A Collection of Strange Beliefs, Amusing Deceptions, and Dangerous Delusions

From Abracadabra to Zombies | View All


Telekinesis (from Greek words meaning distant movement) is the movement of objects by the power of the mind alone without any physical intervention. Using only one's thoughts to move a pencil across a table would be an example of telekinesis. Mentalists fake telekinesis by blowing on the pencil to make it move.

Telekinesis is considered a type of psychokinesis, which is the manipulation of objects using only the power of the mind without any physical interevention. Bending a spoon by willing it to happen would be an example of psychokinesis. Using only one's mental effort to make the spoon levitate would be be an example of telekinesis. Causing a thunderbolt to appear by mental effort alone would be an example of psychokinesis. Making a cloud move in the sky by the power of the mind alone would be an example of telekinesis.

There have been many scientific experiments on psychokinesis, many of them involving attempts to affect the outcome of the roll of a die. There is no credible scientific evidence that anyone has either moved a pencil or caused a thunderbolt by mental effort alone, much less broken the bank at Monte Carlo by willing the dice to come up seven or any other number.

See also See also conjuring, Princeton Engineering Anomalies Project, Project Alpha, Uri Geller, magical thinking, poltergeist, and psi assumption.

reader comments

further reading


Alcock, James E. 2003. Jean Burns and Anthony Freeman.  Editors. Psi Wars: Getting to Grips with the Paranormal Imprint Academic.

Christopher, Milbourne. 1970. ESP, Seers & Psychics Thomas Y. Crowell Co.

Gardner, Martin. 1957. Fads and Fallacies in the Name of Science. Dover Publications, Inc.

Hansel, C.E.M. 1989. The Search for Psychic Power: ESP and Parapsychology Revisited. Prometheus Books.

Hansen, George P. 2001. The Trickster and the Paranormal. Xlibris Corporation.

Hines, Terence. 2003. Pseudoscience and the Paranormal 2nd ed.  Prometheus Books.

Hyman, Ray. 1989. The Elusive Quarry: a Scientific Appraisal of Psychical Research. Prometheus Books.

Marks, David and Richard Kammann. 2000. The Psychology of the Psychic. Prometheus Books.

Mishlove, Jeffrey. 2000. The PK Man: A True Story of Mind over Matter. Hampton Roads Publishing Company.

Park, Robert L. (2008). Superstition: Belief in the Age of Science. Princeton University Press.

Polidoro, Massimo. 1997. "Secrets of a Russian psychic - truth behind Alla Vinogradova's psychokinetic ability." Skeptical Inquirer, July-August.

Radin, Dean. 1997. The Conscious Universe - The Scientific Truth of Psychic Phenomena. HarperCollins.

Randi, James. 1982. Flim-Flam! Prometheus Books.

Randi, James. 1982. The Truth About Uri Geller. Prometheus Books.

Last updated 06-Jun-2013


© Copyright 1994-2015 Robert T. Carroll * This page was designed by Cristian Popa.