" or "dependence on prosthetics." If anyone has a better term than "industrial engineering," I'll adopt it. But in any event, I hope something as easy to use as binaural beat technology could be the enabling factor for the industrial engineering of psi.

anonymous said...

"As controls, the same RNGs generated data in the same locations and times but during 8 weeks when no workshops took place. Other RNGs in two distant locations were run as additional controls."

Is the paper on line? I didn't see it at the link.

I can suggest some other controls: RNG's placed at music concerts where a similar number of people are listening to ordinary music. RNG's placed near people listening to binaural beats but not through head phones so that their hemispheres are not synchronized by the tones. A Sci-fi convention. A skeptic convention.

It would be interesting to really know if the binaural beats give the effect or if the effect is due to just harmonious consciousness that you would get at any group of people gathered for the same purpose.

Is there any evidence suggesting the rng effect was more distinct during times when the participants listening to binaural beats?

It is interesting that at seances the spirits often request sitters to sing or play music because of the mental harmony it creates in the minds of the sitters. This might be a similar phenomena - both seem to be related to pk - rng effects and physical mediumship.

aaron said...

Another possible variation on this type of experiment would be to have the same remote and local distribution of REGs, but to have the intention set to influence the remote, rather than the local REGs.

Has this been done? It seems to be one way to approach the distance independence issue, but I haven't heard about experimental results in a similar configuration.