Intuitive Research - A Timeline
Teresa Frisch, RN 4.3.09
Revised tlf 5.25.09
“And the single individual is single in the sense of unique; it has no standard with which it can be compared. In other words, the single individual is, from this point of view, not accessible to the scientific method; no judgment, but intuition characterizes the term ‘art,’ as contemplated in this second sense of the phrase.”
-Otto Guttentag, “The Phrase, ‘Art and Science of Medicine,’” 1939
A timeline across the scientific realm reveals decades-long investigative efforts focused toward an understanding of human intuition. This understanding still remains tantalizingly out of the reach of mainstream science, but quantum physics and evolving technology may be approaching the ability to match and correlate a hard, exact science to a soft, inexact science. Otherwise stated, a human.
I began my study of nursing intuition several years ago beginning with Patricia Benner’s Five Stages of Clinical Competency. My cross-scientific studies eventually led me to the subconscious mind and nonlocality, with a specific focus geared toward their relationship to and impact upon the development of intuition. The Benner-Dreyfus application of skill acquisition delineates the first, or novice, level of performance to the fifth level, the intuitive holistic expert (Benner). Lyneham, Parkinson and Denholm further expand the research of the intuitive, holistic expert nurse by identifying, defining, and describing their daily clinical practice, then translating these findings into a descriptive reporting language.
Specifically, Lyneham, et al, give us three definitive demonstrations of the elusive intuitive aspect of nursing practice: the retrieval of information from the subconscious mind, bypassing the need for analyzation through a conscious decision-making tree while using critical thinking skills to simultaneously and immediately transfer and convert the knowledge into a physical action plan.
Lyneham, et al, notice that “themes appear in order: knowledge, experience, connection, feeling, syncretism and finally, trust.” So stated, this bears an uncanny resemblance to the structure of the Science of Controlled Remote Viewing (Buchanan, Home Page). Remote viewers have learned to trust their subconscious and intuitive abilities. Building on past experiences, they intuitively get a perception and consciously write it down. Expert nurses have also learned to trust their abilities. They rapidly and holistically assess the situation built on a vast amount of previous experience, transferring intuit information into the conscious act of administering a patient-centered plan of care.
As explained by Krejci in “Synchronous Connections: Nursing’s Little Secret,” found in Essential Readings in Holistic Nursing, expert nurses develop a rapport with each patient. Each reassessment, each patient contact, no matter if every five minutes in the Intensive Care Unit or administered at home once a day, that nurse is subconsciously “scanning,” alert, looking for changes as he or she interacts with that specific patient in that specific environment. Nurses recognize that they intuitively “know things” and base decisions upon past experiences because they’ve learned to trust their gut instincts (77-82). Dr. Dean Radin’s scale enables us to measure progressive intuitive levels. Titled “Measuring the Mystical Experience", it can be found in the Higher States of Consciousness section of the Aesthetic Impact website.
When I began my studies of the Science of Controlled Remote Viewing, I began to see real, physical progress in the understanding of how the subconscious and conscious minds communicate. Theory alone was not a factor, but a hands-on application of retrieval of information from the subconscious mind. Benner’s language describes repetitive observation of patients in a clinical setting until recognition of patterns and comfort zones brings the nurse to the intuitive fifth level of competency and the physical act of delivering patient care. The Science of Controlled Remote Viewing requires hours of practice, developing the language of trust between the conscious and subconscious minds, retrieving information from the subconscious and moving it to the conscious level and onto paper.
Fragmented, specialized scientific efforts geared toward special interests will not provide data that allows full picture, full scope, and holistic analyzation of human intuition. Combine the efforts and I feel there is enough saliency to warrant further cross-scientific exploration if all sciences, hard and soft, as they would join together in a collaborative effort representative of all types and levels of human abilities. Formation of a cross-discipline team could be this century’s best practice model to discover what it really means to study the human condition through the art and science of medicine.
I love the human condition. I hope you enjoy the findings in the timeline below as much as I have enjoyed finding and bringing them to you. It hasn’t necessarily been the easiest of roads but it has been worth it. Please visit often and check for revisions.
A multi-disciplinary group of scientists and thinkers form The Society for Psychical Research in London in an effort to organize scientific research and investigation into a variety of unexplainable phenomena (“Society for Psychical Research”).
Stanford Institute establishes the first laboratory and Dr. John Coover heads the first academic study of extrasensory perception (ESP) and psychokinesis (PK) in the United States (“Parapsychology”).
Nobel Prize winner Charles Richet publishes Les Annales des Sciences Psychiques (Star Gate History).
After three years of an intense collaborative effort with his wife, Mary Craig Kimbrough, Upton Sinclair is able to match and scientifically document her telepathic experiences and publishes Mental Radio.
Dr. Joseph B. Rhine funds the parapsychology lab at Duke University. Over the coming years he and his wife, Dr. Louisa E. Rhine, focus their joint efforts to research and document the apparent human ability to obtain information outside, beyond, or in addition to, the five senses. You may recognize their work in the now-familiar term: Extrasensory Perception, or ESP (“Who was J. B. Rhine?”).
Rene’ Warcollier publishes Experiments in Telepathy and gives us our first glimpse into the science of remote viewing.
Ingo Swann visits the Stanford Research Institute in Menlo Park, California, nonplussing researchers with his psychic abilities. Reports are generated and passed into the scientific community, eventually capturing the attention of The Central Intelligence Agency. The CIA, concerned with amount of effort being expended by the Soviet government regarding the study of parapsychology, asks Dr. Harold Putoff if some tests might be arranged. Ingo Swann again perplexes all involved, and the United States Government officially begins the study of psychic (psi) abilities at Stanford Research Institute (SRI) by issuing a grant for the $49,909 Biofield Measurements Program (Puthoff). The program began as a collaborative effort including Dr. Harold Puthoff, Dr. Russell Targ, Ingo Swann and Pat Price, and moved through several years and shifts in agencies, funding, personnel and names until it was discontinued in June of 1995 (Smith). In 2006, Tamra Temple organizes 89,901 declassified files / 12,000 documents and compiles an interactive set of discs based on this program, http://www.stargate-interactive.com.
SRI continues neuropsychological research and development of remote viewing, and “strikes pay dirt,” reporting the administration of Halstead-Reitan Neuropsychology Test Battery reveals a “very high level of proficiency in certain spatial tasks” and “some were exceedingly atypical with respect to the established norms.” This report demonstrates cross-scientific discipline research of human intuitive abilities through private contractors (including physicists) and medicine, with the neuropsychologist administering the test and reporting a “correlation of findings with data obtained at the Department of Psychiatry, Palo Alto Medical Clinic” (Puthoff).
Patricia Benner, RN, works as a research assistant with Hubert Dreyfus and Richard Lazarus at the University of California, Berkeley, CA, and receives her doctorate in Stress, Coping and Health (“Patricia Benner, R.N.”).
Drs. Stuart and Hubert Dreyfus publish “The Scope, Limits, and Training Implications of Three Models of Aircraft Pilot Emergency Response Behavior,” contracted under the Operations Research Center, Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFSC), USAF, under Grant AFOSR-78-3594 with the University of California, Berkeley. The non-situational model reports the study of chess players, pilots and language students to obtain their findings (18). This work also introduces holographic possibilities, sourcing Haugeland and Pribram, and the possibility of holographic processes based on “remembered typical situations where these memories would include emotions, bodily sensations, and tensions between competing goals” (25-27).
Drs. Stuart and Hubert Dreyfus publish “The Psychic Boom: Flying Beyond the Thought Barrier.” Continuing their research at the Operations Research Center, Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFSC), USAF, under Grant AFOSR-78-3594 with the University of California, Berkeley, the brothers again discuss their previous findings. They discuss the development of the intuitive mind (4) and introduce the skill level table published in “A Five-Stage Model of the Mental Activities Involved in Direct Skill Acquisition” (15).
Dreyfus & Dreyfus: “A Five-Stage Model of the Mental Activities Involved in Direct Skill Acquisition.” Contracted by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFSC), USAF, Drs. Stuart and Hubert Dreyfus, working at the University of California, Berkeley, publish their landmark research. Their goal was to acquire an understanding of the stages of learning to facilitate training programs and “high order skills.” This joint effort between the two brothers crossed scientific disciplines to study three groups: foreign language acquisition, chess learners and flight instruction.
Moving from initial, rule-driven situations, each group gained experience in their environments. As their comfort zones increased, they depended less on rules and perceived situations holistically, eventually achieving an intuitive mastery and, while aware of the rules, were not dependent upon them. The analytical mind, relieved of its monitoring role in producing and evaluating performance, is quieted so that the performer can become completely absorbed in his performance.
United States Air Force Chief of Staff cancels the USAF Remote Viewing program and the Defense Intelligence Agency provides leadership for the program (Smith).
1981 – 1982
Dr. Harold Puthoff, SRI, releases the October 1981 - December 1982 report, “RV Reliability, Enhancement, Evaluation Task.” Continuing the development of intuition for intelligence gathering (Buchanan, “What is Remote Viewing?”), Puthoff outlines training undertaken with novice volunteers and explains, how “at this stage of near completion of the development, the RV training procedure proceeds through a series of six-stages of proficiency” and “the results to date continue to support the hypothesis that the remote viewing technology can be transferred to trainees on the basis of orientation, coaching and practice” (Puthoff 5-9).
Benner: From Novice to Expert – Excellence and Power in Clinical Nursing Practice. Patricia Benner, R.N., Ph.D., University of California School of Nursing, Department of Psychological Nursing, applies the Dreyfus Model of Skill Acquisition to nursing and publishes her ground-breaking research, From Novice to Expert – Excellence and Power in Clinical Nursing Practice. Collecting narrative, situational experiences from nurses enabled her to delineate and define skill levels as Stages 1 through 5, and formulate recommended best practice learning techniques for each. Benner’s work is considered the gold standard, and is incorporated into most nursing core curriculums and practicing clinical ladders today.
The expert nurse, having been in the same or similar role for three to five years, has built an enormous background of experience and will use it when necessary, but no longer relies solely upon the previous analytic principles of rules, guidelines or maxims. An intuitive grasp of the current situation immediately hones the focus and eliminates the need for wading through alternative diagnoses or situations. Operating from a deep holistic grasp of the total situation makes it difficult for the expert performer to describe why or how a particular plan was formed or executed. Experts speak with certainty, based on perceptual recognition and several years of experience. Benner herself gives voice to the question of whether or not this certainty is “empirically borne out, and which nurses have it, and under what circumstances” (33).
The United States Congress requests that formerly classified intuitive psi research by the CIA be reviewed by the American Institutes for Research. In Radin’s The Conscious Universe: The Scientific Truth of Psychic Phenomena, Dr. Jessica Utts, statistician, UC Davis, reports that “the statistical results of the studies examined are far beyond what is expected by chance” and “effects of similar magnitude to those found in government-sponsored research…have been replicated at a number of laboratories across the world.” Her recommendation is “that future experiments focus on understanding how this phenomenon works, and on how to make it as useful as possible. There is little benefit to continuing experiments designed to offer proof.” Skeptic Ray Hyman, the second reviewer, concurred with Dr. Utts stating, “the statistical departures from chance appear to be too large and consistent to attribute to statistical flukes of any sort” and “something other than chance departures from the null hypothesis has occurred in these experiments” (4-5).
Dr. Carl Sagan and Ann Druyan publish The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark, directing a skeptical eye toward all things paranormal except, per Dr. Dean Radin, “one paragraph among 450 pages, we find an astonishing admission” (Conscious Universe 3):
At the time of writing there are three claims in the ESP field which, in my opinion, deserve serious study: (1) that by thought alone humans can (barely) affect random number generators in computers; (2) that people under mild sensory deprivation can receive thoughts or images “projected” at them; and (3) that young children sometimes report the details of a previous life, which upon checking turns out to be accurate and which they could not have known about in any other way than reincarnation (qtd. in Conscious Universe 3).
Further explained and included in his summary of “Chapter 4, Meta-Analysis,” Dr. Radin states:
We’ve seen that essentially the same effects have been repeatedly observed by dozens of investigators using different methods. This is why the late Carl Sagan agreed that some of the scientific evidence provided by psi experiments is persuasive enough to take these phenomena very seriously (109).
Dr. William Tiller publishes Science and Human Transformation: Subtle Energies, Intentionality and Consciousness, including “how an internal ‘dowsing’ type of body reaction opens an access window to information at the subtle levels leading to enhanced intuition in both our daily lives and in medical diagnostics. The best place to start for unraveling this overall picture is with the origins of electromagnetic radiations from atoms, molecules, cells, etc” (101).
Dr. Dean Radin publishes The Conscious Universe: The Scientific Truth of Psychic Phenomena. Within these 303 pages, Dr. Radin cites numerous scientific sources and discusses and reports research findings in intuition, precognition, and presentiment: including empirical, forced-choice, moderating variables, analytic methods, evaluation, physiologic tests, replications, and technological devices (353-357).
Benner herself addresses the need for “systematic documentation of expert clinical performance” to facilitate further research and study of the expert practitioner (Conscious Universe 35). Claire Petitmengin-Peugeot publishes her findings in “The Intuitive Experience,” stating that “the intuitive experience has not been studied for itself, that science has not yet developed a method which would enable intuitive research to be possible” (43-47). I would very much like to introduce Claire to Mr. Lyn Buchanan and the Science of Controlled Remote Viewing.
The Institute of HeartMath publishes a succession of reports. The first two reports (“Electrophysiological Evidence of Intuition: Part 1. The Surprising Role of the Heart” and “Electrophysiological Evidence of Intuition: Part 2. A System-Wide Process?”) appear in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. The third, “The Psychophysiology of Entrepreneurial Intuition: A Quantum-Holographic Theory,” was presented at the Third AGSE International Entrepreneurship Research Exchange in Auckland, New Zealand. According to the overview of Part 1:
This study aims to contribute to a scientific understanding of intuition, a process by which information normally outside the range of conscious awareness is perceived by the body’s psycho physiological systems. The first objective, presented in two empirical reports (Part 1 and Part 2), was to replicate and extend the results of previous experiments demonstrating that the body can respond to an emotionally arousing stimulus seconds before it is actually experienced (McCraty, Atkinson, and Bradley).
The second objective, as stated in Part 2, is “to develop a theory that explains how the body receives and processes information involved in intuitive perception” (McCraty, Atkinson, and Bradley).
Dr. Gary Schwartz and Dr. Lonnie Nelson report above average findings that “support claims of energy healers that biofield awareness can be modulated both bioelectromagnetically (locally) and via conscious intent (distally), and that individual differences in biofield awareness are related to self-awareness and sensitivity to others” (“Human Biofield and Intention Detection”).
January – February 2008
Dr. Dean Radin publishes “Testing nonlocal observation as a source of intuitive knowledge.” This abstract and article, found through the National Institute of Health’s Pub Med, states: “This study explored the hypothesis that in some cases intuitive knowledge arises from perceptions that are not mediated through the ordinary senses.” Also stated in the abstract, “this pilot study suggests the presence of a nonlocal perturbation effect that is consistent with traditional concepts of intuition as a direct means of gaining knowledge about the world, and with the predicted effects of observation on a quantum system.”
“Explicating Benner's concept of expert practice: intuition in emergency nursing” by Lyneham, Parkinson and Denholm meets the challenge and takes Benner’s work to the next level. By exploring intuitive practice in the Emergency Department setting, these three nurses have further defined and delineated the intuitive process of the expert nurse. While doing so, they noticed “themes appear in order: knowledge, experience, connection, feeling, syncretism and finally, trust.”
Lyneham, et al, have:
Found expert practitioners for participation
Delineated the acquisition of intuitive ability
Developed a design for data acquisition and recording analysis
Developed a language to articulate nuances that can’t be measured
Validated intuitive decision making in expert clinical practice.
“The analysis resulted in the reconstruction of Benner’s expert stage into three distinct phases:
Cognitive intuition, where assessment is processed subconsciously and can be rationalized in hindsight
Transitional intuition, where physical sensation and other behaviours enter the nurse’s awareness
Embodied intuition, when the nurse trusts the intuitive thoughts.”
It would seem that mind-body medicine has arrived at the border of a new frontier. With this much time and effort spent in the study of human abilities and the discovery of what the intuitive mind is capable of, where do we go from here? Where should we go from here?