What an incredible summer of sport 2014 has been. The World Cup in Brazil, Wimbolden and The Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. The highs and lows, the passion and excitement and the power that the spectators feel as they become drawn into the competition as the event unfolds. Nowhere was this talked about more than during the athletics at the London Olympic Games in 2012, when all the members of Team GB spoke about the power of the crowd cheering them on towards unprecedented success, particularly during Super Saturday, August 4th, when Jess Ennis, Greg Rutherford and Mo Farah all got Gold Medals.
So what is this power of the crowd? How is it that so many people can be drawn into such excitement, that can help raise the performance of the athletes themselves? It does not just affect the people at the venue, but also the folk watching on TV, even around the globe.
Fascinating research at The Global Consciousness Project (http://noosphere.princeton.edu/) may have the answer. Based at The Institute of Noetic Sciences at Princeton, it studies the effects of group dynamics on random number generators (RNGs). Put simply, these RNGs flip coins thousands of times a second and store the results- either heads or tails. Left alone and over many repetitions these RNGs will produce a ratio of 50- 50 (half heads and half tails). But this random behaviour can be affected by people thinking more about heads or tails.
The research started with individuals, but later they tried it with small groups of people, and found that those groups who shared bonds, such as couples, siblings and long- term friends, influenced the machines more dramatically than those that did not share those bonds or individuals. Over many years, the project has found significant effects on RNGs by groups of people who are in some way in synchrony and therefore powerfully connected through their conscious attention. What brings about this synchronous behaviour can range from local effects at opera and classical music events, to global effects seen at the OJ Simpson trial and Lady Diana Spencer’s funeral. It appears to suggest that humans have the ability to synchronise and increase the effect of their collective focus.
Perhaps that is what happens at some incredible sporting events such as Super Saturday. Certainly there was a collective excitement at The Wimbolden Men’s Final in 2014 that may have helped to spur the players on to greater endurance and performance.
Science tells us there are fields of energy that we can tap into. As a result, we can be influenced by these fields and in turn can affect them. It is a two- way process that means our presence has an impact on the environments we are in. It is a complex interaction, but what is clear is that it can become very potent when people are thinking in a synchronous manner. In negative situations, perhaps this collective affect has been shown in Nazi Germany in the 1930s and 1940s and in Rwanda in the 1990s. In sport, this affect often shows itself in a very positive light, bringing out the best of people, not just in their sporting performance, but in their behaviour and good will towards their fellow men. The power of the mind is great and the power of the collective mind appears to be greater still.