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Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Kindness and the Emoto Rice Experiment

Let me start with two disclaimers here: (1) I have not yet tried this experiment with a class, so if you try it, please leave comments with your result. I would love to know how this works in a classroom setting but have been out of the classroom this year. (2) This is not, strictly speaking, a scientific experiment. There were no controls in place and I have not yet repeated the experiment.

In February, I received a Facebook message from a family member, asking if I had tried this experiment before. I had not heard of it but was very intrigued by it. This experiment, as well as a similar experiment with water, was first conducted by Dr. Masaru Emoto to prove the "magical power of positive thinking." In essence, it is meant to show that our thoughts and intentions can alter physical reality. I found that the experiment worked exactly as it was reported to work.

On February 27, 2014, I cooked some regular white rice according to package directions. When the rice was mostly cooled, I placed half in a jar labeled "I hate you." and half in a jar labeled "Thank you. I love you.". I put a loose lid  on each jar and placed them side by side on a counter so that they weren't obtrusive but where I would see them each time I walked by. The next step was to speak to each jar in the manner and with the words on the label of that jar.

Each time I walked past the jars for the next two weeks, I spoke to each jar. I spoke to the "Thank you" jar in a kind voice, telling it that it was good, that I loved it, and, even on occasion, patting the lid. The other jar, I spoke to harshly, told it that it was bad and that I hated it. By day 6, the "I hate you" rice had started to mold while the other rice remained clean.

I continued speaking to the jars in the same manner for a total of 12 days. By that time, the mold was spreading in the "hate' jar but there was still no mold in the "love" jar. At that time, I decided to just ignore both jars for the next few days. By day 15, both jars were growing mold but the mold in the "hate" jar was considerably more colorful and smelly.

The conclusion that I drew from this experiment is that thoughts and actions can, in fact, alter physical reality. I think this would be an excellent experiment to use in the classroom to demonstrate the effect that our negative words have, not only on our environment, but on each other.  In a blog by Corkboard Connections, I read that 1 put-down requires 10 positive comments to counter-act the damage done. While we cannot tell our children how to think, we can show them that while thoughts may be private, behavior is public and can cause pain to others. I think that even young children would be able to understand and participate in this experiment.

Please let me know how this experiments works in your classroom! Remember: Kindness matters!


  1. Great blog. Thanks for trying this. You are a natural teacher.

  2. I have tried this and here are my results I was very pleased with the result I had gotten.It is worth doing as it shows you just how powerful our words are.

    1. Thank you for sharing your experience. It is hard to change our thought processes to always think positively and good to see evidence that it works.