Proponents of two leading theories of consciousness are trying to develop tests for their models, in a hitherto baffling field:
Why does the Integrated Information Theory (IIT) model depend on panpsychism?
To understand why the IIT model entails panpsychism, observe that, at this point, conscious has become a technical term. To say that electrons are conscious does not mean that electrons have opinions, as is often assumed.
It only means that they can produce quantum collapses. On that view, human consciousness is a huge and immensely complicated system that can produce quantum collapses.
The model (and IIT in general) need panpsychism because they require consciousness, seen in this sense, to be a feature of most of the universe:
Previous attempts to solve the measurement problem by appealing to consciousness have run into a major problem: if classical reality requires the presence of conscious humans, how did the universe evolve classically to the point where human consciousness appeared? The new idea avoids this because IIT doesn’t limit consciousness to biological beings. The universe could have begun as a quantum system and continued evolving quantum mechanically until matter first became able to integrate information. This consciousness then started to collapse quantum reality, creating the sort of classical reality we experience today.ANIL ANANTHASWAMY, “CAN PHYSICS EXPLAIN CONSCIOUSNESS AND DOES IT CREATE REALITY?” AT NEW SCIENTIST JULY 7, 2021
That doesn’t mean that the universe is itself a conscious being, just as it doesn’t mean that electrons have opinions, only that consciousness is a non-material element in our universe, present to varying degrees in varying entities. — News, “Will we soon be able to test theories of consciousness?” at Mind Matters News
Takehome: Panpsychism, in the form of Integrated Information Theory (IIT), is a much more serious competitor to dualism and idealism than materialism could hope to be. Panpsychists are not trying to claim that consciousness is merely an illusion. They may be wrong but they aren’t ridiculous.