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Nonlocal Intuition in Entrepreneurs and Non-entrepreneurs: An Experimental Comparison Using Electrophysiological Measures1

Raymond Trevor Bradley, Institute of HeartMath & Institute for Whole Social Science; Rollin McCraty, Institute of HeartMath; Mike Atkinson, Institute of HeartMath; Murray Gillin, Australian Graduate School of Entrepreneurship

In Regional Frontiers of Entrepreneurship Research 2008, Australian Graduate School of Entrepreneurship, Swinbourne University of Technology, Hawthorne, Australia.

For a PDF version of the complete paper, click here.

Abstract

What explains the success of repeat entrepreneurs? A team of researchers from the Australian Graduate School of Entrepreneurship (AGSE) and the Institute of HeartMath (IHM) have been investigating the proposition that nonlocal intuition accounts for the repeat entrepreneur’s extraordinary ability to locate future business opportunities. Nonlocal intuition is the perception of energetically encoded information about a future event by the body’s psychophysiological systems, which informs entrepreneurial decision and action; this information is not based on reason or memories of prior experience (McCraty et al., 2004a). This paper reports the results of a study testing the measurement efficacy of improvements to an experimental protocol used in a pilot study reported at last year’s AGSE. The new study was conducted on a sample of non-entrepreneurs who have been practicing emotional management and coherence building techniques to increase intuition. The study employed both cognitive and electrophysiological measures (skin conductance response and heart rhythm patterns) in an 8 session repeated measures design. In addition to investigating the stability of intuitive ability over time, we also compared data from last year’s pilot study of repeat entrepreneurs to examine the degree to which the intuitive ability is comparable to the sample of non-entrepreneurs. The results are quite promising, as the evidence shows that the experimental protocol appears to function as a valid and reliable instrument for measuring nonlocal intuition in both entrepreneurs and non-entrepreneurs. While preliminary, results from an aggregate analysis of the nonentrepreneurs show a consistent pattern of physiological detection of a nonlocal intuitive effect that is evident across the repeated sessions of the experiment. There is strong evidence, especially in the separation of the heart rhythm win/loss curves, of detection of a nonlocal intuitive pre-stimulus effect some 12-14 seconds before the betting outcome was presented to the participants. The results from the comparison of entrepreneurs with non-entrepreneurs showed similar evidence of the detection of a nonlocal intuitive effect in the recordings of heart rhythm patterns. While these are preliminary results, they are consistent with the findings of previous studies.