Purpose: To see if thousands of people all thinking of roughly the same thing can affect the outcome of single plays during a sporting event.
Background: While sitting at a Rangers game last night, I began trying to see if I could guess where a particular player would hit the ball. I’d try things like saying to myself “Michael Young is going to hit towards the JC Penny sign.” Then I’d sit back and remove any emotional attachment to him actually hitting, as if I had nothing riding on this game (I didn’t…honest!). He didn’t hit towards the sign, but he did hit the ball. So naturally I surmised that it was 99.9999999999% his skill and 0.000000000001% me messing around with the butterfly effect.
My friend tried it with Nelson Cruz and said “Ok I want him to hit to the State Farm sign.” He ended up driving it slightly to the left of the intended sign. She thought it was coincidence and it may have been. But what if the intense focus of 30,000 people had affected some of the millions of variables present that resulted in a hit to a specific area?
Sound far-fetched? There are multiple studies that investigate the ability of the human mind to affect its immediate environment (Radin et al, GCP Experiment). If these experiments have even the slightest bit of merit, then conceivably, it would extend to sports where fans are all hoping for at least a point, and at most a miracle. Since official scientific studies are very closely controlled, this is going to be an experiment just for fun.
Execution: Very simple actually. Just state what specific play you’d like to have happen, and where. The only stipulation is that you should try to remain as calm and unemotional as possible in the beginning. This way you have a reference point in case you become excited later on. Try focusing by yourself or with a group of friends (by focus I mean whatever works for you, be it visualizing the play executed, pretending its a video game, imagining the
crowd reaction, etc). If you get any results where you think “Nah that had to be a coincidence” try to repeat what you did and see if anything is different (of course it will be since there’s millions of constantly changing variables at a live sporting event). Nonetheless, it’s what real scientists do to try to find patterns among the chaos.