In parapsychology, fictional universes and New Age beliefs, psychokinesis and telekinesis are different: psychokinesis refers to the mental influence of physical systems and objects without the use of any physical energy, while telekinesis refers to the movement and/or levitation of physical objects by purely mental force without any physical intervention.
Felix Planer, a professor of electrical engineering, has written that if psychokinesis were 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 that 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 that 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 that 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.
In 1979, Evan Harris Walker and Richard Mattuck published a parapsychology paper proposing a quantum explanation for psychokinesis. Physicist Victor J. Stenger wrote that their explanation contained assumptions not supported by any scientific evidence. According to Stenger their paper is "filled with impressive looking equations and calculations that give the appearance of placing psychokinesis on a firm scientific footing... Yet look what they have done. They have found the value of one unknown number (wavefunction steps) that gives one measured number (the supposed speed of PK-induced motion). This is numerology, not 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: the strong nuclear force, the weak nuclear force, electromagnetism, and gravitation. Psychokinesis would have to be either some form of one of these four forces, or a new force that has a billionth the strength of gravity, for otherwise it would have been captured in experiments already done. This leaves no physical force that could possibly account for psychokinesis.
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 can 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. Other experiments designed to create an illusion of psychokinesis have demonstrated that this depends, to some extent, on the subject's prior belief in psychokinesis.
A 2014 study that utilized a magic trick to investigate paranormal belief on eyewitness testimony revealed that believers in psychokinesis were more likely to report a key continued to bend than non-believers.
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 could bend a spoon under controlled conditions. The James Randi Educational Foundation offered the One Million Dollar Paranormal Challenge to any accepted candidate who managed to produce a paranormal event in a controlled, mutually agreed upon experiment. Currently, the Center for Inquiry offers a prize of $250,000, the largest in the world, for proof of the paranormal.
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. 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.[page needed] 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."
However, psychokinetics only utilizes their mind power (thoughts, emotions, instincts, personalities, desires, etc.) or psychic energy driving from the astral or mental plane to power their telekinetic abilities. Many non-fictional and fictional sources mistakenly merge the two with the same ability; they aren't incorrect since psychokinesis can be categorized as a mental variation of telekinesis. But the solely mental aspects are what create the distinction between the two abilities.
That's an old joke, but there are several claimed types of psychic powers, including precognition (knowing the future) and telepathy (describing things at a remote location). But for sheer impressiveness it's hard to beat psychokinesis, the ability to move objects through mind power. The word is derived from the Greek words for "mind" and "motion" and is also called PK or telekinesis.
Fictional psychokinetics are easy to find: The popular X-Men comic and film franchise includes the character Jean Grey, whose powers include extrasensory perception and psychokinesis. The 2009 movie "Push" is about a group of young Americans with various psychic abilities who team up and use their paranormal powers against a shadowy U.S. government agency.
Because of this change in methodologies, psychokinesis experiments rely more heavily on complex statistical analyses; the issue was not whether a person could bend a spoon or knock a glass over with their minds, for example, but whether they could make a coin come up heads significantly above 50 percent of the time over the course of 1,000 trials.
As the public slowly grew wise to the faked psychokinesis, the phenomenon faded from view. It was revived again in the 1930s and 1940s, when a researcher at Duke University named J.B. Rhine became interested in the idea that people could affect the outcome of random events using their minds. Rhine began with tests of dice rolls, asking subjects to influence the outcome through the power of their minds. Though his results were mixed and the effects were small, they were enough to convince him that there was something mysterious going on. Unfortunately for Rhine, other researchers failed to duplicate his findings, and many errors were found in his methods.
Public interest in psychokinesis returned in the 1980s. One person nationally known for claimed psychokinetic ability, James Hydrick, tried to demonstrate his powers on the television show "That's My Line" in 1981, following several successful television appearances. He claimed to move small objects, such as a pencil or the pages of a telephone book, with his mind. Host Bob Barker consulted with skeptic James Randi, who suspected that Hydrick was merely discreetly blowing on the pages to make them move.
Even many researchers admit that the data fall far short of scientific standards of proof; researcher Russell Targ, in his book "The Reality of ESP" (2012, Quest Books) acknowledges that "the evidence for laboratory psychokinesis is quite weak."
H. Bösch, F. Steinkamp, and E. Boller's review of the evidence for psychokinesis confirms many of the authors' earlier findings. The authors agree with Bösch et al. that existing studies provide statistical evidence for psychokinesis, that the evidence is generally of high methodological quality, and that effect sizes are distributed heterogeneously. Bösch et al. postulated the heterogeneity is attributable to selective reporting and thus that psychokinesis is "not proven." However, Bösch et al. assumed that effect size is entirely independent of sample size. For these experiments, this assumption is incorrect; it also guarantees heterogeneity. The authors maintain that selective reporting is an implausible explanation for the observed data and hence that these studies provide evidence for a genuine psychokinetic effect. 781b155fdc