Channeling: How Common is Common?

May 10, 2021
Helané Wahbeh, Director of Research

Because many people are in the closet about their channeling experiences, they don’t quite realize how common they are. Channeling experiences are actually very common.

For example, we can start by looking at belief in channeling experiences. There have been numerous studies from all over the world looking at people’s belief in channeling. The percentages of people who say they believe range from 21% to 78% for something like belief in life after death or contact with the dead.

But belief is not experience, even though most studies find that belief and experience are directly related. Also, not everyone who believes has had an experience and vice versa. We do know that you’ll do better on various psi tasks in the laboratory if you believe.

So, just how common are channeling experiences?

Researchers from around the world have been formally studying how common channeling is for about 40 years. The percentage of people who have channeling experiences from these studies range from about 10% in Scottish citizens to as high as 97% in a survey we did in the United States. These surveys often ask about different types of channeling experiences, ranging from general extra-sensory perception to other specific experiences like telepathy, precognition, clairvoyance, and out-of-body experiences.

We did a unique study where we surveyed scientists and engineers, general people from the United States, and people from the IONS membership about first-hand experiences with channeling. Our intention was to see how common 25 different channeling experiences are in these groups. Nearly 900 people finished that study. When we grouped everybody together, 96% said they had at least one of these experiences.

That was much higher than we had anticipated. When we went back and looked at the different items, we thought perhaps people misinterpreted the language. For example, a question on clairempathy or feeling other people’s emotions could have been interpreted as standard empathy. So, we repeated the analysis by taking those potentially ambiguous questions out.

Remarkably, the percentage of people who still endorsed at least one item was above 80%. The results from this and many other studies are overwhelmingly clear: Channeling experiences are not rare. In fact, they are very common.

What does it mean when we say they are very common? When we look at the medical literature for how common different diseases are, you’ll see that if something is in 1% of the population it’s called common. If it is in 10% of the population, it is called very common. Using these gold standards developed by the World Health Organization, we can clearly state that channeling experiences are very common.

Not only are these experiences common, but at IONS we believe that everyone has a Noetic SignatureTM, which is their unique way of channeling. In my upcoming book The Science of Channeling, I’ll show you how to uncover and cultivate your own noetic gifts, which can be used to improve your life — and the world around you. It’s available for Order now!


Curious to learn more about channeling? Take a deep dive into The Science of Channeling through our new online course! A part of the IONS Channeling Research Program, this self-paced program sheds light on experiences we call “channeling” — the process of revealing information and energy not limited by space and time.

In this course, you will explore the latest scientific evidence for channeling phenomena, looking at research questions such as “Is channeling real?” and “Is it a mental health concern?” Join IONS Director of Research, Helané Wahbeh, as she reveals the fascinating research on this common phenomenon which we are just coming to understand!

Learn More & Register

And, feel free to peruse some of our scientific studies around this topic.

Wahbeh, H., Radin, D., Mossbridge, J., Vieten, C., & Delorme, A. (2018). Exceptional experiences reported by scientists and engineers. Explore, 14(5), 329–341.

Wahbeh, H., & Butzer, B. (2020). Characteristics of English-speaking trance channelers. Explore, 16(5), 304–309.

About the Author

Helané Wahbeh, ND, MCRHelané Wahbeh, ND, MCR, is the Director of Research at the Institute of Noetic Sciences and an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Neurology at Oregon Health & Science University. Dr. Wahbeh is clinically trained as a naturopathic physician and research trained with a Master of Clinical Research and two post-doctoral research fellowships. She has published on and spoken internationally about her studies on complementary and alternative medicine, mind-body medicine, extended human capacities, stress, posttraumatic stress disorder and their relationships to physiology, health, and healing. Dr. Wahbeh is especially known for her research around — and noetic approach to — channeling.

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