Context The belief that performing a nonlocal task in darkness plays a facilitating role in remote viewing and other psi-related phenomena is well established in esoteric and traditional beliefs (Grim, 1983; Hallowell, 1942; Lyon, 2012). However, the role of darkness in RV success is unclear beyond these esoteric explanations. Objective This study explored the differential effect of darkness/light on remote viewing ability alongside the effect of time and their potential interaction. Design From an initial sample of twenty, seven remote viewers contributed a total of nineteen sessions each (nine light/ ten dark) which utilised randomized target selection, free-response descriptions, and ratings by both participants and an independent judge. Results The usable data gave the edge to dark condition performance; the difference was not statistically significant. A statistically significant difference between remote viewer and independent judge raw scores attributed to the target image was identified (t (132) = 4.56, p <.001 (two-tailed) Mdiff = 14.21 [8.05, 20.4]) with a medium effect size (d = .40 [.21, .57]). Exploratory post-hoc analyses concerning the numinosity of target images were conducted, to determine if this characteristic was associated with success. For numinosity ratings of target images, a mean difference of 11.24, 95% CI [.12, 22.3] was shown as significant, with the target images of participant ‘hit’ sessions containing higher numinosity ratings than unsuccessful ‘miss’ sessions (t (11.47) = 2.22, p (two-tailed) = .048) with a large effect size (d = 1.02, [.01, 1.99]). Conclusion The findings may have implications for the use of participant judgements in future remote viewing research. Furthermore, because there are several advantages to what parapsychologists refer to as “free response” targets as opposed to “forced choice” targets (Honorton, 1975), the findings for target numinosity may have implications for the future selection of target material.
- Remote viewing
- target numinosity