Human biofield and intention detection: Individual differences

Lonnie A. Nelson, Gary E. Schwartz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Objective: To evaluate a battery of biofield awareness tasks that address bioelectromagnetic and consciousness related mechanisms of action, and examine individual differences in integrative biofield awareness (IBA). Methods: Six (6) biofield awareness tasks were designed: 2 involved the experimenter placing his or her hands near the subject, 2 involved intense staring with associated eye movements approximately 3' from the subject, and 2 involved gentle intention with virtually no movement. Each task required a binary response from the subject. There were 10 trials per task for a total of 60 trials; blocks of 6 trials contained one of each task. Subjects were 165 undergraduate psychology students at the University of Arizona Tucson, AZ. Subjects were also assessed on their awareness of their own biofields, and they filled out various questionnaires, including estimates of how well they thought they would do and their openness to spiritual beliefs and experiences. Results: Percent IBA accuracy for the entire sample (n = 165) was 57.7 ±10.3% and was significantly above chance (50%) performance (t = 9.58, p < 0.0000001). Each of the 6 tasks was individually significant. Subjects significantly (t = -2.72; p < 0.007) underestimated their IBA performance below chance (mean, 46.1 ± 18.4%). However, higher estimates predicted higher IBA (r = 0.26, n = 164, p < 0.0008). Measures of subjects' self-awareness of their own biofields, as well as belief in, and experience of, extrasensory perception (ESP) also predicted higher IBA. Conclusions: The findings support claims of energy healers that biofield awareness can be modulated both bioelectromagnetically (locally) and via conscious intent (distally), and that individual differences in biofield awareness are related to self-awareness and sensitivity to others.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)93-101
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Complementary and alternative medicine


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