The term psychokinesis (from the Greek "ψυχή", "psyche", meaning "mind, soul, heart, or breath"; and "κίνησις", "kinesis", meaning "motion"; literally "movement from the mind"), [cite book
year = 2001
title = Random House Webster's Unabridged Dictionary
publisher = Random House Reference
location = Boston, Massachusetts USA
page = p. 1560
isbn = 0-375-42599-3
quote = psycho-, a combining form representing "psyche" in compound words. ... (Gk, comb. form of "psyche" breath, spirit, soul, mind; akin to "psycheim" to blow).
] [cite book
year = 1994
title = The New Oxford American Dictionary
publisher = Oxford University Press
location = New York City
page = p. 1367
isbn = 0-19-517077-6
quote = psycho. comb. form relating to the mind or psychology: ...from Greek "psukhe" breath, soul, mind.
] also known as telekinesis [cite web
url =
title = Encyclopedia Britannica online: psychokinesis
accessmonthday = July 16 | accessyear=2006
] (Greek "polytonic|τῆλε" + "polytonic|κίνησις", literally "distant-movement"), sometimes abbreviated PK and TK respectively, is a term coined by Henry Holt [Holt, Henry, "On the Cosmic Relation" - Book II- Part III, Psychokinesis, pp.216-217] to refer to the direct influence of mind on a physical system that cannot be entirely accounted for by the mediation of any known physical energy.cite web
url =
title = Parapsychological Association, glossary of key words frequently used in parapsychology
accessmonthday = December 20 | accessyear=2006
] It has been called the most powerful of psychic powers, essentially the power of a god.cite book
author = Kaku, Michio
coauthors =
year = 2008
title = Physics of the Impossible: A Scientific Exploration into the Worlds of Phasers, Force Fields, Teleportation, and Time Travel
publisher = Doubleday
location = New York
page = p. 89
isbn = 978-0-385-52069-0
quote = Of all the powers ascribed to ESP, psychokinesis—or mind over matter, or the ability to move objects by thinking about them—is by far the most powerful, essentially the power of a deity.
The book has a 15-page chapter titled "Psychokinesis". Michio Kaku is an American professor of theoretical physics.] Examples of psychokinesis could include distorting or moving an object, [cite web
url = Search+OMD
title = On-Line Medical Dictionary: psychokinesis
accessmonthday = July 16 | accessyear=2006
] or influencing the output of a random number generator. [cite book | author = Jeffers, Stanley
date = May/June 2007, Vol. 31, Issue 3
title = "PEAR Lab Closes, Ending Decades of Psychic Research," Skeptical Inquirer
publisher = Committee for Skeptical Inquiry
location = Amherst, New York, USA
page = p. 16
quote = Much of the work of the PEAR group has employed 'random event generators' (REGs), which are essentially electronic random number generators whose ' operators' are invited by dint [force, power] of their own intentionality, to bias in such a way, that the mean of the random number distribution would be either higher or lower than it would be in the absence of their intentional efforts...
] cite web
url =
title = Parapsychological Association FAQ
accessdate = 2007-07-02
publisher = Parapsychological Association

The study of phenomena said to be psychokinetic is an aspect of parapsychology. Some paranormal researchers believe that psychokinesis exists and deserves further study, pointing to experimental results such as those done using random number generators. [cite web
url =
title = Parapsychological Association FAQs - discussion of random number generator experiments.
accessmonthday = August 13 | accessyear=2007
] [cite web
url =
title = A Meta-Analysis Examining Psychokinesis: The Interaction of Human Intention With Random Number Generators
accessmonthday= July 12
accessyear= 2008
"Psychological Bulletin", July 2006, Vol 132 No. 4. pp. 497-523, authors: Holger Bösch, Fiona Steinkamp, Emil Boller.

However, there is no scientific evidence that this phenomenon exists. Scientists have concluded that evidence supporting the existence of psychokinesis is subject to publication bias, fraud, delusion, and statistical manipulation of scientific data and cannot be experimentally repeated. Other natural phenomena have been identified as being able to explain certain claimed instances of psychokinesis.cite web
last = Carroll
first = Robert Todd
title = psychokinesis (PK)
work =
publisher = The Skeptics Dictionary
url =
accessdate = 2007-10-05


Early history

thumb|right|Spirit photography hoaxer Édouard Isidore Buguet [">cite web
url =
title = New exhibit looks at occult photography
author = Hajela, Deepti
coauthors =
date = October 3, 2005
accessmonthday = January 19 | accessyear=2008
format = html
work = Associated Press story
pages =
quote =
] (1840-1901) of France demonstrates telekinesis in this 1875 photograph titled "Fluidic Effect".
The term "Telekinesis" was coined in 1890 by Russian psychical researcher Alexander N. Aksakof. [cite book | author = Myers, Frederic William Henry
month = December | year = 1890
title = Proceedings
publisher = the journal of the Society for Psychical Research
location = London, England
quote=For the alleged movements without contact... M. A. Aksakof's new word 'telekinetic' seems to me the best attainable.
Note: this quote as a cited reference can also be found in the multivolume "The Oxford English Dictionary, Second Edition", 1989, Clarendon Press, Oxford, England, ISBN 0-19-861229-X."
] [cite web
url =
title = Online Etymology Dictionary
accessmonthday = January 20 | accessyear=2007
quote = Telekinesis. 1890, said to have been coined by Alexander N. Aksakof (1832-1903) Imperial Councilor to the Czar... Translates Ger. 'Fernwirkung.'
] The term "Psychokinesis" was coined in 1914 [cite book | year = 2005
title = Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, Eleventh Edition
publisher = Merriam-Webster, Incorporated
location = Springfield, Massachusetts, USA
page = p. 1004
isbn = 0-87779-809-5
quote = Psychokinesis (1914)....
] by American author-publisher Henry Holt in his book "On the Cosmic Relations" [ cite web
url =
title = Parapsychology Foundation "Basic terms in Parapsychology"
accessmonthday = December 22 | accessyear=2006
] [ cite book
last= Holt
first= Henry
authorlink= Henry Holt
title=On the Cosmic Relations
origyear= 1914
format= PDF
accessdate= 2007-12-13
publisher= Houghton Mifflin
location= Cambridge
] and adopted by his friend, American parapsychologist J. B. Rhine in 1934 in connection with experiments to determine if a person could influence the outcome of falling dice.cite book | author = Spence, Lewis
year = 1920
title = Encyclopedia of Occultism and Parapsychology
publisher = Kessinger Publishing (reprint publisher)
page = pp. 752-753, 879, 912, 933
isbn = 0-7661-2817-2
] [cite web
url =
title = Parapsychological Association - Glossary: PK/Psychokinesis
accessmonthday = July 19 | accessyear=2006
] Both concepts have been described by other terms, such as "remote influencing", "distant influencing" [,cite web
url =
title = Overview of Current Parapsychology Research in the Former Soviet Union, Introduction
coauthors = May, Edwin C., Ph.D and Vilenskaya, Larissa
year = 1992
accessmonthday = July 3 | accessyear=2007
format = PDF
work = Subtle Energies Volume 3, Number 3
pages = 1
quote = AMP research programs in the Soviet Union have primarily focused on experimental studies in 'distant influence' on animate an inanimate systems; i.e., psychokinesis (PK) and bio-PK.
] "remote mental influence", "distant mental influence",cite book | author = Broughton, Richard S.
year = 1991
title = Parapsychology: The Controversial Science
publisher = Ballantine Books
location = New York
pages = pp. 35, 75-79, 149, 161-162, 329-330
isbn = 0-345-35638-1
] "directed conscious intention", " anomalous perturbation", [cite web
url =
title = Overview of Current Parapsychology Research in the Former Soviet Union, Abstract
coauthors = May, Edwin C., Ph.D and Vilenskaya, Larissa
year = 1992
accessmonthday = July 3 | accessyear=2007
format = PDF
work = Subtle Energies Volume 3, Number 3
pages = 1
quote = The authors primarily discuss experiments in anomalous perturbation (often referred to as psychokinesis—PK and bio- which have been the main focus of AMP research programs in the Soviet Union.
] and "mind over matter."cite book | author = Berger, Arthur S.
coauthors = Berger, Joyce
year = 1991
title = The Encyclopedia of Parapsychological and Psychical Research
publisher = Paragon House
location = New York
pages = pp. 326, 341, 430
isbn = 1-55778-043-9
] 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, when speculation increased that humans might be the source of the witnessed phenomena not caused by fraudulent mediums [cite book | origyear = 1970
year = 1995
title = Man, Myth & Magic: The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Mythology, Religion, and the Unknown
publisher = Marshall Cavendish Corporation
location = New York
page = p. 2442
isbn = 1-85435-731-X
quote = Spiritualism aroused violent antagonism and criticism concentrating particularly on the physical phenomena occurring at seances, which opponents claimed were faked.
] and could possibly cause movement without any connection to a spiritualistic setting, such as in a darkened séance room, psychokinesis was added to the lexicon. Eventually, psychokinesis became the term preferred by the parapsychological community. Popular culture, however, such as movies, television, and literature, over the years preferred telekinesis to describe the paranormal movement of objects, likely due to the word's resemblance to other terms, such as telepathy, teleportation.

Modern usage

As research entered the modern era, it became clear that many different, but related, abilities could be attributed to the wider description of psychokinesis and telekinesis are now regarded as the subspecialties of PK. In the 2004 U.S. Air Force-sponsored research report "Teleportation Physics Study", the physicist-author Eric Davis, PhD, described the distinction between PK and TK as "telekinesis is a form of PK." [cite web
url =
title = "Teleportation Physics Study"
author = Davis, Eric; physicist, Ph.D, U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory, 2004
accessmonthday = July 19 | accessyear=2006
page = p. 55
quote = Telekinesis is a form of PK, which describes the movement of stationary objects without the use of any known physical force.|format=PDF
] Psychokinesis, then, is the general term that can be used to describe a variety of complex mental force phenomena (including object movement) and telekinesis is used to refer only to the movement of objects, however tiny (a grain of salt or air molecules to create wind)cite book | author = Guiley, Rosemary Ellen
year = 1991
title = Encyclopedia of the Strange, Mystical & Unexplained
publisher = Gramercy Books
location = New York
page = pp. 454, 456, 478, 609
isbn = 0-517-16278-4
] or large (an automobile, building, or bridge). Hypothetically, a person could have very profound telekinetic ability, but not be able to produce any of the additional effects found in psychokinesis, such as softening the metal of a spoon to allow its bending with minimal physical force. Conversely, someone who has succeeded in psychokinetically softening metal once or a number of times may exhibit no telekinetic ability to move objects.

Measurement and observation

Parapsychology researchers describe two basic types of measurable and observable psychokinetic and telekinetic effects in experimental laboratory research and in case reports occurring outside of the laboratory. [cite web
url =
title = - Glossary: Macro PK and Micro PK
accessmonthday = October 14 | accessyear=2006
] Micro-PK (also micro-TK) is a very small effect, such as the manipulation of molecules, atoms, subatomic particles, etc., that can only be observed with scientific equipment. The words are abbreviations for micro-psychokinesis, micropsychokinesis and micro-telekinesis, microtelekinesis. Macro-PK (also macro-TK) is a large-scale effect that can be seen with the unaided eye. The adjective phrases "microscopic-scale," "macroscopic- scale," "small-scale," and "large-scale" may also be used; for example, "a small-scale PK effect."

pontaneous effects

Spontaneous movements of objects and other unexplained effects have been reported, and many parapsychologists believe there are possibly forms of psychokinesis/telekinesis. Parapsychologist William G. Roll coined the term "recurrent spontaneous psychokinesis" (RSPK) in 1958. [cite book | author = Roll, William G.
coauthors = Pratt, J. G.
year = 1958
title = The Seaford Disturbances
publisher = Journal of Parapsychology, Vol. 2,
pages = pp. 79-124
] [ cite web
url =
title = Parapsychological Association - Glossary: "RSPK"
accessmonthday = January 5 | accessyear=2007
] The sudden movement of objects without deliberate intention in the presence or vicinity of one or more witnesses is thought by some to be related to as-yet-unknown PK/TK processes of the subconscious mind. Researchers use the term "PK agent," especially in spontaneous cases, to describe someone who is suspected of being the source of the PK action. [cite book | author = Pratt, J. G.
coauthors = Stevenson, Ian
year = Vol. 70, January 1976
title = An Instance of Possible Metal-Bending Indirectly Related to Uri Geller
publisher = The Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research
quote = As far as I can say, no one in the apartment that night would take credit for being the responsible PK agent.
] Outbreaks of spontaneous movements or other effects, such as in a private home, and especially those involving violent or physiological effects, such as objects hitting people or scratches or other marks on the body, are sometimes investigated as poltergeist cases. [cite book | year = 1990
title = Mysteries of the Unexplained
publisher = Readers Digest Association
page = p. 181
isbn = 0-89577-146-2
quote = 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.

Umbrella term

Psychokinesis is the umbrella term for various related specialty abilities, which may include:
*Telekinesis; movement of matter (micro and macro; move, lift, agitate, vibrate, spin, bend, break, or impact):*Speed up or slow down the naturally occurring vibrations of atoms in matter to alter temperature, [cite book
author =Kakalios, James
year = 2005
title = The Physics of Superheores
publisher = Gotham Books/Penguin Group, Inc.
location = New York
page = p. 133
isbn = 1-592-40146-5
quote = Knowing that all matter is composed of atoms, we now recognize that when an object is "hot," the kinetic energy of the constituent atoms is large, while when an object is 'cold,' the kinetic energy of the atoms is lower.
] possibly to the point of ignition if combustible (also known as pyrokinesis and cryokinesis respectively).cite book
author = Genzmer, Herbert
coauthors = Hellenbrand, Ulrich
year = 2007
title = Mysteries of the World: Unexplained Wonders and Mysterious Phenomena
publisher = Parragon Books Ltd
location = Bath, United Kingdom
page = p. 194
isbn = 978-1-4054-9022-1
chapter = Psychokinesis
] :*Aerokinesis, the telekinetic subspecialty of being able to control the movement of air molecules specifically.:*Hydrokinesis, the telekinetic subspecialty of being able to control the movement of water molecules specifically :*Self levitation (rising in the air unsupported, flying).
*Object deformation (including metal softening and bending). [cite book
year = 2001
title = Random House Webster's Unabridged Dictionary
publisher = Random House Reference
location = New York
isbn = 0-375-42599-3
quote = Psychokinesis...deform inanimate objects, as metal spoons
*Influencing events.cite book
year = 1988
title = Mind Over Matter (volume of Mysteries of the Unknown encyclopedia series)
publisher = Time-Life Books
location = New York
page = pp. 7-8, 27, 82, 85
isbn = 0-8094-6336-9
*Biological healing. [ cite book
author = Hathaway, Michael R.
year = 2003
title = The Everything Psychic Book
publisher = Adams Media / F+W Publications Company
location = Avon, Massachusetts, USA
pages = pp. 139, 271
isbn = 1-58062-969-5
chapter = Glossary
quote = Psychokinesis. The ability to levitate, move objects, heal, and manipulate psychic energy...Psychokinesis is the ability to...create healing.
*Teleportation (disappearing and reappearing elsewhere). [ cite book
year = 2004
title = Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, Eleventh Edition
publisher = Merriam-Webster, Incorporated
location = Springfield, Massachusetts, USA
page = p. 1284
isbn = 0-87779-809-5
quote=Teleportation. The act or process of moving an object or person by psychokinesis.
*Phasing through matter.
*Transmutation of matter. [ cite book
author = Colman, Andrew M.
year = 2001
title = Dictionary of Psychology
publisher = Oxford University Press
location = Oxford, England, UK
page = p. 599
isbn = 0-19-866211-4
quote = Psychokinesis. The movement or change of physical objects by mental processes
*Shape-shifting. [cite book
year = 1995
title = Man, Myth & Magic: The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Mythology, Religion, and the Unknown
publisher = Marshall Cavendish Corporation
location = New York
page = p. 2354
isbn = 1-85435-731-X
quote = Shape-shifting. The idea that it is possible, in certain circumstances, for men to change their natural bodily form... Sorcerers also, and some great heroes, were believed to have the same power, by virtue of magical knowledge or some innate quality; and so, though more rarely, were a few otherwise ordinary people who acquired the gift through possession of a charm or the performance of a ritual act.
*Energy shield (force field). [ cite web
url =
title = Mass Media Funk
work = The Skeptic's Dictionary
accessmonthday = February 27 | accessyear=2007
quote = Those who practice TT [Therapeutic Touch] believe they are able to move 'energy,' some sort of psychic force field or chi which they believe permeates the body and surrounding aura.
*Control of magnetism.
*Control of photons (light waves/particles). [cite book
author = Bersani, F.
coauthors = Martelli, A.
year = 1983
title = Psychoenergetics: The Journal of Psychophysical Systems
publisher = Gordon and Breach Science Publishers
location = United Kingdom
pages = pp. 99-128
qutoe = The effects observed range from the typical bending of metal objects, such as spoons, keys, bars, etc., to strange effects like light flashes and teleportation.
*Thoughtform projection (a physically perceived person, animal, creature, object, ghostly entity, etc., created in the mind and projected into three-dimensional space and observable by others; for thought images allegedly placed on film, see Thoughtography). [cite book
author = McCoy, Edain
year = 2006
title = Astral Projection for beginners
publisher = Llewllyn Publications
location = Woodbury, Minnesota
page = p. 207
isbn = 1-56718-625-4
quote = Creative visualization is the practice of mentally envisioning a desired outcome, infusing it with personal energy, and then releasing it to the cosmos so that it can grow to manifest in the physical. While all that sounds unduly complicated, what it boils down to is that it creates a thoughtform on the astral plane that, with proper effort, can be brought into the physical world.
] [cite book
year = 1995
title = Man, Myth & Magic: The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Mythology, Religion, and the Unknown | publisher = Marshall Cavendish Corporation
location = New York
page = p. 2679
isbn = 1-85435-731-X
quote = The evocation of a "tulpa", an entity created entirely by an act of the imagination, was described by Alexandra David-Néel in her book " Magic and Mystery in Tibet" (1929).


In September 2006, a survey about belief in various religious and paranormal topics conducted by phone and mail-in questionnaire polled 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". There were 1,721 participants, and the poll had a margin of error of plus or minus 4%. [ 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.]

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%. [cite web
url =
title = Magicians and the Paranormal: A Survey
accessmonthday= May 7
accessyear= 2008
Published April 23, 2008.

Notable claimants of psychokinetic or telekinetic ability

*Uri Geller (1946 – ), the Israeli famous for his spoon bending demonstrations, allegedly by PK.
*Nina Kulagina (1926 – 1990), alleged Soviet psychic of the late 1960s and early 1970s.
*Felicia Parise, an American medical laboratory technician who allegedly was able to repeatedly demonstrate telekinetic movement of small objects beginning in the 1970s, in the first reported instance spontaneously, and then with practice by intense conscious intention. She said her inspiration for making the attempt was in viewing the black-and-white films of Nina Kulagina performing similar feats. Some of the items Parise reportedly caused movement in were a plastic pill container, compass needle, and pieces of aluminum foil (the latter two under a bell jar filmed by a magician). During the height of her fame in the early 1970s , the "National Enquirer" tabloid newspaper in the United States, then printed in all black and white, featured her in a large photo on its cover seated at a table attempting to perform telekinesis with the headline: "First American to Move Objects with the Mind." Parise eventually retired from performing telekinesis due to the physical stress on her body.
*Eusapia Palladino (alternate spelling: Eusapia Paladino; 1854 - 1918) was an Italian medium who allegedly could cause objects to move during seances and was endorsed by world famous magician Howard Thurston (1869 – 1936), who witnessed her levitation of a table. [cite book
author = Muldoon, Sylvan
coauthors =
year = 1947
title = "Psychic Experiences of Famous People"
publisher = Aries Press
location = Chicago
pages = pp.55-56
isbn =
quote =
See endorsement quote by Thurston at Eusapia Palladino article. [,M1 Text of entire book] also available at
*Swami Rama (1925 – 1996), a yogi skilled in controlling his heart functions who 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. [cite book | last = Green
first = Elmer
coauthors = Alyce Green
title = Beyond Biofeedback
publisher = Knoll Publishing Co
pages = pp. 197-218
isbn = 0440005833
] Although Swami Rama wore a facemask 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. [cite web | url = | title = | format = PDF | pages = pp. 12-16 | accessmonthday = July 24 | accessyear=2007Elmer Green's description of Swami Rama's alleged psychokinetic demonstration (with illustrations).] The test device was an uncovered, balanced knitting needle (one of two glued on top of each other at right angles) positioned under a floodlight in a room where incense had been burned prior to the test. [cite web
url =
title =
accessmonthday = July 24 | accessyear=2007
Photo of the uncovered balanced knitting needle device (a typical psi wheel) that Swami Rama allegedly influenced by telekinesis.
] "See Also"

Notable witnesses to PK events

Psychokinetic events have been witnessed by psychologists in the United States, [cite book
author = Roll, William G.
coauthors = Storey, Valerie
year = 2004
title = Unleashed — Of Poltergeists and Murder: The Curious Story of Tina Resch
publisher = Paraview Pocket Books/Simon and Schuster
location = New York
isbn = 0-7434-8294-8
William G. Roll, PhD, and Jeannie Lagle (Masters degree) both state that they witnessed psychokinesis involving Tina Resch. Roll additionally reports numerous other cases he investigated.
] cite web
url =
title = Official website of Dean Radin
accessmonthday = June 9 | accessyear=2007
"see also" [] ] cite web
url =
title = Official website of Pamela Heath
accessmonthday = June 9 | accessyear=2007
] and in the U.S. and elsewhere in the world by professionals with medical degrees, cite web
url =
title = Official website of Michael Crichton
accessmonthday = June 9 | accessyear=2007
"See also" [ spoonbending.html] .] physicists, [ cite book
author = Hasted, John B.
year = 1981
title = The Metal Benders
publisher = Routledge and Kegan Paul
location = London
isbn = 0-7100-0597-0
John B. Hasted (1921-2002), PhD, Physics professor, University of London. In his book "The Metal- Benders", he describes his research of psychokinesis claimants and psychokinesis events he personally witnessed.
] electrical engineers, military personnel, [cite book
author = Johnson, Ron
year = 2004
title = The Men Who Stare at Goats
publisher = Simon & Schuster
location = New York
page = p. 63, (Back cover)
isbn = 0-7432-7060-6
"In 1979, a secret unit was established by the most gifted minds within the US Army. Defying all known accepted military practice—and indeed, the laws of physics—they believed that a soldier could adopt a cloak of invisibility, pass cleanly through walls, and, perhaps most chillingly, kill goats just by staring at them."; "Lenny from Special Forces disappeared into the room where the goat was. He came back and answered, with surprise and solemnity, "The goat is down.'"
] [cite book
author = Steinberg, Jeffey
date = August 26, 2005
title = Cheney's 'Spoon-Benders' Pushing Nuclear Armageddon
publisher = Executive Intelligence Review
"In reality, Fort Bragg, by 1978, was already a hotbed of mind-war experimentation. Among the programs carried out at remote corners of the sprawling special operations base: the Goat Lab, where a team of New Age- trained Special Forces soldiers attempted to burst the hearts of goats, in an adjacent holding pen, through the power of psychic concentration." Article available online at [] .
] police officers, [cite book
author = Roll, William G.
coauthors = Storey, Valerie
year = 2004
title = Unleashed — Of Poltergeists and Murder: The Curious Story of Tina Resch
publisher = Paraview Pocket Books/Simon and Schuster
location = New York
isbn = 0-7434-8294-8
Two police officers witnessed alleged psychokinetic activity in the Resch home in the 1984 Columbus poltergeist case.
] and other professionals and ordinary citizens. Robert M. Schoch PhD, professor at Boston University, has written "I do believe that some psychokinesis is real" referring to the evidence for micro-psychokinesis obtained by the Princeton PEAR laboratory 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. [cite book
author = Schoch, Robert M.
coauthors =
date = January/February 2008 issue
title = "Psychokinesis: A Scientist Searches for the Reality Behind PK's Representations"
publisher = "Atlantis Rising" magazine
location = Livingston, Montana USA
pages = pp. 42-43, 70-71
isbn =
quote =

Michael Crichton

Best-selling author and medical doctor Michael Crichton described what he termed a "successful experience" with psychokinesis at a "spoon bending party" in his 1988 book "Travels":

Dean Radin

Senior Scientist at the Institute of Noetic Sciences, author Dean Radin has reported that he, too, was able to bend the bowl of a spoon over with unexplained ease of force with witnesses present at an informal PK experiment gathering. He described his experience in his 2006 book "Entangled Minds: Extrasensory Experiences in a Quantum Reality" and online (with photos):

Skepticism and controversy

The topic of psychokinesis is regarded as pseudoscience by many mainstream scientists. In the book "Parapsychology: The Controversial Science" (1991), British parapsychologist Richard S. Broughton, Ph.D, wrote of the differences of opinion among top scientists encountered by Robert G. Jahn, director of the (now-closed) PEAR laboratory, regarding the psychokinesis research that the lab was engaged in at the time. Jahn is quoted as saying that six Nobel laureates commented on the lab's work and that two firmly rejected the whole topic, two encouraged his team to push on, and two were unwilling to commit either way, thus indicating that negative and positive scientific opinion on the subject, even at the highest level, is not absolute.Supporters of research in the field point out that many things in science were once thought impossible and ridiculed, only later to be proven true. Henry Margenau, David Bohm, and O. Costa de Beauregard have publicly stated that they believe that nothing in quantum physics forbids the existence of psi phenomena. Nobel laureate Brian Josephson has stated that the results of experiments in quantum physics that he has seen have produced more compelling evidence for the hypothetical existence of psi effects than the results of experiments done in the lab so far by parapsychologists. [cite book
author = Nobel laureate Brian Josephson
date = May 5, 1987
title = The Unexplained
publisher = BBC World Service radio program
location = London
broadcast interview.

On the problem of eyewitness testimony of alleged psychokinetic events, anecdotes; that is, stories by eyewitnesses outside of controlled laboratory conditions, are considered insufficient evidence to establish the scientific validity of psychokinesis.

Magic and special effects

Magicians, sleight-of-hand-artists, etc., have successfully simulated some of the specialized abilities of PK (object movement, spoon bending, levitation, teleportation), but not all of the feats of claimed spontaneous and intentional psychokinesis have been reproduced under the same observed conditions as the original. [cite web
url =
title = What Magicians Say About Uri Geller
accessmonthday = May 19 | accessyear=2007
] According to Robert Todd Carroll, author of "The Skeptic's Dictionary" , there are many impressive magic tricks available to amateurs and professionals to simulate psychokinetic powers. [cite web
url =
title = The Skeptic's Dictionary - psychokinesis (PK)
accessmonthday = September 28 | accessyear=2007
Robert Todd Carroll: "The variety of magic tricks used to demonstrate psychokinetic powers is impressive. Scientists have been investigating PK since the mid-19th century but with little success at demonstrating that anyone can move even a feather without trickery involving something as simple and obvious as blowing on objects to move them."
] These can be purchased on the Internet from magic supply companies. Amateur-made videos alleging to show feats of psychokinesis, particularly spoon bending and the telekinetic movement of objects, can be found on video-sharing websites such as YouTube. Critics point out that it is now easier than ever for the average person to fake psychokinetic events and that without more concrete proof, the topic, apart from its enjoyment in fiction, will continue to remain controversial.

Statements by skeptics

The more vocal members of the skeptical community assert that because some PK effects can be reproduced or simulated by trickery or special effects, that is a more reasonable explanation than to accept that the laws of physics should be rewritten. To support their side of the argument, skeptics may invoke the principles of parsimony, Occam's razor, the lack of replicable experimental evidence for psychokinesis, and the saying "extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof" to support their position. Regarding claims of psychic metal bending, in particular spoon bending, "Skeptical Inquirer" columnist Robert Sheaffer's position is that skeptics should not waste their time investigating such claims and risk their credibility because there is no actual phenomenon to investigate: "Since magicians can readily perform the same feat using deception, there is no need to hypothesize anything more complicated." [cite journal
last = Sheaffer
first = Robert
authorlink = Robert Sheaffer
coauthors =
title = The Fallacy of Misplaced Rationalization
journal = Skeptical Inquirer
volume = 32
issue = 4
pages = pp 23–24, 47
publisher = Committee for Skeptical Inquiry
location =
date = July/August 2008
isbn =
From the end of his column, p. 47: "Before the skeptic expends time, effort, and credibility to come up with an explanation for some alleged phenomenon, he or she needs to be quite certain that there is indeed a phenomenon in need of explanation."

Michael Shermer

Michael Shermer, the executive director of the Skeptics Society and founding publisher/editor-in-chief of Skeptic magazine, stated in 1997 and again in 2002 in his book "Why People Believe Weird Things" his position that people who claim to have witnessed psychic phenomena, which includes psychokinesis, "have committed an error in thinking" and are "misinformed" about what they claim they personally experienced or observed.

James Randi

James Randi a stage magician and author, who is a long-time lecturer of paranormal skepticism has stated that psychic feats, such as the alleged softening of metal described in "spoon bending," in his view, have contributed only to society's understanding of fraud. [cite web
url =
title =
accessdate = 2007-06-09
From Randi's bio: "1995: A degree honoris causa, Doctor of Humane Letters, was awarded Mr. Randi from the University of Indianapolis."
] Quote|More importantly, I think, we should ask why not one of the " discoveries" of parapsychology — the reality of mental spoon-bending, survival-after-death, ESP, etc., has made one iota of change in our lives, in science , in philosophy, or in any disciplines — except for the field of fraud and swindle, of course.| James Randi |"Swift" JREF online newsletter, November 21, 2003

Carl Sagan

The late Carl Sagan offered this advice to scientists and the public at large about psychokinesis research in his 1995 book "The Demon-Haunted World":

Prize money for proof of psychokinesis

Internationally, there are several 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. Experimental design must be agreed upon prior to execution, and additional conditions, such as a minimum level of fame, may be imposed. These prizes have remained uncollected by people claiming to possess paranormal abilities. The James Randi Educational Foundation offers 1,000,000 US dollars to anyone who has a demonstrated media profile as well as the support from some member of the academic community, and who can produce a paranormal event, such as psychokinesis, in a controlled, mutually agreed upon experiment. The money is kept in an escrow account with Goldman-Sachs in New York. On January 4, 2008 it was announced that the prize would be discontinued on March 6, 2010 so that the Foundation could use the money for other purposes.

Psychokinesis in religion, mythology, and popular culture

;Religion and mythologyThere 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, for example, Jesus is described as transmuting water into wine, which "could be called psychokinesis", [cite book
author = Brian, Denis
year = 2000
title = The Voice of Genius: Conversations with Nobel Scientists and Other Luminaries
publisher = Basic Books, imprint of Perseus Books
location = New York
page = p. 288
isbn = 9-780738-204475
quote = . . . parapsychologists are studying some of the unusual events recorded in the Bible: changing water into wine could be called psychokinesis; . . . People have spoken of such things from early times and they seem to occur in every civilization.
] healing the sick, and multiplying food. [cite book
author = Heath, Pamela Rae, M.D., Psy.D.
year = 2003
title = The PK Zone: A Cross-Cultural review of Psychokinesis
publisher = iUniverse
location = Bloomington, Indiana
page = p. 3
isbn = 0-595-27658-X
quote = Religion has seemed to provide fertile ground for both spontaneous and intentional PK. Every great religious tract of mankind includes stories of people with the ability to heal and to multiply food, such as the Bible says were performed by Jesus Christ.

Mythological beings, such as witches, have been accused of levitating people, animals, and objects. [cite book
author = Guiley, Rosemary Ellen
coauthors =
year = 1989
title = The Encyclopedia of Witches and Witchcraft
publisher = Facts on File
location = New York
page = p. 201
isbn = 0-8160-1793
quote = In hauntings, witches, poltergeists, and fairies have been blamed for levitating people, animals, and objects.
] The court wizard and prophet Merlin in the King Arthur legend, is said to have used his power to transport Stonehenge across the sea to England from Ireland. [cite book
author = Newall, Venetia
coauthors =
year = 1974
title = The Encyclopedia of Witchcraft & Magic
publisher = The Dial Press
location = New York
page = p. 121
isbn = 0-8037-2343-1
quote = He performed many feats of magic, sailing through the ocean in a house of glass and transporting Stonehenge across the sea from Ireland.

;Popular culture

Psychokinesis has a well-established existence in movies, television, computer games, literature, and other forms of popular culture. In the 1976 film "Carrie", based on the Stephen King novel of the same name, Sissy Spacek portrayed a troubled high school student with telekinetic powers. She was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress, the first psychokinetic character in a film ever to be so recognized (Ellen Burstyn was the second, in 1980's "Resurrection"). Numerous characters have the ability to control the movement of objects using the "the Force" in the "Star Wars" canon. In the 1988 anime movie Akira, a few of the main characters use telekinesis throughout the film. Prue Halliwell's main power as a witch was telekinesis in the series Charmed.

The comic book character Jean Grey of the X-Men exhibits powerful telekinetic ability. Also from the TV show "Heroes", the serial killer Sylar frequently exhibits telekinetic ability. It is also commonly used as a power in a large number of videogames and role playing games.

ee also

* Anecdotal evidence
*Anomalous operation
*Anomalous phenomenon
*Count of St Germain
*Ectenic Force
*Energy (spirituality)
*Faith healing
*Global Consciousness Project
*List of psychic abilities
*Magical thinking
*Wolf Messing
* Observer-expectancy effect
*Psi wheel
*Psychic surgery
*Reality shift
*Tina Resch
*Jack Sarfatti
*Silva Method
*Tai al-Ardh
*Therapeutic touch


Further reading

* "The Conscious Universe: The Scientific Truth of Psychic Phenomena, "Dean Radin, HarperEdge, 1997.
* "Distant Mental Influence", William Braud, Hampton Roads Publishing, Inc. , 2003. ISBN 1-57174-354-5. (largely a collection of published scientific research papers on formal experiments in psychokinesis conducted by the author with others between 1983 to 2000).
* "Entangled Minds: Extrasensory Experiences in a Quantum Reality," Dean Radin, Pocket Books, 2006.
* "The Field: The Quest for the Secret Force of the Universe", Lynne McTaggart, HarperCollins, 2008, updated paperback edition. ISBN 978-0-06-143518-8.
* "Flim Flam!," James Randi, Prometheus Books, 1982. ISBN 0-87975-198-3.
*"Hauntings and Poltergeists: Multidisciplinary Perspectives," James Houran and Rense Lange, editors; McFarland Press, 2001. A collection of science articles by leading researchers on documented ghost and spontaneous PK cases, with technical discussion also of possible methods of action for PK. ISBN0786409843.

Published Papers on PK / TK

* [ The Journal of Non-Locality and Remote Mental Interactions] A journal of PK-related research papers published by
* [ "Examining Psychokinesis: The Interaction of Human Intention With Random Number Generators – A Meta-Analysis"] by Holger Bösch, Fiona Steinkamp, and Emil Boller, Psychological Bulletin, 132, 497-523, 2006.
* [ "Solar-periodic full moon effect in the Fourmilab RetroPsychoKinesis Project experiment data: an exploratory study"] by Eckhard Etzold "Journal of Parapsychology", Fall 2005.
* [ "Does Psi Exist and Can We prove It: Belief and Disbelief in Psychokinesis Research"] by Eckhard Etzold, presented at the Parapsychological Association Convention 2004.
* [ "Material Deformation by Intention"] by Jack Houck, presented at the Science of Whole Person Healing Conference, March 28, 2003.
* [ "Can Our Intentions Interact Directly with the Physical World?"] by William G. Braud, "European Journal of Parapsychology", Vol. 10, 1994.
* [ "The Persistent Paradox of Psychic Phenomena: An Engineering Perspective"] by Robert G. Jahn, "(1982) Proceedings IEEE, 70, No.2, pp.136-170. ]

Military Papers on PK / TK

* [ "Psychokinesis and Its Possible Implication to Warfare Strategy"] A 1985 study on potential military applications of psychokinesis by the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas USA. Listed at the U.S. Defense Technical Information Center's website and available to the public through the U.S. National Technical Information Service.
* [ "Teleportation Physics Study"] A study published in 2004 that reviews the current state research of real and hypothetical methods of teleportation. Includes a section titled "PK phenomenon". Conducted by Eric Davis of Warp Drive Metrics, Nevada and sponsored by the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory at Edwards AFB, California. Available publicly on the Federation of American Scientists website.
* [ "New Correlation Between a Human Subject and a Quantum Mechanical Random Number Generator"] A 1967 study by Helmut Schmidt conducted at the Boeing Scientific Research Laboratory in Seattle, Washington USA that concluded: "From the results, it is tentatively concluded that there exists a weak but significant correlation between the statistical processes operative in these experiments and the experimenter who initiates the processes." Listed at the U.S. Defense Technical Information Center's website and available to the public through the U.S. National Technical Information Service.

External links

* [ Notes toward a General Theory of Paranormal Phenomena] by John Walker.
* [ Online Telekinesis Test]
* [ The Intention Experiment] A series of scientifically controlled, web-based PK experiments.
* [ Mind Over Matter Study] An invitation by the Rhine Research Center of Durham, North Carolina USA to submit reports of PK or TK as part of an academic research study.
* [ Hollywood Telekinesis and Psychokinesis Movie List] Includes the "List of Cultural References to Psychokinesis and Telekinesis" that was formerly on Wikipedia.

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