Testing parapsychology’s “intentionality hypothesis”:
the effects of distant mental intention on bacterial growth

Rachel Lucier, Janki Trivedi, & Christopher Peet

Since the 1960s a consistent body of mind-matter interaction research in parapsychology has coalesced around the “intentionality hypothesis”, the claim that mental intention can affect nonliving or living systems at a distance. This experiment explored the hypothesis in a biological laboratory setting using a strain of bacteria, LV13, found in lactic acid. After directing positive and negative intentions towards samples, researchers measured bacterial density using absorbance of the cultures, hypothesizing significant increase and decrease in growth corresponding to each condition respectively compared to a control condition. As predicted, results showed statistically significant increase in growth in the positive condition; contrary to our hypothesis, the negative condition also showed statistically significant increase in growth.  This experiment further supports the claim that distant mental intention can affect growth in microorganisms while suggesting  refinement of studies through a distinction within mental intention between “energetic” and “evaluative” components.


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