Psychokinesis (Greek ψυχή κίνησις, "mind movement"), or telekinesis, is an alleged psychic ability allowing a person to influence a physical system without physical interaction. Psychokinesis and telekinesis are sometimes abbreviated as PK and TK respectively. Examples of psychokinesis could include moving an object, levitating and teleporting. There is no scientific evidence that psychokinesis is a real phenomenon.
PK experiments have historically been criticized for lack of proper controls and repeatability. Furthermore, some experiments have created illusions of PK where none exists, and these illusions depend to an extent on the subject's prior belief in PK.
- 1 Etymology
- 2 Belief
- 3 Reception
- 4 In religion, mythology and popular culture
- 5 See also
- 6 References
- 7 Further reading
- 8 External links
The term telekinesis was coined in 1890 by Russian psychical researcher Alexander N. Aksakof. The term psychokinesis was coined in 1914 by American author Henry Holt in his book On the Cosmic Relations and was adopted by American parapsychologist J. B. Rhine in 1934 in connection with experiments that were conducted to determine if a person could influence the outcome of falling dice.
Both concepts have also been described as "distant influencing", "distant mental influence", "anomalous perturbation", "mind over matter", and "recurrent spontaneous psychokinesis".
Originally, telekinesis was coined to refer to the movement of objects thought to be caused by ghosts of deceased persons, mischievous spirits, angels, demons, or other supernatural forces. Later, the terms began to refer to an ability allegedly possessed by living people. It was speculated that certain people could cause movement without any connection to a spiritualistic setting, such as in a darkened séance room, and psychokinesis was added to the lexicon. Eventually psychokinesis became the term preferred by the parapsychological community.
Parapsychologists divide psychokinetic phemonenon into two categories: Macro-PK, which are psychokinetic effects that can be seen with the naked eye, such as the levitation of objects, and Micro-PK, which are psychokinetic effects that work at a subatomic level and involve the movement of molecules and atoms, such as influencing a random number generator, and require the use of scientific equipment to detect.
In current usage, psychokinesis is an umbrella term that is used within parapsychology, fictional universes, and New Age beliefs to cover psychic abilities that involve influencing physical systems and objects, such as telekinesis, the manipulation of objects, the transmutation of matter, biological healing, control of water, and teleportation, while telekinesis is used to refer solely to the movement and levitation of physical objects.
In September 2006, a survey about belief in various religious and paranormal topics conducted by phone and mail-in questionnaire polled 1,721 Americans on their belief in telekinesis. Of these participants, 28% of male participants and 31% of female participants selected "agree" or "strongly agree" with the statement "It is possible to influence the world through the mind alone".
In April 2008, British psychologist and skeptic Richard Wiseman published the results of an online survey he conducted entitled "Magicians and the Paranormal: A Survey", in which 400 magicians worldwide participated. For the question Do you believe that psychokinesis exists (i.e., that some people can, by paranormal means, apply a noticeable force to an object or alter its physical characteristics)?, the results were as follows: No 83.5%, Yes 9%, Uncertain 7.5%.
Notable claimants of psychokinetic ability
There have been claimants of psychokinetic ability throughout history. Angelique Cottin (ca. 1846) known as the "Electric Girl" of France was an alleged generator of PK activity. It was claimed by Cottin and her family that she produced electric emanations and from her presence pieces of furniture and scissors moved across the room. Frank Podmore wrote there were many observations which were "suggestive of fraud" such as the contact of the girl's garments to produce any of the alleged phenomena and the observations from several witnesses that noticed there was a double movement on the part of Cottin, a movement in the direction of the object thrown and afterwards away from it but the movements being so rapid they were not usually detected.
Spiritualist mediums from the 19th century also claimed psychokinetic abilities. Eusapia Palladino an Italian medium could allegedly cause objects to move during séances, however, she was caught levitating a table with her foot by the magician Joseph Rinn and using tricks to move objects by the psychologist Hugo Münsterberg. The Polish medium Stanisława Tomczyk active in the early 20th century claimed to be able to perform various acts of telekinesis, such as levitating objects, by way of an entity she called "Little Stasia". A photograph of her taken in 1909 which shows a pair of scissors "floating" inbetween her hands is often found in books and other publications as an example of telekinesis. Scientists suspected Tomczyk performed her feats by the use of a fine thread or hair, running between her hands to lift and suspend the objects in the air. This was confirmed when psychical researchers who tested Tomczyk occasionally observed the thread.
Many of India's "godmen" have claimed macro-PK abilities and demonstrated apparently miraculous phenomena in public, although as more controls are put in place to prevent trickery, fewer phenomena are produced.
Annemarie Schaberl a 19-year old secretary was said to have telekinetic powers by the parapsychologist Hans Bender in the Rosenheim Poltergeist case in the 1960s. Magicians and scientists who investigated the case suspected the phenomena was produced by trickery.
Swami Rama, a yogi skilled in controlling his heart functions, was studied at the Menninger Foundation in the spring and fall of 1970, and was alleged by some observers at the foundation to have telekinetically moved a knitting needle twice from a distance of five feet. Although Swami Rama wore a face-mask and gown to prevent allegations that he moved the needle with his breath or body movements, and air vents in the room had been covered, at least one physician observer who was present at the time was not convinced and expressed the opinion that air movement was somehow the cause.
The Russian psychic Nina Kulagina came to wide public attention following the publication of Sheila Ostrander and Lynn Schroeder's best seller, Psychic Discoveries Behind The Iron Curtain. The alleged Soviet psychic of the late 1960s and early 1970s was filmed apparently performing telekinesis while seated in numerous black-and-white short films, mentioned in the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency report from 1978. Magicians and skeptics have argued that Kulagina's feats could easily be performed by one practiced in sleight of hand, through means such as cleverly concealed or disguised threads, small pieces of magnetic metal, or mirrors.
James Hydrick, an American martial arts expert and psychic, was famous for his alleged psychokinetic ability to turn the pages of books and make pencils spin around while placed on the edge of a desk. It was later revealed by magicians that he achieved his feats by air currents. The psychologist Richard Wiseman has written Hydrick learnt to move objects by blowing in a "highly deceptive" and skillful way. Hydrick confessed to Dan Korem that all of his feats were tricks "My whole idea behind this in the first place was to see how dumb America was. How dumb the world is." The British psychic Matthew Manning was the subject of laboratory research in the United States and England involving PK in the late 1970s and today claims healing powers. Magicians John Booth and Henry Gordon have suspected Manning used trickery to perform his feats.
In 1971, an American psychic named Felicia Parise allegedly moved a pill bottle across a kitchen counter by psychokinesis. Her feats were endorsed by the parapsychologist Charles Honorton. Science writer Martin Gardner wrote Parise had "bamboozled" Honorton by moving the bottle by an invisible thread stretched between her hands.
Boris Ermolaev a Russian psychic was known for levitating small objects. His methods were exposed on the World of Discovery documentary Secrets of the Russian Psychics (1992). Ermolaev would sit on a chair and allegedly move the objects between his knees but due to the lighting conditions a fine thread fixed between his knees suspending the objects was observed by the camera crew.
The Russian psychic Alla Vinogradova was said to be able to move objects without touching them on transparent acrylic plastic or a plexiglass sheet. The parapsychologist Stanley Krippner had observed Vinogradova rub an aluminum tube before moving it allegedly by psychokinesis. Krippner suggested no psychokinesis was involved, the effect was produced by an electrostatic charge. Vinogradova was featured in the Nova documentary Secrets of the Psychics (1993) which followed James Randi's work. Vinogradova demonstrated her alleged psychokinetic abilities on camera for Randi and other investigators. Before the experiments she was observed combing her hair and rubbing the surface of the acrylic plastic. Massimo Polidoro has replicated the feats of Vinogradova by using an acrylic plastic surface and showing how easy it is to move any kind of object on top of it due to the charges of static electricity. The effect is easily achieved if the surface is electrically charged by rubbing a towel or a hand on it. The physicist John Taylor has written "It is very likely that electrostatics is all that is needed to explain Alla Vinogradova's apparently paranormal feats."
The author and psychic Martin Caidin claimed to be able to cause movement by means of telekinesis in one or multiple small tabletop "energy wheels", also known as psi wheels beginning in the mid-1980s. Parapsychologist Loyd Auerbach, a friend of Caidin's who sometimes accompanied him in demonstrations and workshops, reiterated a strong endorsement of him in his June 2004 Fate magazine column: "Martin Caidin was capable of moving things with his mind." James Randi offered to test Caidin's claimed abilities in 1994. In September 2004, Randi wrote: "He frantically avoided accepting my challenge by refusing even the simplest of proposed control protocols, but he never tired of running on about how I would not test him."
Psychics have also claimed the psychokinetic ability to bend metal. Uri Geller was famous for his spoon bending demonstrations, allegedly by PK. Geller has been caught many times using sleight of hand and according to science writer Terence Hines, all his effects have been recreated using conjuring tricks.
Jean-Pierre Girard a French psychic has claimed he can bend metal bars by PK. Girard was tested in the 1970s but failed to produce any paranormal effects in scientifically controlled conditions. He was tested on January 19, 1977 during a two-hour experiment in a Paris laboratory. The experiment was directed by the physicist Yves Farge with a magician also present. All of the experiments were negative as Girard failed to make any of the objects move paranormally. He failed two tests in Grenoble in June 1977 with the magician James Randi. He was also tested on September 24, 1977 at a laboratory at the Nuclear Research Centre. Girard failed to bend any bars or change the structure of the metals. Other experiments into spoon bending were also negative and witnesses described his feats as fraudulent. Girard later admitted that he would sometimes cheat to avoid disappointing the public but insisted he still had genuine psychic power. Magicians and scientists have written that he produced all his alleged psychokinetic feats through fraudulent means.
Stephen North a British psychic in the late 1970s was known for his alleged psychokinetic ability to bend spoons and teleport objects in and out of sealed containers. The British physicist John Hasted tested North in a series of experiments which he claimed had demonstrated psychokinesis, though his experiments were criticized for lack of scientific controls. North was tested in Grenoble on 19 December 1977 in scientific conditions and the results were negative. According to James Randi during a test at Birkbeck College North was observed to have bent a metal sample with his bare hands. Randi wrote "I find it unfortunate that [Hasted] never had an epiphany in which he was able to recognize just how thoughtless, cruel, and predatory were the acts perpetrated on him by fakers who took advantage of his naivety and trust."
"PK Parties" were a cultural fad in the 1980s, begun by Jack Houck, where groups of people were guided through rituals and chants to awaken metal-bending powers. They were encouraged to shout at the items of cutlery they had brought and to jump and scream to create an atmosphere of pandemonium (or what scientific investigators called heightened suggestibility). Critics were excluded and participants were told to avoid looking at their hands. Thousands of people attended these emotionally charged parties, and many became convinced that they had bent silverware by paranormal means.
PK parties have been described as a campaign from paranormal believers to convince people through the basis of nonscientific data that psychokinesis exists from personal experience and testimony. The United States National Academy of Sciences has criticized PK parties as the conditions are not reliable for obtaining scientific results and "are just those which psychologists and others have described as creating states of heightened suggestibility."
Ronnie Marcus, an Israeli psychic and claimant of psychokinetic metal bending, was tested in 1994 in scientifically controlled conditions, he failed to produce any paranormal phenomena. According to magicians his alleged psychokinetic feats were sleight of hand tricks. Marcus bent a letter opener by the concealed application of force and a frame-by-frame analysis from the camera showed that he bent a spoon from pressure from his thumb by ordinary, physical means.
Spontaneous movement, especially involving violent or physiological effects, such as objects hitting people or scratches appearing on the body, are sometimes investigated by parapsychologists as poltergeists. The sudden movement of objects without deliberate intention is thought by some parapsychologists to be related to PK/TK processes of the subconscious mind.
Robert M. Schoch has written "I do believe that some psychokinesis is real" referring to the evidence for micro-psychokinesis obtained by the Princeton Engineering Anomalies Research (PEAR) Lab experiments and similar studies and some reports of macro-RSPK observed in poltergeist cases. He reports once seeing a book "jumping off a shelf" while in a room where a female psychokinesis agent was also present. Michael Crichton described what he termed a "successful experience" with psychokinesis at a "spoon bending party" in his 1988 book Travels. Dean Radin has reported that he, like Michael Crichton, was able to bend the bowl of a spoon over with unexplained ease of force with witnesses present at a different informal PK experiment gathering. He described his experience in his 2006 book Entangled Minds: Extrasensory Experiences in a Quantum Reality. Michael Talbot described a variety of spontaneous psychokinetic events he claimed to experience in two of his books, Beyond the Quantum and The Holographic Universe.
Remy Chauvin carried out a number of experiments to test psychokinesis. Chauvin's experiment involved using a uranium isotope, a Geiger counter and several assistants. Some parapsychologists have written that ordinary people may be able to influence biological organisms from distance such as the growth rates of fungi and bacteria. Carroll Nash reported that human subjects could use their psychokinetic ability to influence the rate at which bacterial genes mutate.
Anecdotes such as these, stories by eyewitnesses outside of controlled conditions, are considered insufficient evidence by the scientific community to demonstrate psychokinesis, and properly controlled experiments performed by scientists and parapsychologists have not shown the existence of any psychic ability.
A panel commissioned by the United States National Research Council to study paranormal claims concluded that "despite a 130-year record of scientiﬁc research on such matters, our committee could ﬁnd no scientiﬁc justiﬁcation for the existence of phenomena such as extrasensory perception, mental telepathy or ‘mind over matter’ exercises... Evaluation of a large body of the best available evidence simply does not support the contention that these phenomena exist."
In 1984, the United States National Academy of Sciences, at the request of the US Army Research Institute, formed a scientific panel to assess the best evidence from 130 years of parapsychology. Part of its purpose was to investigate military applications of PK, for example to remotely jam or disrupt enemy weaponry. The panel heard from a variety of military staff who believed in PK and made visits to the PEAR laboratory and two other laboratories that had claimed positive results from micro-PK experiments. The panel criticized macro-PK experiments for being open to deception by conjurors, and said that virtually all micro-PK experiments "depart from good scientific practice in a variety of ways". Their conclusion, published in a 1987 report, was that there was no scientific evidence for the existence of psychokinesis.
Carl Sagan included telekinesis in a long list of "offerings of pseudoscience and superstition" which "it would be foolish to accept (...) without solid scientific data". Nobel Prize laureate Richard Feynman advocated a similar position.
Felix Planer a Professor of electrical engineering has written that if psychokinesis was real then it would be easy to demonstrate by getting subjects to depress a scale on a sensitive balance, raise the temperature of a waterbath which could be measured with an accuracy of a hundredth of a degree centigrade or affect an element in an electrical circuit such as a resistor which could be monitored to better than a millionth of an ampere. Planer writes that such experiments are extremely sensitive and easy to monitor but are not utilized by parapsychologists as they "do not hold out the remotest hope of demonstrating even a minute trace of PK" because the alleged phenomenon is non-existent. Planer has written parapsychologists have to fall back on studies that involve only statistics that are unrepeatable, owing their results to poor experimental methods, recording mistakes and faulty statistical mathematics.
According to Planer "All research in medicine and other sciences would become illusionary, if the existence of PK had to be taken seriously; for no experiment could be relied upon to furnish objective results, since all measurements would become falsified to a greater or lesser degree, according to his PK ability, by the experimenter's wishes." Planer concluded the concept of psychokinesis is absurd and has no scientific basis.
PK hypotheses have also been considered in a number of contexts outside parapsychological experiments. C. E. M. Hansel has written a general objection against the claim for the existence of psychokinesis is that, if it were a real process, its effects would be expected to manifest in situations in everyday life but no such effects have been observed.
Martin Gardner has written that if psychokinesis existed then one would expect players to be able to influence the outcome of gambling games. He gives the example of the "26" dice game played in bars and cabarets in Chicago but year after year the house takings are exactly those predicted by chance. Casino owners have not noted any decrease in profits. Science writer Terence Hines and the philospher Theodore Schick have written if psychokinesis was possible, then surely one would expect casino incomes to be affected but the earnings are exactly as the laws of chance predict.
Psychologist Nicholas Humphrey argues that many experiments in psychology, biology or physics assume that the intentions of the subjects or experimenter do not physically distort the apparatus. Humphrey counts them as implicit replications of PK experiments in which PK fails to appear.
The ideas of psychokinesis and telekinesis violate several well-established laws of physics, including the inverse square law, the second law of thermodynamics, and the conservation of momentum. Hence scientists have demanded a high standard of evidence for PK, in line with Marcello Truzzi's dictum "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof". When apparent PK can be produced in ordinary ways — by trickery, special effects or by poor experimental design — scientists accept that explanation as more parsimonious than to accept that the laws of physics should be rewritten.
Physicist John Taylor who has investigated parapsychological claims has written an unknown fifth force causing psychokinesis would have to transmit a great deal of energy. The energy would have to overcome the electromagnetic forces binding the atoms together. The atoms would need to respond more strongly to the fifth force while it is operative than to electric forces. Such an additional force between atoms should therefore exist all the time and not during only alleged paranormal occurrences. Taylor wrote there is no scientific trace of such a force in physics, down to many orders of magnitude; thus if a scientific viewpoint is to be preserved the idea of any fifth force must be discarded. Taylor concluded there is no possible physical mechanism for psychokinesis and it is in complete contradiction to established science.
Physicist Sean M. Carroll has written that spoons, like all matter, are made up of atoms and that any movement of a spoon with the mind would involve the manipulation of those atoms through the four forces of nature: strong nuclear force, weak nuclear force, electromagnetic, and gravitational; which would make psychokinesis either some form of one of the aforementioned four forces or a new force that has a billionth the strength of gravity, otherwise it would have been captured in experiments already done, thus leaving no physical force that could possibly account for psychokinesis.
Physicist Robert L. Park has found it suspicious that a phenomenon should only ever appear at the limits of detectability of questionable statistical techniques. He cites this feature as one of Irving Langmuir's indicators of pathological science. Park questioned if mind really could influence matter then it would be easy for parapsychologists to measure such a phenomena by using the alleged psychokinetic power to deflect a microbalance which would not require any dubious statistics but "the reason, of course, is that the microbalance stubbornly refuses to budge." Park has suggested the reason statistical studies are so popular in parapsychology is because they introduce opportunities for uncertainty and error which are used to support the biases of the experimenter.
Explanations in terms of bias
Cognitive bias research has suggested that people are susceptible to illusions of PK. These include both the illusion that they themselves have the power, and that events they witness are real demonstrations of PK. For example, Illusion of control is an illusory correlation between intention and external events, and believers in the paranormal have been shown to be more susceptible to this illusion than others. Psychologist Thomas Gilovich explains this as a biased interpretation of personal experience. For example, to someone in a dice game willing for a high score, high numbers can be interpreted as "success" and low numbers as "not enough concentration." Bias towards belief in PK may be an example of the human tendency to see patterns where none exist, called the Clustering illusion, which believers are also more susceptible to.
A 1952 study tested for experimenter's bias with respect to psychokinesis. Richard Kaufman of Yale University gave subjects the task of trying to influence eight dice and allowed them to record their own scores. They were secretly filmed, so their records could be checked for errors. Believers in psychokinesis made errors that favored its existence, while disbelievers made opposite errors. A similar pattern of errors was found in J. B. Rhine's dice experiments, which at that time were considered the strongest evidence for PK.
In 1995, Wiseman and Morris showed subjects an unedited videotape of a magician's performance in which a fork bent and eventually broke. Believers in the paranormal were significantly more likely to misinterpret the tape as a demonstration of PK, and were more likely to misremember crucial details of the presentation. This suggests that confirmation bias affects people's interpretation of PK demonstrations. Psychologist Robert Sternberg cites confirmation bias as an explanation of why belief in psychic phenomena persists, despite the lack of evidence:
"Some of the worst examples of confirmation bias are in research on parapsychology (...) Arguably, there is a whole field here with no powerful confirming data at all. But people want to believe, and so they find ways to believe."
Psychologist Daniel Wegner has argued that an introspection illusion contributes to belief in psychokinesis. He observes that in everyday experience, intention (such as wanting to turn on a light) is followed by action (such as flicking a light switch) in a reliable way, but the underlying neural mechanisms are outside awareness. Hence, though subjects may feel that they directly introspect their own free will, the experience of control is actually inferred from relations between the thought and the action. This theory of apparent mental causation acknowledges the influence of David Hume's view of the mind. This process for detecting when one is responsible for an action is not totally reliable, and when it goes wrong there can be an illusion of control. This could happen when an external event follows, and is congruent with, a thought in someone's mind, without an actual causal link.
As evidence, Wegner cites a series of experiments on magical thinking in which subjects were induced to think they had influenced external events. In one experiment, subjects watched a basketball player taking a series of free throws. When they were instructed to visualize him making his shots, they felt that they had contributed to his success.
Magic and special effects
Magicians have successfully simulated some of the specialized abilities of psychokinesis, such as object movement, spoon bending, levitation and teleportation. According to Robert Todd Carroll, there are many impressive magic tricks available to amateurs and professionals to simulate psychokinetic powers. Metal objects such as keys or cutlery can be bent using a number of different techniques, even if the performer has not had access to the items beforehand.
According to Richard Wiseman there are a number of ways for faking psychokinetic metal bending (PKMB) these include switching straight objects for pre-bent duplicates, the concealed application of force, and secretly inducing metallic fractures. Research has also suggested that (PKMB) effects can be created by verbal suggestion. On this subject the magician Ben Harris wrote:
"If you are doing a really convincing job, then you should be able to put a bent key on the table and comment, ‘Look, it is still bending’, and have your spectators really believe that it is. This may sound the height of boldness; however, the effect is astounding – and combined with suggestion, it does work."
Between 1979 and 1981, the McDonnell Laboratory for Psychical Research at Washington University reported a series of experiments they named Project Alpha, in which two teenaged male subjects had demonstrated PK phenomena (including metal-bending and causing images to appear on film) under less than stringent laboratory conditions. James Randi eventually revealed that the subjects were two of his associates, amateur conjurers Steve Shaw and Michael Edwards. The pair had created the effects by standard trickery, but the researchers, being unfamiliar with magic techniques, interpreted them as proof of PK.
Prize money for proof of psychokinesis
Internationally there are individual skeptics of the paranormal and skeptics' organizations who offer cash prize money for demonstration of the existence of an extraordinary psychic power, such as psychokinesis. Prizes have been offered specifically for PK demonstrations, for example businessman Gerald Fleming's offer of £250,000 to Uri Geller if he can bend a spoon under controlled conditions. These prizes remain uncollected by people claiming to possess paranormal abilities.
The James Randi Educational Foundation offers the One Million Dollar Paranormal Challenge to anyone who claims to be able to produce a paranormal event in a controlled, mutually agreed upon experiment. To date no one has been able to demonstrate their claimed abilities under the testing conditions.
In religion, mythology and popular culture
There are written accounts and oral legends of events fitting the description of psychokinesis dating back to early history, most notably in the stories found in various religions and mythology.
In the Bible, Jesus is described as performing various miracles that have been described by parapsychologists as psychokinesis, such as turning water into wine, healng the sick, multiplying food, and walking on water.
Psychokinesis has been commonly used as a superpower in movies, television, computer games, literature, and other forms of popular culture. An early example is the 1952 novella Telek by Jack Vance. Notable portrayals of psychokinetic characters include Sissy Spacek as the titular character in the 1976 film Carrie, based on the Stephen King novel of the same name; Ellen Burstyn in the healer-themed film Resurrection (1980); the Jedi and Sith in Star Wars; the Scanners in the film Scanners; and three high school seniors in the 2012 film Chronicle.
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- Study conducted by the Gallup Organization between October 8, 2005 and December 12, 2005 on behalf of the Baylor Institute for Studies of Religion, Baylor University, of Waco, Texas, in the United States.
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- "Stanisława Tomczyk photo description at Diomedia". Retrieved November 18, 2013. Description page at a stock photo agency representing the Mary Evans Picture Library, where the date is also given as 1909. She visited the researcher in 1908 and 1909; hence, the exact year is uncertain and reported as 1908 elsewhere.
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- Jinks, Tony (2011). "An Introduction to the Psychology of Paranormal Belief and Experience". books.google.com (McFarland). ISBN 978-0786465446. Retrieved November 16, 2013.
- Carrington, Hereward. (1992). Story of Psychic Science. Kessinger Publishing. p. 136. ISBN 978-1564592590
- Benjamin B. Wolman. (1977). Handbook of Parapsychology. McFarland & Company. p. 320. ISBN 978-0442295769
- Wiseman, Richard (1997). Deception & Self-deception: Investigating Psychics. Prometheus Books. ISBN 978-1-57392-121-3. chapters 6-8
- John Taylor (1980). Science and the Supernatural: An Investigation of Paranormal Phenomena Including Psychic Healing, Clairvoyance, Telepathy, and Precognition by a Distinguished Physicist and Mathematician. Temple Smith. pp. 107-108. ISBN 0-85117-191-5
- Kendrick Frazier (1986). Science Confronts the Paranormal. Prometheus Books. pp. 35–. ISBN 978-1-61592-619-0.
- Green, Elmer; Alyce Green (1977). Beyond Biofeedback. Knoll Publishing Co. pp. 197–218. ISBN 978-0-440-00583-4.
- "Swami Rama" (PDF). Beyond Biofeedback. pp. 12–16. Retrieved July 24, 2007. Elmer Green's description of Swami Rama's alleged psychokinetic demonstration (with illustrations).
- J. Gaither Pratt; H. H. Jürgen Keil (1973). First Hand Observations of Nina S. Kulagina Suggestive of PK on Static Objects 67. Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research. pp. 381–390.
- Jürgen Keil (1984). Parapsychologie in der Sowjetunion (in German) 26. Zeitschrift für Parapsychologie und Grenzgebiete der Psychologie. pp. 191–210.
- Paraphysics R&D - Warsaw Pact (U). Prepared by U.S. Air Force, Air Force Systems Command Foreign Technology Division. DST-1810S-202-78, Nr. DIA TASK NO. PT-1810-18-76. Defense Intelligence Agency. 30 March 1978. pp. 7–8. "G.A. Sergevev is known to have studied Nina Kulagina, a well-known psychic from Leningrad. Although no detailed results are available, Sergevev's inferences are that she was successful in repeating psychokinetic phenomena under controlled conditions. G.A. Sergevev is a well-respected researcher and has been active in paraphysics research since the early 1960s."
- "James Randi Educational Foundation — An Encyclopedia of Claims, Frauds, and Hoaxes of the Occult and Supernatural". Randi.org. Retrieved 2014-03-17.
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- Bob Couttie. (1988). Forbidden Knowledge: The Paranormal Paradox. Lutterworth Press. p. 141. ISBN 978-0-7188-2686-4 "A piece of thread can be stretched between the hands and used to move objects across smooth tables. If, like the famous Russian psychic, Nina Kulagina, one works on a lighted table even a heavy thread will be lost in the glare, especially on film and photographs."
- Gordon Stein. (1996). The Encyclopedia of the Paranormal. Prometheus Books. p. 384. ISBN 978-1573920216 "Nina Kulagina, Geller's Russian counterpart, used invisible thread to move matches across a table and to float Ping-Pong balls. The thread was manipulated by her husband in a side room. Any magician present would have recognized the method at once and simply passed a hand through the space where the thread went before Nina's husband could draw it out of the room."
- Brian Regal. (2009). Pseudoscience: A Critical Encyclopedia. Greenwood. p. 89. ISBN 978-0-313-35507-3
- Richard Wiseman. (2011). Paranormality: Why We See What Isn't There. Pan Macmillan. pp. 81-95. ISBN 978-0-230-75298-6
- Dan Korem. (1988). Powers: Testing the Psychic and Supernatural. InterVarsity Press. p. 149. ISBN 0-8308-1277-6
- John Booth. (1986). Psychic Paradoxes. Prometheus Books. pp. 12-57. ISBN 0-87975-358-7.
- Henry Gordon. (1988). Extrasensory Deception: ESP, Psychics, Shirley MacLaine, Ghosts, UFOs. Macmillan of Canada. pp. 101-102. ISBN 0-7715-9539-5
- Kendrick Frazier. (1991). The Hundredth Monkey: And Other Paradigms of the Paranormal. Prometheus Books. p. 163. ISBN 978-0-87975-655-0
- Gordon Stein. (1996). The Encyclopedia of the Paranormal. Prometheus Books. p. 384. ISBN 978-1573920216 "Felicia Parise thoroughly bamboozled parapsychologist Charles Honorton by using invisible thread stretched between her hands when she pushed a pill bottle across her kitchen counter. Had Honorton known anything about thread magic (books about it are sold in magic supply houses, along with strong thread so fine that it cannot seen in bright daylight) he would have examined Felicia’s hands while the bottle was gliding."
- John Taylor (1980). Science and the Supernatural: An Investigation of Paranormal Phenomena Including Psychic Healing, Clairvoyance, Telepathy, and Precognition by a Distinguished Physicist and Mathematician. Temple Smith. p. 103. ISBN 0-85117-191-5 "Alla does indeed use a certain amount of rubbing, both of her hands, which she then places near the object to be moved, and of the plastic tabletop. This latter would be a particularly good repository for electric charge, which could then be transferred to the various objects. These would then be repulsed by her charged hands. It is very likely that electrostatics is all that is needed to explain Alla Vinogradova's apparently paranormal feats."
- Caidin, Martin (January 1994). "Telekinesis". Fate (Lakeville, USA: Llewellyn Publications/Galde Press, Inc.).[dead link]
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- "Swift, September 24, 2004". Retrieved February 1, 2011. Online newsletter of the JREF.[dead link]
- James Randi. (1982). The Truth About Uri Geller. Prometheus Books. ISBN 0-87975-199-1
- Hines, Terence (2003). Pseudoscience and the Paranormal (2nd ed.). Prometheus. pp. 126–130. ISBN 978-1-57392-979-0.
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- James Randi. (1982). Chapter Off the Deep End in Flim-Flam! Psychics, ESP, Unicorns, and Other Delusions. Prometheus Books. ISBN 0-87975-198-3
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- Reader's digest ; [chief contributing writer, Richard Marshall ; contributing writers, Monte Davis, Valerie Moolman, Georg Zappler]. (1990). Mysteries of the Unexplained. Readers Digest Association. p. 181. ISBN 978-0-89577-146-9. OCLC 10605367. "Attempting to understand the forces at work, researchers in parapsychology have hypothesized that the poltergeist's feats in moving objects (which are seen to fly in violation of the laws of gravity, gliding, rising, and turning corners) are examples of psychokinesis, or PK — the ability to influence inanimate objects by mind power."
- Guiley, Rosemary Ellen (2001-07-17). Encyclopedia of the Strange, Mystical & Unexplained. New York: Gramercy Books. pp. 454, 456, 478, 609. ISBN 978-0-517-16278-1.
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- Znanie-Sila magazine, No 9, 1967 U.S.S.R.
- Barry, J. (1968). General and comparative study of the psychokinetic effect on fungus culture. Journal of Parapsychology, 32, 237–243 also see Barry, J. (1968). PK on fungus growth. Journal of Parapsychology, 32, 55. (Abstract.)
- Nash, C. B. (1984). Test of psychokinetic control of bacterial mutation. Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research, 78, 145–152.
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- Felix Planer. (1980). Superstition. Cassell. p. 254. ISBN 0-304-30691-6
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- Robert Scharff. (1968). The Las Vegas Experts' Gambling Guide. Grosset & Dunlap. p. 26.
- Patrick Hurley. (2012). Concise Introduction to Logic. (11th ed. ed.). Belmont: Wadsworth. p. 635. ISBN 0840034172.
- Theodore Schick. (2005). How to Think about Weird Things: Critical Thinking for a New Age. Fourth Edition. McGraw-Hill. p. 222. ISBN 007353577X "If psi were a reality, casino winnings should vary from what's predicted by the laws of chance. But they don't. The billions of trials conducted each year by casinos all over the world provide no evidence for the existence of psi."
- Gardner, Martin (September 1981). "Einstein and ESP". In Kendrick Frazier. Paranormal Borderlands of Science. Prometheus. pp. 60–65. ISBN 978-0-87975-148-7.
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- Sutherland, Stuart (1994). Irrationality: the enemy within. Penguin books. p. 309. ISBN 978-0-14-016726-9. "[T]he movement of objects without the application of physical force would, if proven, require a complete revision of the laws of physics. (...) [T]he more improbable something is, the better the evidence needed to accept it"
- John Taylor. (1980). Science and the Supernatural: An Investigation of Paranormal Phenomena Including Psychic Healing, Clairvoyance, Telepathy, and Precognition by a Distinguished Physicist and Mathematician. Temple Smith. pp. 27-30. ISBN 0-85117-191-5
- "Telekinesis and Quantum Field Theory : Cosmic Variance". Blogs.discovermagazine.com. 2008-02-18. Retrieved 2014-03-11.
- Blackmore, Susan J. (1992). "Psychic Experiences: Psychic Illusions". Skeptical Inquirer 16: 367–376.
- Blackmore, Susan J.; Tom Trościanko (1985). "Belief in the paranormal Probability judgements, illusory control, and the "chance baseline shift."". British Journal of Psychology 76 (4): 459–468. doi:10.1111/j.2044-8295.1985.tb01969.x. Retrieved 2008-11-16.
- Gardner, Martin (1957). Fads & Fallacies in the Name of Science. Dover. p. 306. ISBN 978-0-486-20394-2.
- Sternberg, Robert J. (2007). "Critical Thinking in Psychology: It really is critical". In Robert J. Sternberg, Henry L. Roediger, Diane F. Halpern. Critical Thinking in Psychology. Henry L. Roediger, Diane F. Halpern. Cambridge University Press. p. 292. ISBN 978-0-521-60834-3. "Some of the worst examples of confirmation bias are in research on parapsychology (...) Arguably, there is a whole field here with no powerful confirming data at all. But people want to believe, and so they find ways to believe."
- John Baer; Wegner, Daniel M. (2008). "Self is Magic". In John Baer, James C. Kaufman, Roy F. Baumeister. Are we free?: psychology and free will. James C. Kaufman, Roy F. Baumeister. New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-518963-6. Retrieved 2008-07-02.
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- Hines, Terence (2003). Pseudoscience and the Paranormal (2nd ed.). Prometheus. pp. 127–131. ISBN 978-1-57392-979-0.
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- Ben Harris. (1985). Gellerism Revealed: The Psychology and Methodology Behind the Geller Effect. Calgary: Micky Hades International. ISBN 978-0919230927
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- Xiong, Jesse Hong (2010). The Outline of Parapsychology (Rev. ed. ed.). Lanham: University Press of America. p. 175. ISBN 0761849459.
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- Gresh, Lois H.; Weinberg, Robert (2002). The Science of Superheroes. Hoboken, New Jersey: John Wile & Sons, Inc. ISBN 978-0471024606. Page 131: "Every member of the X-Men had a code name that matched his or her super power. Thus, Archangel, Warren Worthington III, had wings and could fly. Cyclops, Scott Summers, shot deadly power beams from his eyes. Jean Grey, Marvel Girl, was a telekinetic and also a telepath. . . ."
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- Windham, Ryder (2005, 2007, 2012). Star Wars: The Ultimate Visual Guide. New York City: Dorling Kindersley. ISBN 978-0-7566-9248-3. Page 19 "Object Movement": "Although such ability is commonly known as a Jedi's 'object movement' power, it is more accurately described as a manipulation of the Force — the energy field that surrounds and binds everything — to control the direction of objects through space. Jedi utilize this talent not only to push, pull, and lift objects, but also to redirect projectiles and guide their starships through combat." Page 21 "Sith Powers" [illustration caption]: "Levitating his adversary and choking him in a telekinetic stranglehold, Dooku simultaneously relieves Vos of his lightsaber."
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- Henry Gordon. (1988). Extrasensory Deception: ESP, Psychics, Shirley MacLaine, Ghosts, UFOs. Macmillan of Canada. ISBN 0-7715-9539-5
- Terence Hines. (2003). Pseudoscience and the Paranormal. Prometheus Books. ISBN 1-57392-979-4
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- James Randi. (1982). Flim-Flam! Psychics, ESP, Unicorns, and Other Delusions. Prometheus Books. ISBN 0-87975-198-3
- Richard Wiseman. (1997). Deception & Self-Deception: Investigating Psychics. Prometheus Books ISBN 978-1-57392-121-3
- The Global Consciousness Project hosted at Princeton University in the United States.
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