The PEAR proposition

Explore (NY). May-Jun 2007;3(3):205-26, 340-1. doi: 10.1016/j.explore.2007.03.005.


For more than a quarter century, the Princeton Engineering Anomalies Research (PEAR) laboratory has engaged in a broad range of experiments on consciousness-related physical anomalies and has proposed a corresponding selection of theoretical models that have combined to illuminate the fundamental nature of the provocative phenomena that emerge. Productive pursuit of this topic has inescapably involved a spectrum of political, cultural, personal, and interpersonal factors that are normally not encountered in more conventional scientific scholarship, but have both enriched and complicated the enterprise in many ways. Some of the insights gleaned from the work are objectively specifiable, such as the scale and structural character of the anomalous effects; their relative insensitivity to objective physical correlates, including distance and time; the oscillating sequential patterns of performance they display; the major discrepancies between male and female achievements; and their irregular replicability at all levels of experience. But many others relate to subjective issues, such as the responsiveness of the effects to conscious and unconscious intention and to individual and collective resonance; the relevance of ambience and attitude in their generation; and the importance of intrinsic uncertainty as a source of the anomalies. This blend of empirical features predicates radical excursions of the dedicated models, and hence of the more general scientific paradigms, to allow consciousness and its subjective information processing capacities a proactive role in the establishment of objective reality, with all of the complications of specificity, causality, and reproducibility that entails. The attendant complexities of conceptualization, formulation, and implementation notwithstanding, pragmatic applications of these phenomena in many sectors of public endeavor now can be foreseen.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Consciousness*
  • Humans
  • Laboratories
  • Mental Healing
  • Mind-Body Relations, Metaphysical*
  • Models, Psychological*
  • New Jersey
  • Research Design*
  • Universities