Home Discussion Forum How is parapsychology considered a junk science?

How is parapsychology considered a junk science?

How is it inconsistent? Can the hypothesis be falsified and testable? Statistics of small numbers? etc. Help!!!


  1. It’s very simple.Parapsychology has produced no results.None anywhere by anyone.There are no tests,no successful experiments nothing anywhere to justify it being called Science.
    Virtually no Colleges or Universities teach it anywhere in the world.There are a few but even at those parapsychology is a joke.
    The AAAS has the Parapsychological Association.as a member.Try to get anyone there to make a positive statement about it.

  2. Nice Guy gave a good answer. Another way of looking at it is this: science is a way we can develop theories that predict the way nature works. Is there a single scientific theory, even a hypothesis, that mechanistically describes some facet of telekinesis, remote viewing, ESP, and which has been experimentally confirmed? The answer is a resounding no. No scientifically testable/falsifiable hypotheses have come out of parapsychology so far, at least any that have survived actual testing. No mechanisms have been proposed which would explain ostensible parapsychological phenomenon such as ESP or telekinesis, so no hypotheses can be formed. Even if a hypothesis is formed, it can only be tested by using test subjects to observe any instances of ESP, telekinesis, etc. If the test fails, the parapsychological researcher can always say “well, these subjects didn’t have strong abilities”. So the hypothesis would not be falsifiable.
    Parapsychology is inconsistent in regards to reproducibility. A certain team of parapsychology researchers will report their positive findings and spark interest in other teams to duplicate their work, which never seems to meet with success. Yet, the lack of reproducibility is not acknowledged as is done in real science but instead swept under the rug, and ad hoc excuses are made for why the experiment failed or new experiments are performed without regard for the failures of the old ones.
    In fact, practitioners in parapsychology are still struggling to show that these fabled abilities even exist in the first place, and so far haven’t been too successful. This relates to your comment about “statistics of small numbers”, where parapsychologists have turned to statistical manipulations to manufacture mountains out of statistically insignificant molehills. Irving Langmuir described this best as “pathological science”, where a researcher is reduced to attempting to divine a signal out of noise where the signal to noise ratio is very very small. This is always bad science.

  3. Parapsychology is considered a junk science by those people, scientist and non scientist alike, that do not believe that such events can occur because if they did occur they would have to change their belief systems. Facts do not change beliefs or behaviors.
    Parapsychology has produced significant (as defined by both statistical and methodology standards of all others of science) results that are readily repeatable (and have been in thousands of trials and hundreds of experiments) via experiments that have been published in peer reviewed science journals some specific to parapsychology and some in prestigious main stream science journals like Science, Nature, Lancet, etc,
    Parapsychology has produced many falsifiable hypothesis (for example these results are due to poor statistics or bad methods have been tested and always find no supporting evidence for these claims).
    Yes, the statistical effects in parapsychology have been small but are consistent with effect sizes in all of the social sciences and medical research.
    Despite deniers and disbelievers (rather than many actual skeptics that are members of the Parapsychology Association) the American Association for the Advancement of Science granted the Parapsychological Association affiliate status in 1969 and was approved by a governing council vote of 7-1. Today that same small but very vocal minority remains. Pseudoskeptics continue to believe that the AAAS admits junk and psuedoscience organizations.
    I am fairly confident the AAAS disagrees.

  4. Parapsychology as it relates to ghosts, spirits, etc. is considered a junk science or pseudoscience. The reasoning behind this is that many of the methods used by parapsychologists to detect the presence of an entity are untested and not based in “fact”. Take for example the EVP method. While an EVP can be considered an anomaly there is no scientifically proven reason to believe that it is the voice of a spirit or unseen entity; the only conclusion that can be drawn (scientifically) from the recording is that something unusual-be it static, an investigator, or a voice belonging to a spirit-was recorded. Whilst the EMF and temperature methods are verified in the process of collecting data, they are not proven to indicate the presence of anything unknown, therefore that data cannot be considered anything other than an anomaly in the data. In short- none of the methods used in ghost hunting are verified to have any meaning.
    Now if you’re referring to studying psychics that CAN be studied very scientifically through the means of creating controlled experiments to see if a subject can consistently prove to posses some form of extrasensory perception. However, even if they can one cannot scientifically claim that they actually posses ESP, only that the statistics they’ve demonstrated are highly unlikely.

  5. Because it has been tested many times and always failed to produce results (expect in questionable cases) yet believers continue to make assertions that typically require a preexisting belief in parapsychology to make sense of.
    James Randi has a challenge up for 20 years now for anyone to produce any evidence of a paranormal claim under controlled conditions. The current prize money is up to $1,000,000. No one has claimed it. Think about that…

  6. There is no empirical evidence for it, so it isn’t science. It makes no testable predictions, so it can’t be considered a scientific hypothesis. All the research avoids peer review because it doesn’t meet the standards.
    “Junk science” is actually giving it the benefit of the doubt.

  7. real science starts with an observation of a phenomena in nature, and then tries to come up with a testable, falsifiable explanation for that phenomena. A test is performed. As much as possible, controls just test one variable, and are properly randomized and blinded.
    Pseudoscience starts out with the idea/belief that a phenomena exists, then uses the trappings of science to look for evidence of the phenomena. No amount of negative testing will convince them that maybe their belief is false.

  8. I don’t think it should be called a science…it’s more spiritual than scientific. You’re dealing with spirits. Just because it’s spiritual doesn’t mean it belongs in R&S …it really doesn’t have that much to do with religion except that spiritual/paranormal things happen in religion too. But they also happen outside of religion.I think the spirituality in R&S is a different kind of spiritual. I think it means more about your soul than seeing/hearing spirits.I don’t think that when you go ghost hunting you should think of it as a scientific experience…you should think of it as a spiritual experience. After all ..you’re usually dealing with real people who have died. You wouldn’t desecrate a grave…so you should also treat spirits/ghosts with respect…not something to be analyzed or made fun of.This is just my opinion.


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