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Psychokinesis (PK) is defined as “the direct influence of mind on a physical system that cannot be entirely accounted for by the mediation of any known physical energy.” PK includes any direct mind over matter interaction or mental influence upon the structure of a physical system. (Kelly, 2013)


The term psychokinesis (from the Greek ψυχή, “psyche”, meaning mind, soul, heart, or breath; and κίνησις, “kinesis”, meaning motion; literally “movement from the mind”),[2][3]


The term “Psychokinesis” was coined in 1914[4] by American author-publisher Henry Holt in his book On the Cosmic Relations[5][6] 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.[7][8]

Limited Case Reports

Unfortunately, the collections of spontaneous PK are limited, with very few large collections to subject to content analysis, as the occurrence and/or reporting of spontaneous PK is relatively low. This low occurrence and/or reporting of spontaneous PK is believed to be the result of the prevalence of unobservable PK effects, and/or a lack of meaningful correlation of the PK effects and the current state of the experient. In other words, some effects are not perceivable by the naked eye, are too far to sense (e.g. increases in temperature), or may occur in a way that is not seen as meaningful to the experient, which is very common in spontaneous cases since heightened stress is typically the cause of the PK effect, with an intention to notify the experients surroundings of their stressful state (i.e. express stress), not actually remedy the stress or the stressful situation. In addition, many PK effects are believed to be the result of some unknown, observable, or undetectable natural cause. (Kelly, 2013)

Measurement and Observation

Parapsychology researchers describe two basic types of measurable and observable psychokinetic effects in experimental laboratory research and in case reports occurring outside of the laboratory.[12][10][9] Micro-PK is a very small effect, such as the manipulation of molecules, atoms,[9] subatomic particles,[9] etc., that can only be observed with scientific equipment. The words are abbreviations for micro-psychokinesis, micropsychokinesis[11]. Macro-PK 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.”

Some Findings

PK experiences are often experienced by those who are more physically active than ESP experients, and just as many ESP experiences can become so naturally additive to the experients naturally acquired knowledge, so to can PK experiences be so subtle that the effects are presumed entirely natural. It has been suggested that in regard to PK effects involving hands on therapeutic work, that the circulatory system (i.e. one of the primary channels for the flow of electrical waves) may play a part in PK processes. In other words, if a massage therapist has slightly provided more relief than usual, or a basketball player makes a few more baskets than usual, the results are likely not going to be seen as the result of mind-matter interaction. (Kelly, 2013)

What Psychokinesis is and is not

To comprehend accurately what psychokinesis is and is not, first one has to define and analyze objects and systems, motion, states of matter, and forms of energy and forces. (Kelly, 2013)

Understanding the Physical

A physical object may be a collection of masses or smaller physical bodies, or can be considered as a whole or single “thing.” For example, a baseball can be considered a physical object; however, the ball also consists of various particles. A physical system, technically speaking, is a portion of the physical universe chosen for analysis. In regard to physics, motion is defined as a “change in position of an object or system with respect to time.” (Kelly, 2013)

Understanding Motion

The motion of an object is typically describe in terms of velocity, which is its speed of a given direction, acceleration, which is the rate of change of velocity, displacement, which is the shortest distance from the initial to the final position point, and time, which takes into account the duration of motions and the intervals between them, and to quantify rates of change. An objects momentum is directly related to the object’s velocity and mass, which is the property of an object that causes it to have weight in a gravitational field. (Kelly, 2013)

Understanding Matter

Matter is defined as the substance of which all physical objects consist. Typically, this includes atoms and other particles of which have mass and volume, where the mass is the amount of matter in the object and volume is the amount of space occupied by an object. However, definitions of matter vary even within similar disciplines. Matter exists in four states or phases, which include solid, liquid, gas, and plasma. However, other states have been realized such as the Bose-Einstein condensate, which consists of a type of diluted gas cooled to temperatures very near absolute zero (0 K/-273.15 °C/-459.67 °F). (Kelly, 2013)

Understanding Energy

Energy is typically understood as the ability a system has to do work on other systems, where work is defined as a force acting through a length of space or distance. Energy can be broken down into two main groups. The first group is termed kinetic energy, which is the energy an object possesses due to its motion, and is defined as the work needed to accelerate a body of a given mass from rest to its stated velocity. The second group is termed potential energy, which is the energy of an object or system with respect to the position of the object or the arrangement of the particles of the system. Several forms of energy have been defined within these two groups. However, this list continues to grow as we come to better understand the universe. These forms include (1) thermal energy, which is defined as the total energy of a thermodynamic system or sample of matter that results in the system’s temperature, (2) chemical energy, which is defined as the energy due to associations of atoms in molecules and various kinds of aggregates of matter, (3) electric energy, which is defined as a potential energy that results from conservative Coulomb forces, and is the configuration of a particular set of point charges within a defined system, (4) radiant energy, which is defined as the energy of electromagnetic waves, (5) electromagnetic radiation is defined as a form of energy emitted and absorbed by charged particles of which exhibit wave-like behavior as they propagate through space, (6) and magnetic energy, which is fundamentally no different from electric energy as the two phenomena are related by Maxwell’s equations. (Kelly, 2013)

In addition, (7) elastic energy, which is defined as the potential mechanical energy stored in the configuration of a material or system as work is performed to distort its volume or shape, (8) sound energy, which is defined as the form of energy associated with the vibration of disturbance of matter, and requires some form of material to travel through; while sound itself, is a mechanical wave that is an oscillation of pressure transmitted through a material, which is composed of frequencies within the range of hearing, (9) mechanical energy, which is defined as the sum of potential energy and kinetic energy present in the components of a mechanical system, and is associated with the motion and position of the object, (10) Luminous energy, which is defined as the perceived energy of light, which differs from radiant energy, because luminous energy pertains only to light that is visible to the human eye, and finally, (11) Mass energy, which in regard to special relativity, rest mass and rest energy are essentially equivalent via the well-known relationship of E=mc2. (Kelly, 2013)

Understanding Force

A force is defined as any influence that causes an object to undergo a particular change, i.e. in regard to its movement, direction, or geomagnetic construction. In other words, a force is something that can cause and object with mass to change its velocity, including being moved from a state of rest, such as to accelerate, cause a flexible object to deform, etc. In addition, force can be described via intuitive concepts such as “push or pull.” A force possesses both magnitude and direction, which makes it a vector quantity, as opposed to a scalar quantity, which do not have a direction. Associated concepts to force include thrust, which accelerates an object, drag, which decelerates an object, and torque, which produces changes in the rotational speed of an object. All forces within our universe are based on four fundamental forces. The strong and weak nuclear forces act only at very limited distances, and are responsible for the interactions between subatomic particles (e.g. nucleons and compound nuclei). The electromagnetic force acts between electric charges, or is a force in which exists intrinsically between two charges. The gravitational force acts between masses, and on the surface of Earth, the force of gravity on an object is directly proportional to the mass of the object. (Kelly, 2013)

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.[9] 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.[9] 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.[9] 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.[9][13]


  1. Kelly, Theresa M.(2013) Quantum Psychics – Scientifically Understand, Enhance and Control Your Psychic Ability,
    Charleston, South Carolina USA (ISBN: 9780557034024).
  2. (2001) Random House Webster’s Unabridged Dictionary. Boston, Massachusetts USA: Random House Reference.
  3. (1994) The New Oxford American Dictionary. New York City: Oxford University Press, p. 1367. ISBN 0-19-517077-6.
  4. (2005) Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, Eleventh Edition. Springfield, Massachusetts, USA: Merriam-Webster.
  5. Parapsychology Foundation “Basic terms in Parapsychology””. Retrieved on December 22, 2006.
  6. Holt, Henry [1914]. On the Cosmic Relations (PDF), Cambridge: Houghton Mifflin. Retrieved on 2007-12-13.
  7. Spence, Lewis (1920). Encyclopedia of Occultism and Parapsychology. Kessinger Publishing.
  8. Parapsychological Association – Glossary: PK/Psychokinesis”. Retrieved on July 19, 2006.
  9. Broughton, Richard S. (1991). Parapsychology: The Controversial Science. New York: Ballantine Books.
  10. Berger, Arthur S.; Berger, Joyce (1991). The Encyclopedia of Parapsychological and Psychical Research.
  11. Guiley, Rosemary Ellen (1991). Encyclopedia of the Strange, Mystical & Unexplained. New York: Gramercy Books.
  12. – Glossary: Macro PK and Micro PK”. Retrieved on October 14, 2006.
  13. Nobel laureate Brian Josephson (May 5, 1987). The Unexplained. London: BBC World Service radio program.

Further Reading

  1. Kelly, Theresa M.(2013) Quantum Psychics – Scientifically Understand, Enhance and Control Your Psychic Ability,
    Charleston, South Carolina USA (ISBN: 9780557034024).
  2. The Conscious Universe: The Scientific Truth of Psychic Phenomena, Dean Radin, HarperEdge, 1997.
  3. Distant Mental Influence, William Braud, Hampton Roads Publishing, Inc. , 2003. ISBN 1-57174-354-5.
  4. Entangled Minds: Extrasensory Experiences in a Quantum Reality, Dean Radin, Pocket Books, 2006.
  5. The Field: The Quest for the Secret Force of the Universe, Lynne McTaggart, HarperCollins, 2008.
  6. Flim Flam!, James Randi, Prometheus Books, 1982. ISBN 0-87975-198-3.
  7. Hauntings and Poltergeists: Multidisciplinary Perspectives, James Houran and Rense Lange. ISBN 0786409843.

Published Scientific Papers on Psychokinesis

External links

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