Physicist: No connection.
The idea that consciousness, or observation, can affect the physical world around us is called the “Copenhagen Interpretation”. According to the Copenhagen interpretation, as long as there is no consciousness observing a system (a system of particles, planets, light, chairs, etc.), then the system will evolve in time according to the rules of quantum mechanics (waves and super-positions and whatnot). However, the moment that a conscious observer observes the system it suddenly stops obeying the laws of QM and, rather than being in a superposition of states, snaps to one state. Essentially, the act of observation creates a definite reality.
You’ll notice that at no time does the Observer have any control over what state they’ll observe (I’m looking at you, The Secret). This has been shown experimentally (so many times).
Just to be clear, the Copenhagen interpretation is wrong.
The Copenhagen interpretation leaves a lot of questions unanswered:
If there’s more than one conscious observer, then who’s observation determines reality?
If you fall asleep or die, and no one observes you, is your body now in a superposition of states?
How does consciousness affect the physical world (what is the mechanism)?
How fast does the effect of the observation move? This is a good one. If you say “instant” or “faster than light”, then (for relativity based reasons) the effect can move backwards through time. If you say “at the speed of light or slower”, then different observers of the same event can create different realities.
Among quantum physicists, the best theory is the “Many Worlds Hypothesis”. Here’s the basic idea:
Light was the first thing that clearly demonstrated super-position (being in more than one state at once). After that we saw super-position in electrons, protons and neutrons, alpha particles (helium), and even Buckyballs (also called “Buckminsterfullerene”, a molecule with 60 carbon atoms). The larger a thing is, the harder it is to do an experiment that shows super-position, but so far everything seems to be capable of being in a super-position of states.
So, extend this from “everything we’ve ever been able to measure can be in a super-position of states” to “everything can be in a super-position of states”. Where “everything” includes people. Now the QM laws apply at all times, without awkward questions, exceptions, and explanations. And, even better, the relationship between quantum physics and consciousness is revealed to be: nothing.
For example: Schrodinger’s Cat.
Copenhagen: Before the box is opened the cat is in a combination of alive and dead. When the box is opened the cat is exposed to a conscious observer and the act of observing the cat forces it into only one state or the other. This one reality then goes along it’s merry way.
Many Worlds: Before the box is opened the cat is in a combination of alive and dead. When the box is opened the cat and the observer are allowed to interact and the larger system is now in a combination of cat-dead / observer-horrified and cat-alive / observer-hugcat. These two realities then go along their merry ways.
I can’t give you a good definition for consciousness, but I can say that it doesn’t apply here.