A supposed physical force emanating from the person of the
medium and directed by his or her will, by means of which objects
may be moved without contact in apparent defiance of
natural laws. The existence of such a psychic force was postulated
by Count Agenor de Gasparin in the mid-nineteenth century
to explain the phenomena of table-turning and rapping,
and the term ectenic force was bestowed upon the supposed
agency by de Gasparins colleague Marc Thury.
The experiments of Thury and de Gasparin were widely
cited as among the most convincing evidence that Spiritualism
could produce, and influenced many eminent students of psychic
research. If tables can be moved without contact, then such
a theory is plausible, but the evidence for this type of phenomena
is not abundant. During the latter twentieth century, the
phenomenon postulated by Thury and de Gasparin has been
placed under the broad label of psychokinesis.