Telekinesis, or psychokinesis as it is also known, is from the Greek words for far (tele) and to move (kinein). It is the ability to influence the movement of inanimate objects through non-physical means. Some people have strong electrical charges and can affect electrical machinery in their vicinity, or knock someone unconscious just by touching them, and can also have strong magnetic fields.
Some psychokinetic people claim to be able to affect the production of rain - 'rainmakers'. Some poltergeist activity may be attributable to psychokinesis. Poltergeists are believed to be 'noisy ghosts' who cause havoc and destruction, throwing things around. Certain people, particularly teenagers, seem to attract poltergeists. One explanation is that poltergeist activity is generated by emotional upheaval and turmoil, which may be why teenagers are more likely to be affected. Phenomena that are attributed to poltergeists may in fact be the person's unconscious psychokinetic powers taking effect.
J B Rhine, the forefather of parapsychology, began conducting experiments into telekinesis in his laboratory in 1934. Rhine's first subject was a gambler who claimed to be able to influence a rolling dice, so initially the experiments were carried by rolling dice and trying to influence the outcome. This gave a chance rate of 1 in 6, ie the success rate the subject would expect to get by chance. A score significantly above this would indicate the presence of psychokinesis; Rhine did not expect his subjects to score 100% success rate in his experiments to indicate the existence of psi (psychic ability or phenomena).
However this method of experimentation proved unsatisfactory as it is possible for the subject to affect the results physically as they do have psychical contact with the object they are trying to manipulate. Likewise on a dice with recessed dots, the side depicting the highest number (ie number six) will be lightest and therefore should appear more often. Rhine modified his tests to work with specially-made dice and an automatic dice thrower.
Rhine also found that the more motivated the subject was, the higher the success rate. Likewise subjects tended to perform better during the earlier parts of the tests than later, when they were bored. Rhine noticed a similar tendency with his other ESP tests. This is known as the sheep-goat effect, where subjects who believe in the existence of psi tend to achieve a higher score than chance, while sceptics achieve a significantly lower score than would expect through chance.
One famous psychic with psychokinetic powers was Uri Geller, who used to bend metal spoons through the power of his mind. He amazed TV audiences with his feats, and participated in experiments into telekinesis.
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