Distant intentionality and the feeling of being stared at: Two meta-analyses


Institute of Environmental Medicine and Hospital Epidemiology, University Hospital Freiburg, Hugstetter Str. 55, D-79106 Freiburg, Germany (e-mail: sschmidt@ukl.uni-freiburg.de).


Findings in parapsychology suggest an effect of distant intentionality. Two laboratory set-ups explored this topic by measuring the effect of a distant intention on psychophysiological variables. The ‘Direct Mental Interaction in Living Systems’ experiment investigates the effect of various intentions on the electrodermal activity of a remote subject. The ‘Remote Staring’ experiment examines whether gazing by an observer covaries with the electrodermal activity of the person being observed. Two meta-analyses were conducted. A small significant effect size (d =.11, p = .001) was found in 36 studies on ‘direct mental interaction', while a best-evidence-synthesis of 7 studies yielded d = .05 (p = .50). In 15 remote staring studies a mean effect size of d = 0.13 (p = .01) was obtained. It is concluded that there are hints of an effect, but also a shortage of independent replications and theoretical concepts.