Redwood: You were involved in some fascinating research with the English psychologist Richard Wiseman, who had failed to replicate your studies in which people could tell when they were being stared at. Could you describe that collaboration?
Schlitz: The experiment that I did with Richard was a remote staring experiment. I had done two of them, both of which produced significant evidence of a remote staring effect. He attempted to replicate them and didn't get significant results. In fact, his results were [equal to] flat chance. So he invited me to come to his lab, and we set up an experiment where we did everything identically. Same laboratory, same equipment, same randomization procedures, same subject population. Everything was identical, except that I worked with half the people and he worked with the other half. What we found was a replication of our original findings-he got chance results and I got a significant effect. This suggests that not only is there some sort of sensory experimenter effect, but that the belief system or the intention of the experimenter may impact the outcome of the study. It's a very provocative and paradigmatically challenging observation, and it clearly deserves further study.
Daniel Redwood, a chiropractor, writer and musician who lives in
Virginia Beach, Virginia, is the author of A Time to Heal: How to Reap
the Benefits of Holistic Health and Contemporary Chiropractic. Dr.
Redwood is also Associate Editor of the Journal of Alternative
and Complementary Medicine. An extensive collection of his writing is
available on the World Wide Web at www.wholeliving.com/Redwood.
He can be reached by e-mail at Redwoods@infi.net.
©1998 by Daniel Redwood