Do You Know If They’re Looking?

Rupert Sheldrake conducted a study with 310 tests and 6200 trials. Its goal was to determine if two separatedĀ individualsĀ could detect if one person was staring at a target object or not. The catch? Neither individual could see, hear, or detect each other using their normal five senses. Each trial with two participants involved twenty guesses for target objects such as apples.

With the law of large numbers, guessing if another person was looking at an object should have averaged out to 50 percent. Sheldrake reported 52.5%, which was a small but highly unlikely result (odds = 1:33333). Interestingly, 155 of the 310 trials produced scores above chance, while 109 trials produced scores below chance.

Overall, Sheldrake’s study reinforces a series of work where people have been able to significantly detect being stared at. These results also suggest a weak but significant PSI effect of knowing when others are staring at objects other than ourselves.






Sheldrake, R. (2015). Linking minds through joint attention: A preliminary investigation. Journal of the Society for Psychical Research, 79, 193-200.

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