Princeton Engineering Anomalies Research Lab
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The Princeton Engineering Anomalies Research (PEAR) program was established at Princeton University in 1979 by Robert G. Jahn, an aerospace engineer who was then Dean of the School of Engineering and Applied Science. Its primary purpose was to pursue rigorous scientific study of the interaction of human consciousness with physical devices, systems, and processes common to contemporary engineering practice. An interdisciplinary staff of engineers, physicists, psychologists, and humanists conducted a comprehensive agenda of experiments in human/machine interaction and remote perception, and attempted the development of complementary theoretical models to enable better understanding of the role of consciousness in physical reality. The program has been endorsed by numerous scientific scholars[who?] in this and related fields. The book, Margins of Reality, co-authored by Robert Jahn and the PEAR Laboratory Manager, Brenda Dunne, has been widely cited[by whom?] as the definitive text on the topic, and has been adopted for many academic curricula. The laboratory concluded its University-based operations in February 2007 after 28 years of basic research, education, and outreach activities.
PEAR employed random event generators (REGs), to explore the ability of untrained volunteers to influence the random output distribution of these devices to conform to their pre-recorded intentions to produce higher numbers, lower numbers, or nominal baselines. Most of these experiments utilized a microelectronic REG, but experiments were also conducted with a macroscopic random mechanical cascade (RMC), and other random physical device. In all cases, the observed effects were very small, but over extensive databases they compounded to statistically significant deviations from chance behavior.
Since many PEAR operators frequently spoke of "achieving a state of resonance" with the devices they were addressing, an experiment was designed to examine the influence on REGs in environments entailing group resonance. Portable REG devices were operated in a variety of venues where groups of people were engaged in emotionally charged shared experiences, and the output compared with data generated in more mundane situations. Results indicated highly significant deviations from chance during the resonant applications, and suggested that the emotional/intellectual dynamics of the interacting participants somehow generated a coherent ‘consciousness field.’Bonded co-operator pairs, working together at a shared task also showed anomalous effects that were several times larger than the results produced by the same individuals working alone.
In another class of studies, the ability of human participants to acquire information about spatially and temporally remote geographical targets, otherwise inaccessible by any of the usual sensory channels, was clearly demonstrated over more than 650 carefully conducted experiments. The protocol required a “percipient,” to attempt to describe the scene where a second participant, the “agent,” was stationed at a randomly selected location at a given time, without recourse to any normal sensory information. Incisive analytical techniques were developed and applied to these data to establish more precisely the quantity and quality of objective and subjective information acquired, and to guide the design of more effective experiments. Beyond confirming the validity of this anomalous mode of information acquisition, these analyses demonstrated that this capacity of human consciousness is also largely independent of the distance between the percipient and the target, and similarly independent of the time between the specification of the target and the perception effort. The composite database yielded a probability against chance of approximately three parts in ten billion.
The inconsistencies of PEAR’s empirical results with established physical and psychological theory appeared to indicate that no direct application or minor alteration of existing theoretical frameworks were capable of accommodating such anomalous effects. Three alternative theoretical models developed by Prof. Jahn and his colleagues sought to allow consciousness a proactive role in the establishment of its experience of the physical world and facilitate a constructive dialogue between data and theory.
- Robert G. Jahn, Program Director
- Brenda J. Dunne, Laboratory Manager
- Roger D. Nelson, Operations Coordinator
- York H. Dobyns, Analytical Coordinator
- G. Johnston Bradish, Technical Coordinator
- Arnold L. Lettieri Jr., Communications Director
- Elissa Hoeger, General Factotum
- International Consciousness Research Laboratories, a not-for-profit foundation.
- Psyleron, Inc., a for-profit company.
- Society for Scientific Exploration
- Global Consciousness Project
R.G. Jahn and B.B Dunne (2011). Consciousness and the Source of Reality: The PEAR Odyssey. Princeton, NJ, The ICRL Press.
Zachary Jones, Brenda Dunne, Elissa Hoeger, and Robert Jahn, Eds. (2009) Filters and Reflections: Perspectives on Reality. Princeton, NJ, The ICRL Press.
Anthology: “The Pertinence of the Princeton Engineering Anomalies Research (PEAR) Laboratory to the Pursuit of Global Health.” Explore: The Journal of Science and Healing. (May/June 2007), Vol 3, No. 3.
DVD set: “The PEAR Proposition: A Quarter Century of Princeton Engineering Anomalies Research.” Produced by StripMind Media.
- Jahn, R.G.; B.J. Dunne (2005). "The PEAR Proposition". J. Scientific Exploration 19 (2): 195–246.
- Jahn, Robert G. (1987). Margins of Reality: The Role of Consciousness in the Physical World. San Diego, New York, London: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich.
- Benedict, Carey (February 10, 2007). "A Princeton Lab on ESP Plans to Close Its Doors". New York Times.
- Jahn, R.G.; B. J. Dunne, R. D. Nelson, Y. H. Dobyns, and G. J. Bradish (1997). "Correlations of Random Binary Sequences with Pre-Stated Operator Intention: A Review of a 12-Year Program". J. Scientific Exploration 11 (3): 345–367.
- Dunne, B. J.; R.D. Nelson, and R. G. Jahn (1988). "Operator-Related Anomalies in a Random Mechanical Cascade". J. Scientific Exploration 2 (2): 155–179.
- Nelson, R.D.; R.G. Jahn, B.J. Dunne, Y.H. Dobyns, and G.J. Bradish (1998). "FieldREGII: Consciousness Field Effects: Replications and Explorations". J. Scientific Exploration 12 (3): 425–454.
- Dunne, B.J. (December 1991). "Co-Operator Experiments with an REG Device". Tech. Report PEAR 91005. [Published in modified form in K.R. Rao, ed., Cultivating Consciousness for Enhancing Human Potential, Wellness, and Healing. (Westport, CT and London: Praeger, 1993) pp.149-163.]