Replication and extension of a new paradigm for psychokinesis: Mind-matter interaction through non-local entangled correlations?

Ana Flores, Caroline Watt, Ian Tierney

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review

Abstract

Introduction Based on the Model of Pragmatic Information (MPI) proposed by Walter von Lucadou (1994) and Generalised Quantum Theory (GQT) proposed by Atmanspacher, Römer and Walach (2002) a new paradigm for testing the psi hypothesis has been developed. Both the MPI and GQT approaches arise from a new theoretical model that defines parapsychological phenomena as non-local entanglement correlations. The new paradigm is called the Correlation Matrix Method (CMM). Lucadou & Walach have conducted several CMM studies claiming the results strongly support the psi hypothesis. After introducing the CMM method, we will present the results of two independent experiments that seek to replicate the previous CMM studies and to apply improved statistical methodology. CMM Method The CMM experiment has been developed by Walter von Lucadou with three positive experimental studies that have now been replicated independently three times. It uses a random number generator that drives a fractal display on a computer screen. Participants are seated in front of the computer with the instruction to influence the direction of the fractal to grow or shrink, using their intention or will only. An experiment consists of 9 runs with 3 different instructions to shrink or grow the fractal, or keep it stable. The experiment is moved forward by key-presses. Out of this set-up 5*9 (45) physical variables and 5*9 (45) psychological variables are created. For example, one psychological variable used is the number of right shift keyboard presses and the example of one physical variable is the mean voltage output of one channel from the random number generator. These 45*45 variables are correlated across all experiments, yielding a correlation matrix with 2025 cells. A control matrix is also constructed after each trial where the computer run a new session without participants to simulate the behaviour of the system during the experiment. The psychological variables from the participant are used together in the empty run to construct the control session. The theoretical prediction is that in the experimental matrix there will be more correlations than in the control matrix. The statistical evaluation follows a classical approach using the differences in the number of correlations in both matrices and calculating a Z-score. However, statistician Jessica Utts has noted the Z-score method is inappropriate because the psychological variables used are not truly independent, inflating the Z-score. A monte-carlo method was suggested. As part of her PhD project, the first author has conducted two experiments replicating exactly the CMM study conducted by Walach (2014). Experiment 1 tested the CMM method with 44 participants yielding a total of 213 sessions. Experiment 2 tested the CMM method with 105 participants, yielding a total of 200 sessions. Results: Both experiments obtained significant Z-scores. Further details of these results and the Monte-Carlo analyses will be presented at the conference. These experiments independently confirm the hypothesis that in the experimental matrix there are more correlations than in the control matrix. Different analyses are still being carried out such as using Monte Carlo method, Kolmogorov-Smirnov test and others. Conclusion: As hypothesised, more significant correlations were found for the experimental matrix than control matrix. This supports the theory that psi resembles an effect of quantum non-local entanglement correlations. More studies and a deeper analysis is required before drawing final conclusions. This endeavor will be helped by a large multi-center experiment which is under way for new independent replications. References: Atmanspacher, H., Römer, H., & Walach, H. (2002). Weak quantum theory: Complementarity and entanglement in physics and beyond. Foundations of physics, 32(3), 379-406.
 Lucadou, W. von (1994). The Model of Pragmatic Information (MPI). European Journal of Parapsychology, 5, 261-283. Walach, H. (2014). Mind-matter interactions – on the rollercoaster from data to theory and back again. In Proceedings of the 10th BIAL Foundation Symposium “Behind and Beyond the Brain" (pp. 85-114).
 1We are grateful to the Bial Foundation for supporting the second study with grant number 117/16
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2017
Event41st International convention of the Society for Psychical Research - Leatherhead, United Kingdom
Duration: 1 Sep 20173 Sep 2017

Conference

Conference41st International convention of the Society for Psychical Research
CountryUnited Kingdom
Period1/09/173/09/17

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