Random Number Generators and Psychic Ability

25th May 2022. Reading Time: 9 minutes Paranormal Theories, General. 901 page views. 0 comments.

Let's explore the ways in which random number generators are used to test psychic ability.

There are thought to be 4 main intuitive senses. 

  • Clairvoyance (clear seeing)
  • Clairaudience (clear hearing)
  • Claircognizance (clear knowing)
  • Clairscent (smelling)

For some people with these abilities, things just happen. They feel they are open all the time and 'spirits' visit them and are always around them making themselves known. For others, they have had to work a bit harder to be able to focus on their abilities - which is not uncommon as again people have different levels and sensitivities.  A lot of people use meditation to not only focus on their abilities but also to develop and become 'more in tune'. There is a belief that anyone is capable of accessing these abilities.  It is an area widely researched for decades that aims to test a mixture of everyday people and those with psychic ability to try and understand more about it.  This brings us to one of my favourite areas of paranormal research ..... parapsychology.


Parapsychology is a field of study that investigates what is considered to be ‘psychic’ phenomena. Mainstream science considers this to be a pseudoscience with claims from the scientific community that the research of the past has failed to prove anything. While to a lot of scientists it is a taboo area that gathers a lot of criticism, science has over the years become more and more open-minded toward this field. Psychology refers to the study of human behaviours and the mental process. Parapsychology is an extension of this and looks at the mental process and human behaviour which are inexplicable by what is considered to be orthodox science.

The term parapsychology was coined in 1889 by philosopher Max Dessoir. He was a German philosopher, psychologist and theorist of aesthetics. He wrote a paper in the German periodical Sphinx where he used the German translation of the term (Parapsychologie). He went on to say:

"If one ... characterizes by para- something going beyond or besides the ordinary, than one could perhaps call the phenomena that step outside the usual process of the inner life parapsychical, and the science dealing with them parapsychology. The word is not nice, yet in my opinion it has the advantage to denote a hitherto unknown fringe area between the average and the pathological states; however, more than the limited value of practical usefulness such neologisms do not demand."

In the 1930's J.B Rhine adopted the English translation of this term to replace the phrase: physical research. While card selection and dice were used to test psychical abilities, this soon naturally evolved into using random number generators as a way to eliminate the human element that could interfere with the results.   

A term known as the observer-expectancy effect (also referred to as the experimenter effect) is quite often referenced when it comes to parapsychology studies, particularly those experiments that test ESP - extrasensory perception.  It is the idea that an experimenter can unknowingly manipulate the results of an experiment by using visual or auditory cues that can influence the results to skew towards their belief that ESP exists and the results of their experiment will prove it.  Removing the human element and making a selection truly random also gives weight to the results being taken more seriously.

Random Number Generators

A random number generator (RNG) is a mathematical construct which is designed to generate a random set of numbers that should not display any distinguishable patterns in their appearance or generation.  It is often in the form of a function or blocks of code used in software applications such as games where an element of chance is required.  Sometimes an algorithm is used but then it is not really considered to be a true random generator as if there is an equation that tells it what to do, then it isn't random.  The easiest way to think about it is to look at a dice.  If you were to roll a dice 20 times, provided you aren't cheating, you cannot predict which number will be rolled.  It is completely random.  A random number generator is a computerised version of this. 

The randomness means that RNGs are ideal to use for testing when it comes to psychic ability.  Here are some of the ways that random number generators were used in parapsychology experiments.


Famous parapsychologist Helmut Schmidt in the early 1970’s Schmidt pioneered the way with his research out of the Rhine institute studying the effects of the human consciousness on random number generators.  

In one of the earlier trials, Schmidt created a box similar to the below, complete with buttons and LED lights.  An algorithm was programmed in that would make the lights flash in a certain sequence.  For example. the red light was programmed to flash a certain amount of times compared to the green light.  It was the role of the sitter to try and psychically change the results using psychokinesis or psi.

Previous to this study, several independent researchers had reported the existence of a PK effect. The present study confirms the existence of the effect under particularly well-controlled conditions where the participation of independent observers precludes experimenter error, or even fraud.

The PK effect appears as an anomalous correlation between the outcome of random events and the mental state of a human subject observing the outcome. The effect is only partly under voluntary control and may depend on subconscious expectations, wishes, and fears of the observer.

Although the effect is usually weak, it may be of practical importance in cases where conclusions have to be drawn from limited statistical evidence. A physicist trying to confirm his own theory experimentally might subconsciously generate a PK effect that could shift the outcome by, say, two standard deviations in the desired direction. Similarly, the fear of failure might induce PK effects opposite to the desired direction. This could play a practical role in critical procedures such as the launching of a satellite where, as we know from experience, elements of chance cannot be completely excluded, and where even a small reduction of the failure rate could be economically significant.

Helmut Schmidt

If you would like to read the comprehensive paper written by Helmut Schmidt describing in detail how the trials were conducted and the results, you can find it here: https://www.fourmilab.ch/rpkp/observ.html

Global mind (Combined consciousness)

Some Scientists connect a supposed psychic ability called Presentiment which is when a person is learning or picking up this information from emotions or just having a sense of awareness. This awareness is referred to as 'A global mind'.   It is an awareness on a mass scale of upcoming events.  The Global Consciousness Project monitors this global awareness and connects it with a type of 'combined consciousness'.  Often people all over the World can 'feel' that something significant is about to happen.  This project collects data from random number generators from different host sites all over the World.

When human consciousness becomes coherent, the behavior of random systems may change. Random number generators (RNGs) based on quantum tunneling produce completely unpredictable sequences of zeroes and ones. But when a great event synchronizes the feelings of millions of people, our network of RNGs becomes subtly structured. We calculate one in a trillion odds that the effect is due to chance. The evidence suggests an emerging noosphere or the unifying field of consciousness described by sages in all cultures.

The Global Consciousness Project is an international, multidisciplinary collaboration of scientists and engineers. We collect data continuously from a global network of physical random number generators located in up to 70 host sites around the world at any given time. The data are transmitted to a central archive which now contains more than 15 years of random data in parallel sequences of synchronized 200-bit trials generated every second.

Our purpose is to examine subtle correlations that may reflect the presence and activity of consciousness in the world. We hypothesize that there will be structure in what should be random data, associated with major global events that engage our minds and hearts.

Subtle but real effects of consciousness are important scientifically, but their real power is more immediate. They encourage us to make essential, healthy changes in the great systems that dominate our world. Large scale group consciousness has effects in the physical world. Knowing this, we can intentionally work toward a brighter, more conscious future.


The goal is simple.  They believe that there will be an anomaly in the data collected before an event of significance indicating the presence and activity of consciousness throughout the World.   As an example, It was noted that 2 hours before the events of 9/11, there were fluctuations in the bell curve of the figures indicating that 'alarm bells' were ringing all around the world before it even happened.

We hypothesize that our instrument (the network of eggs) will show anomalous deviations associated with Global Events when there is widespread participation or reaction to the event.


Online Zener Card Platform

In the late 1800’s, researchers would use regular playing cards to test telepathy.  In the 1930’s, famous parapsychologist J.B Rhine and his colleague Dr Karl Zener wanted to expand this research by creating their own format.  Working together, initially Rhine used cards with letters from the alphabet or numbers.  They eventually evolved over time to consist of 5 cards of 5 distinct symbols (making a deck of 25). The symbols themselves are very distinct so that they could not be confused. The aim of the cards was to test a person’s mental telepathy abilities.  Rhine dubbed these as Zener cards named after his colleague, however eventually went on to refer to them as ESP cards. You can read more about Zener Cards here: Zener Cards

As time has evolved, many people including myself, have found ways to adapt this technique by bringing the platform online using random number generators.  Why not try my online Zener Card Game?


Paranormal Equipment

Of course, I can't not talk about randon generators and their potential use in paranormal equipment in devices such as the Ovilus.  With. dictionary of words in it, each word is supposedly assigned to a value reading.  When there is a change within the environment, it triggers a response with many believing that the words are a direct message from a spirit.  Others wonder if course there is a random number generator inside that randomly spits out a word designed to be relevant to paranormal investigations.  So which is it?  I guess one way to try and find out is to compare a random word generator against the ovilus to get a gauge on things.  Check out my article Random word generator VS the ovilus

The use of RNGs in the paranormal field is controversial in many ways, however, I believe it certainly has a place, especially when it removes the human element.  It makes you wonder of course, if you are removing the human element, does that also remove the paranormal element?  Maybe the paranormal cannot exist without that human element which of course opens up a whole new discussion.

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