The Non-existence of Laboratory Psi Looks Ever More Certain from Recent Confirmatory Research in Parapsychology

Previously the evidence for psi was drawn from exploratory studies that do not adhere to the standards that are replicable across different laboratories. It is possible now to summarise the findings of empirical evidence drawn from confirmatory studies that enable one to draw firm conclusions. The existence of this solid data-base of empirical evidence in Parapsychology was only made possible by the formation of a register of studies at the Koestler Parapsychology Unit Registry. The Registry is managed by Professor Caroline Watt, Koestler Chair of Parapsychology, University of Edinburgh, with support from James E Kennedy.

In three books published in 1980, 2000 and 2020 I presented the case that psi has never been reliably demonstrated inside the scientific laboratory. The non-existence of laboratory psi looks ever more certain from the following analysis of recent confirmatory research in Parapsychology.

The Table reproduces the descriptions of 43 confirmatory studies registered to date (14 September 2022). For these 43 confirmatory studies, there are 27 reports of findings to the present date. For these 27 studies, 6 are listed as positively confirming the original exploratory findings (including one with only partial confirmation). All five of the fully confirmatory studies reporting positive findings are from a single leading investigator, Patrizio Tressoldi, of Università di Padova, Italy.

Of the remaining 21 studies, 17 are associated with a reported disconfirmation,  one was halted before completion, one failed to recruit a sufficient N and one presented an inconclusive report. Removing these last 3 studies provides 5 confirmations, one partial confirmation and 19 disconfirmations from a total of 27 conclusive/completed studies for an overall confirmation rate of 22.2% and a disconfirmation rate of 77.8%.

With all five of the fully confirmatory studies from a single investigator, the Fisher Exact test value is 0.0079 (p<.01).

I discuss possible explanations for the remarkable association between confirmation of psi and one investigator in another post.

OTHERS  1(partial)1718
TOTALS  62127
The outcomes of all pre-reregistered confirmatory studies at the Koestler Parapsychology Unit’s Register
with published results to 14/09/22

With the exception of the group of five studies conducted by a single investigator, the findings confirm the hypothesis presented in all three of my books, most recently, Psychology and the Paranormal. Exploring Anomalous Experience, that psi is not amenable to controlled studies inside the laboratory.


The results of the best scientific research of preregistered confirmatory studies from the world’s leading investigators suggest that there is no reliable evidence for the existence of laboratory psi.

These null findings confirm the author’s conclusions in three books on psychical phenomena published in 1980, 2000 and 2020 (see References).

If psi exists at all, it exists as a spontaneous experience that cannot be controlled by the human will.


Marks, D F and Kammann, R (1980) The Psychology of the Psychic. New York: Prometheus Books.

Marks D F (2000) The Psychology of the Psychic (2nd ed.). New York: Prometheus Books.

Marks D F (2020) Psychology and the Paranormal. Exploring Anomalous Experience. London: Sage Publishing.


In column 6, the outcome of each study with reported findings is summarized as ‘CON’ (confirmation), ‘DISCON’ (disconfirmation), or otherwise where the study was not completed or ambiguous or unavailable.

Number for this analysisStudy Title
(C) = Confirmatory
(E) = Exploratory
Lead AuthorDate Submitted to RegistryStudy IDLink to Registered Information
43The Effects of Imagery-Cultivation on Phenomenological and Paranormal Experience (C)Lance Storm18th May 20221069KPU Registry 1069
42Pre-registered field test of an ‘Enchantment—Psi’ loop (C)Rense Lange & James Houran12th April 20221068KPU Registry 1068
41Retrocausal cueing: Investigating retrocausal influences in cued action (C)Jordan Wehrman17th Sept 20211063KPU Registry 1063
40A telephone telepathy study: Does genetic relatedness influence psychic abilities? (C)Helané Wahbeh20th July 2022 (Date revised, 4) 14th March 2022 (Date revised, 3) 23rd Feb 2022 (Date revised, 2) 28th July 20211062KPU Registry 1062_4 KPU Registry 1062_3 KPU Registry 1062_2 KPU Registry 1062
39Attitudes and Beliefs as Predictors of Psi Effects in a Pseudo-Gambling Task (C)Lance Storm3rd June 20221061KPU Registry 1061
38Retroactive priming of a compound remote associates task using pre-selected participants (C)David Vernon & Malcolm Schofield17th Feb 20211060KPU Registry 1060
37Darkness, Light and Numinosity in Remote Viewing Success (C)Stanley Krippner & David Saunders27th Jan 20211059KPU Registry 1059
36The Institute of Noetic Science Discovery Lab: A Systematic Investigation of the relationship between Interconnectedness, Extended Human Capacities, and Well-being. (C)Helané Wahbeh31st Aug 20201057KPU Registry 1057
35Three confirmatory analyses of precognition and micro-PK data gathered using online methods (C)Julia Mossbridge29th April 20201056KPU Registry 1056
34Associations among Experience, Confidence, Transliminality and Ability to Locate and Describe Targets in Experienced Remote Viewers (C)Jennifer Lyke27th Sept 20191055KPU Registry 1055
33PsyPhotos (C)Patrizio Tressoldi & Luciano Pederzoli3rd Oct 20191054KPU Registry 1054
32Reproductive Hormonal Status as a Predictor of Precognition: Pregnancy Experiment; A confirmatory experiment (C)Julia Mossbridge16th Jan 2020 (date revised)   27th Sept 20191053KPU_Registry_1053_2   KPU Registry 1053
31Experimenter Effect and Replication in Psi Research: Round III of a Global Initiative (C)Marilyn Schlitz, Arnaud Delorme & Daryl Bem13th Feb 20191051KPU Registry 1051
Published Results (version 2, March 2021) DISCON
30Mind-matter interaction at distance on a standalone device (C)Patrizio Tressoldi & Luciano Pederzoli21st Feb 20191049KPU Registry 1049   Published Results DISCON
29Telephone telepathy, an Italian independent exact replication (C)Patrizio Tressoldi & Rupert Sheldrake3rd Nov 20181048KPU Registry 1048
28An implicit and explicit assessment of morphic resonance theory using Chinese characters (C)David Vernon23rd May 20181046KPU Registry 1046
Study Results Summary
KPU 1046 data
KPU 1046 data definition DISCON
27Facial Recognition Replication Experiment (C)Sharon Su
& Stephen Baumgart
26th Feb 2019 (date revised)
26th Jun 2018 (date revised)
19th May 2018
1045KPU Registry 1045_3
KPU Registry 1045_2
KPU Registry 1045
26Reproductive Hormonal Status as a Predictor of Precognition: A Confirmatory Experiment (C)Julia Mossbridge16th Feb 20181043KPU Registry 1043 Study Results Summary DISCON
25Individual difference correlates of lottery success (C)Marco Zdrenka22nd Sept 20171038KPU Registry 1038
24Precognitive priming of compound remote associates: Using an implicit creative insight task to elicit precognition (C)David Vernon18th Sept 20171037KPU Registry 1037
Study Results Summary
KPU 1037 data
KPU 1037 data definition DISCON
23Measuring precognitive effects using a fast implicit and fast explicit task (C)David Vernon28th Jun 20171036KPU Registry 1036
Study Results Summary
KPU 1036 data
KPU 1036 data definition DISCON
22The ACES Study (Anomalous Cognition with Electromagnetic Shielding) (C)Randy Fauver & Glenn Hartelius6th Mar 20171029KPU Registry 1029
21Retroactive facilitation of recall and music (C)Julia Mossbridge11th Nov 20161027KPU Registry 1027 Study Results Summary DISCON
20A test of reward contingent precall (C)David Vernon19th Oct 20161026KPU Registry 1026
Study Results Summary
KPU 1026 data
KPU 1026 data definition PARTIAL CON
19Testing precall using emotive images and participants with high levels of belief in psi (C)David Vernon22nd Sept 20161025KPU Registry 1025
Study Results Summary
KPU 1025 data
KPU 1025 data definition DISCON
18A prospective meta-analysis of pre-registered ganzfeld ESP studies (C)Caroline Watt22nd Nov 2017 (date revised)1024KPU Registry 1024
List of included studies
17Examining possible effects of precall using arousing images in a lab based task (C)David Vernon7th Jan 20161021KPU Registry 1021
Study Results Summary STUDY HALTED
16Exploring precall using arousing images and utilising a memory practice task on-line (C)David Vernon21st Dec 20151019KPU Registry 1019
Study Results Summary
KPU 1019 data
KPU 1019 data definition DISCON
15Single-trial confirmatory presentiment experiment (C)Julia Mossbridge16th Dec 20151018KPU Registry 1018
Study Results Summary DISCON
14Experimenter effect and replication in psi research: Round II of a global initiative (C)Marilyn Schlitz, Arnaud Delorme & Daryl Bem24th Aug 20151016KPU_Registry_1016
Published Results DISCON
13Remote meditation support – a multimodal distant intention experiment (C)Stefan Schmidt, Han-Gue Jo, Marc Wittman
& Thilo Hinterberger
14th Jul 2016 (date revised)1015KPU_Registry_1015
Publication Abstract DISCON
12Can our mind emit light? A confirmatory experiment of mental interaction at distance on a photomultiplier (C)Patrizio Tressoldi & John Kruth6th Jul 20151013KPU Registry 1013
Published Results DISCON
11*Biophotons as physical correlates of mental interaction at distance: a new confirmatory study (C)Patrizio Tressoldi & John Kruth29th Apr 20151012KPU Registry 1012
Published Results CON
10*CardioAlert: A portable assistant for the choice between negative or positive random events (C)Patrizio Tressoldi17th Mar 20151011KPU_Registry_1011
Published Results CON
9*Biophotons as physical correlates of mental interaction at distance: a confirmatory study (C)Patrizio Tressoldi & John Kruth8th Oct 20141010KPU_Registry_1010
Published Results DISCON
8*Mind-matter interaction at distance on a random events generator (REG): a confirmatory study (C)Patrizio Tressoldi15th May 20141009KPU_Registry_1009
Published Results CON
7*Brain-to-brain (mind-to-mind) interaction at distance: a proof of concept of mental telecommunication (C)Patrizio Tressoldi23rd Apr 20141008KPU_Registry_1008
Published Results CON
6Experimenter effect and replication in psi research (C)Marilyn Schlitz, Arnaud Delorme & Daryl Bem19th Nov 20131007KPU_Registry_1007
Published Results DISCON
5Evaluation of alterations of consciousness and the Model of Pragmatic Information in a ganzfeld protocol (C)Etzel Cardeña23rd Aug 20131006KPU_Registry_1006
Published Results SEE:
4Does characteristic alpha EEG activity predict upcoming sensory events? (C)Julia Mossbridge7th May 20131004KPU_Registry_1004
Study Results Summary UNCLEAR OUTCOME
3Precognitive Dreaming: Sleep Lab Study (C)Caroline Watt25th Apr 20131003KPU_Registry_1003
Published Results DISCON
2*Pupil dilation prediction of random negative events. Can they be avoided? (C)Patrizio Tressoldi1st Feb 20131002KPU_Registry_1002
Published Results CON
1Pupil dilation accuracy in the prediction of random events (C)Patrizio Tressoldi26th Nov 20121001KPU_Registry_1001
Published Results
(1 of 2)
Published Results
(2 of 2) DISCON

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