- June 5, 2010 at 1:29 pm#6842
- June 5, 2010 at 1:38 pm #403576
- June 5, 2010 at 1:55 pm #403561
Parapsychology (from the Greek: Ï€Î±ÏÎ¬ para, “alongside” + psychology) is the study of paranormal events including extrasensory perception, psychokinesis, and survival of consciousness after death. Parapsychologists call these processes psi, a term intended to be descriptive without implying a mechanism.
Parapsychological research involves a variety of methods including laboratory research and fieldwork, which is conducted at privately funded laboratories and some universities around the world though there are fewer universities actively sponsoring parapsychological research today than in years past. Such research is published in specialized parapsychological publications, though a smaller number of articles on parapsychological research have also appeared in more mainstream journals. Experiments conducted by parapsychologists have included the use of random number generators to test for evidence of psychokinesis, sensory-deprivation Ganzfeld experiments to test for extrasensory perception, and research trials conducted under contract to the United States government to investigate the possibility of remote viewing.
Active parapsychologists have admitted difficulty in getting scientists to accept their research, and science educators and scientists have called the subject pseudoscience. Scientists such as Ray Hyman, Stanley Krippner, and James Alcock have criticized both the methods used and the results obtained in parapsychology. Skeptical researchers suggest that methodological flaws, rather than the anomalistic explanations offered by many parapsychologists, provide the best explanation for apparent experimental successes. To date, the scientific community has not accepted evidence of the existence of the paranormal.
- June 5, 2010 at 2:05 pm #403556
- June 5, 2010 at 2:44 pm #403520
- June 5, 2010 at 3:07 pm #403497
“What is parapsychology?
Parapsychology is the scientific and scholarly study of three kinds of unusual events (ESP, mind-matter interaction, and survival), which are associated with human experience. The existence of these phenomena suggest that the strict subjective/objective dichotomy proposed by the old paradigm (see below) may not be quite so clear-cut as once thought. Instead, these phenomena may be part of a spectrum of what is possible, with some events and experiences occasionally falling between purely subjective and purely objective. We call such phenomena “anomalous” because they are difficult to explain within current scientific models.
Parapsychology only studies those anomalies that fall into one of three general categories: ESP (terms are defined below), mind-matter interaction (previously known as psychokinesis), and phenomena suggestive of survival after bodily death, including near-death experiences, apparitions, and reincarnation. Most parapsychologists today expect that further research will eventually explain these anomalies in scientific terms, although it is not clear whether they can be fully understood without significant (some might say revolutionary) expansions of the current state of scientific knowledge. Other researchers take the stance that existing scientific models of perception and memory are adequate to explain some or all parapsychological phenomena.”
Term coined in German by Max Dessoir (1889) and adopted by J. B. Rhine in English to refer to the scientific study of paranormal or ostensibly paranormal phenomena, that is, psi; except in Britain, the term has largely superseded the older expression “psychical research;” used by some to refer to the experimental approach to the field. [From the Greek para, “beside, beyond,” + psychology, derived from the Greek psyche, “soul, mind,” + logos “rational discussion”]”
- June 5, 2010 at 3:14 pm #403484
- June 5, 2010 at 3:15 pm #403482
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