Abstract Details

Consciousness and Music Festivals: Increasing the Effect Sizes of Psychophysical Interactions  Dani Caputi , Leo Madrid; Nathan Bietz; Andrew Ko; Stephen Pollaine (Atmospheric Science, P.e.a.c.e !nc., Davis, California )   C22

Several decades of work at the Princeton Engineering Anomalous Research (PEAR) lab suggests that consciousness may have the ability to influence physical systems. However, because effect sizes are typically very small and there is yet to exist a widely accepted explanatory physical model of this phenomenon, mainstream science has questioned the validity of these results and their applications to consciousness studies. Here we conduct an experiment on the basic premise that more integrative feedback between an observer and the physical system to be influenced will result in greater and more consistent effect sizes. This would allow the results to be scaled with co-existing physical correlates for an in-depth phenomenological study of mind-matter interactions, if they exist. For this experiment, a variety of transformative technological equipment using experimental art was deployed to the Apparitions 2019 music festival in Rosarito, Mexico, including two large mirrored light emitting diode (LED) panels controlled by a ubldit TrueRNGv3 electron-tunneling-based random number generator (RNG). The panels consisted of 18 independent light nodes that were programmed to change color according to RNG input every 3.8 seconds, and were positioned to be visible from any vantage point within the crowd. Here we use Vector Moran's I, a measure of spatial autocorrelation, as a quantitative proxy for aesthetic value of the lights during a given RNG-produced configuration. The Moran's I value is calculated for all 16123 individual light displays produced by the panels that occurred over 17 hours throughout the festival. We predicted that greater spatial autocorrelation will be observed when more individuals are interacting with the lights, or when headliner DJs were on stage. To this end, three independent events throughout the two days of the festival were associated with higher values of Moran's I, as predicted (z = 2.24, p = .013, one-tailed). The skewness of the Moran's I distribution, as well as the maximum autocorrelation observed within a 15-minute sliding window, were positively correlated with crowd size (r = .64 and .58, p = .005 and .011, respectively). The effect size (Cohen's d) is approximately 0.06, which is greater than what is observed in about 90% of other intention-based RNG studies in existing literature. The results of this study suggest that we may have identified a promising research method for obtaining reliable and consistent mind-matter interaction effects, allowing longstanding questions about the role of consciousness in the physical world to be resolved through future data collection.