“the [...] data is summed up according to [..] e.g. 10 1-minute calm epochs are compared with 10 1-minute active epochs” 20 trials is not enough!
The trial described has one participant attempt to influence the arousal state of the other participant at a distance through means such as intention alone. The idea, it seems, is that if we see correlation between the arousal and intention, this is suggestion of a causal relationship. I will offer the following hypothesis as well: it’s possible that the human body exihibits some phisiological rhythm acting as a common cause to the arousal and intention both. If we assume both participants begin the experiment at the same time, and also assume that after the beginning of the experiment the human body begins such a hypothetial rhythm (for instance this rhythm coming on due to a change of circumstance), and if we assume that the rhythms of the two individuals are similar due to them both inhabiting human bodies, and if we assume that the rhythm would induce arousal and relaxation and also induce intention and relaxation (in the respective participants), then we would expect to see a correlation between intention and arousal despite the lack of a causal relationship. Note that a similar concern is discussed on pp9-10
In the figure charting which studies are being assessed, most studies are listed as having held a number of sessions below fifty. I am assuming that a ‘session’ is roughly equivalent to a ‘trial’ in the statistical sense. I am not a statistician, but my understanding is that one needs roughly fifty trials to produce significant effects. That all being said, the table does also list values, some1 of which are less than the conventional threshold.
I say “some”. All listed -values are actually below . But some studies have the text “n.s." listed instead of a -value, and I don’t know what that means. So, to be conservative: “some”.
"... none of the DMILS studies met these standards. DMILS rsearches have mostly neglected the knowlege provided in psychophysiological literature. For instance, none of the measurements in the experiments reviewed used an ppropriate electrode gel ..." Not ideal. Note that in the next paragraph the author(s) discuss how this may not be a serious concern.
"... rumors within parapsychology that some researchers are highly successful while others never find Psi. ... the 16 participants introduced and observed by M. Schlitz showed a significant overall result, the 16 participants cared for by R. Wiseman performed at chance. ... not large enough to reach a level of significance but [still] better than chance” Huh.
“The [dataset] containing more than 600 sessions shows a small to medium mean effect size that differs significantly from zero." This does seem like positive evidence.
... found that razor blades stored immediately after use in a small cardboard pyramid-shaped container kept them sharp considerably longer ... It took 10 years for the patent office to grant his patent, “Device for Maintaining the Sharpness of Razor Blades and Razors,"For what it’s worth, I am unable to find such a patent. (It is Czechoslovakian, though)
twenty-four beans that had been harvested by us the previous year were randomly selected and planted in 4 plastic nursery trays of 6 samples eachie, “six trials”
p7¶2Personal conclusion: results are not unable to be explained by conventional means.
Physical conditions of the plant samples were controlled, including the ambient light level, temperature, and watering.However, I haven’t heard mention of the experimenters being blind. Desire for a positive result from the experiment could be subconsciously causing the experimenters to treat different groups of plants differently.
Hell-yeah; that’s a title I like to see
... the claim that water exposed to or ‘‘treated’’ by positive intentions results in frozen water crystals that are aesthetically more pleasing than similar crystals formed from ‘‘untreated’’ water 8 . In an earlier pilot experiment we tested this claim under double-blind conditions and found evidence in favor of the ‘‘intentional hypothesis’’
Throughout the experimental setup, N.L. was instructed to handle each of the water bottles in about the same way, and to hold them about the same length of time.That... is not blind.
Overall, this study strikes me as very good. Although they did not eliminate every possible alternative explanation—perhaps by chance one bottle happened to contain water which was bound to freeze more beautifully from the offset—the experimental design nonetheless is rather tight to my eyes. Their conclusion is that the study observes a statistically-significant but weak effect, but that one should take care interpreting the result (see section “Discussion”)
Distant intentionality and the feeling of being stared at: Two meta-analyses (available for free here)
I’m frankly tired and don’t want to read this right now, but the abstract ends with this: “It is concluded that there are hints of an effect, but also a shortage of independent replications and theoretical concepts."