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No. 78: Nov-Dec 1991

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Psychokinetic Control Of Dice

For 2000 years, people have been saying: "The die is cast," as if the act of casting relinquished the fall of the die completely to fate. Perhaps not!!

"This article presents a meta-analysis of experiments testing the hypothesis that consciousness (in particular, mental intention) can cause tossed dice to land with specified targets face up. Seventy-three English language reports, published from 1935 to 1987, were retrieved. This literature described 148 studies reported by a total of 52 investigators, involving more than 2 million dice throws contributed by 2,569 subjects. The full data base indicates the presence of a physical bias that artifactually inflated hit rates when higher dice faces (e.g., the '6' face) were used as targets. Analysis of a subset of 39 homogeneous studies employing experimental protocols that controlled for these biases suggests that the experimental effect size is independently replicable, significantly positive, and not explainable as an artifact of selective reporting or differences in methodological quality. The estimated effect size for the full data base lies more than 19 standard deviations from chance, while the effect size for the subset of balanced, homogeneous studies lies 2.6 standard deviations from chance. We conclude that this data base provides weak cumulative evidence for a genuine relationship between mental intention and the fall of dice."

(Radin, Dean I., and Ferrari, Diane G.; "Effects of Consciousness on the Fall of Dice: A Meta-Analysis," Journal of Scientific Exploration, 5:61, no. 1, 1991.)

From Science Frontiers #78, NOV-DEC 1991. 1991-2000 William R. Corliss

Science Frontiers Sourcebook Project Reviewed in:


  • "A sourcebook of unexplained phenomena is therefore a valuable addition to a collection of scientific literature. William R. Corliss has provided this in the past with his source books of scientific anomalies in several subjects, and now he has provided it for astronomy. He has done an excellent job of collecting and editing a large amount of material, taken in part from scientific journals and in part from scientific reporting in the popular or semi-scientific press." -- "The Mysterious Universe: A Handbook of Astronomical Anomalies", reviwed by Thomas Gold, Cornell University, in Icarus, vol.41, 1980

  • "An interesting, systematic presentation of unusual weather [..] This book is recommended for a general audience" --"Corliss, William R., Tornados, Dark Days, Anomalous Precipitation, and Related Weather Phenomena, Sourcebook Project, 1983.", revieweed in Choice, September 1983
  • "..the science is necessarily somewhat speculative, but Corliss's symthesis is based on reputable sources." -- "Corliss, William R. (Compiler). Lightning, Auroras, Nocturnal Lights, and Related Luminous Phenomena" reviwed by Joseph M. Moran, Univ. of Wisconsin in Science Books and Films, Sep/Oct 1983

  • "Before opening the book, I set certain standards that a volume which treads into dangerous grounds grounds like this must meet. The author scrupulously met, or even exceeded those standards. Each phenomenon is exhaustively documented, with references to scientific journals [..] and extensive quotations" -- "Book Review: The moon and planets: a catalog of astronomical anomalies", The Sourcebook Project, 1985., Corliss, W. R., Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, Vol. 81, no. 1 (1987), p. 24., 02/1987