Electromagnetic field induced feeling of 'significance'

Title Electromagnetic field induced feeling of 'significance'
Experimenter Paul Stevens
Context Weak electromagnetic fields as causal factor in anomalous experiences.
Period September 1997 - December 1997
Psi phenomenon Site specific (e.g. hauntings) phenomena, ESP
Dependent Vars Perceived 'significance' rating of images by participants
  • Free recall Memory of images
  • Electrodermal Activity
  • Number of Ss 30
    Description This study will look at how sensitivity to weak electromagnetic fields might affect human perceptions, comparisons being made with some psi experiences. In its most basic form, any non-primary (i.e. not using a specific sense organ) percepti on is considered to be a correlation of an aspect of the percipient's internal state with some type of external feedback. It can be seen to be a form of environmental biofeedback, where a subjective state ultimately corresponds to an external change rathe r than a purely internal one, and feedback is of that external event. This parallels the early James-Lange theory of emotion, which argued that, as opposed to the conventional viewpoint that bodily or behavioural changes were caused by a subjective emotio nal experience, the emotion was an deductive process based on the perception of bodily or behavioural change. For this study, participants will be asked to rate a series of images, some of which will be accompanied by the presentation of a weak electromagnetic field. Ratings will relate to the perceived emotional content and degree of arousal. The EMF present ation order will be computer-randomised using a double blind protocol. Field generation will also be computer controlled via a pair of Helmholtz ooils, between which the participant is seated. Each participant will also be tested for basic electromagnetic sensitivity after the image rating session, their results to be compared to an earlier EMF sensitivity study conducted by the researcher.
    Hypothesis
    • Standardised mean ratings will be different when images are perceived in the presence of an applied EMF than otherwise.
    • Participants will remember more of the field-associated images than the null-field images in free recall at the end of a session.
    • Participants will exhibit decreased levels physiological arousal, based both on mean levels and variance of electrodermal activity.