Home Discussion Forum Is there a difference between parapsychology, metapsychology and occultism?

Is there a difference between parapsychology, metapsychology and occultism?

Is there a difference between parapsychology, metapsychology and occultism or are they all searching paranormal phenomena?
By the way, I am talking about metapsychology, not metaphysics 🙂 Thanks.


  1. I cannot speak to Para/metapsychology very well. although the root words describe them well. For example The study of the paranormal psychology (IE clairvoyance) would be Parapsychology.
    The Occult however (is a very broad term) is the study of the reaction between the will and the universe.
    Really terse summery:
    Para/Meta-psychology = the study of the internal process considered “para or meta normal”
    Occult (better termed here are metaphysics) = the study of how those internal process affect external process.

  2. One is pseudo-science.The second new-age nonsense.The third spooky mumbo-jumbo.They all have one thing in common.Only silly people believe in them.

  3. Yes. Parapsychology is the the scientific study of exceptional human abilities. The Parapsychological Association has been an affiliate of the American Association for the Advancement of Science since 1969.
    Despite the screams of skeptics about parapsychology not being a real science no skeptical organization has ever been elected to membership in the AAAS.
    Occultism is a broad term that covers superstitious, religious, and supernatural beliefs like witchcraft.
    I don’t know what metapsychology is but I think you might be asking about metaphysics which is another very broad term covering almost everything outside of mainstream science.
    Paranormal phenomena is yet another broad term that covers ESP (that there is scientific work being on), UFO’s, Aliens, Bigfoot, Lochness Monster, Miracles, etc.
    Hypnosis was at one time considered paranormal as was magnetic fields and electricity.
    Michael John Weaver, M.S.

  4. Parapsychology – studying the behavior of ghosts, UFO’s, and the unexplained.
    Metapsychology – behavior of inanimate objects, and
    Occultism – Worship in the Satan World, Witchcraft, Voo Doo, etc.
    There are so many different interpretations of these words, but if you mean them to be as described above, then they could possibly be classified as being different phenomena within the same realm of existence.
    How much of this is proven, known, or real? All of it is debatable.

  5. Parapsychology is a scientific approach to validate or study the mechanisms by which the mind receive ,gather or perceive information,signals or events,that are part from the
    external reality,or the human experience,however what makes this approach unique is the form ,of how this information is perceived or gathered,using an ‘abstract-
    intrinsic/extrinsic-sense mechanism-used by the person, in spite of using the known human senses,used by the brain.
    metapsychology,-philosophical point of view ,where “classic” conventional procedures of applying psychology are avoided ,simply because of the limitations and
    classifications parameters and standards used in the classic approach.,the method used in metapsychology with the subject,can be randomized or adjusted to the subject needs and preferences in terms of dealing with their personal ‘quest’,and no holds barred,as long they go thorough all the steps used in this method..,
    occultism,…well the word per se sounds medieval or ancient,however i think it deals more
    with supernatural forces,and the tendency to perpetuate rituals to apply magic,or more mystics knowledge,and is kind of dogmatic practice and the free of will to practice these powers and forces.
    so the difference would be the way the method is implemented for the desired results…

  6. Well, going based upon your words only; if you break them down…parapsychology would quite literally be the psychology of “unexplained” events — or the effect on people who experienced those events.
    Metapsychology would then be said similar happenings with only the change in the effect that metaphysics has on people.
    There IS a huge difference between “paranormal” and “metaphysics” although most people use the terms interchangeably to express their intent.
    Paranormal = beyond normal = unexplained
    Metaphysics = beyond physics = explainable (if you understand what lies beyond the physical world)
    The occultism would not necessarily be in line with either of those two things as “occult” means matters regarded as involving the action or influence of supernatural or supernormal powers or some secret knowledge of them and “ism” is 1act, practice, or process
    2 a : state, condition, or property
    So at the base level; occultism would be the process of supernatural or supernormal powers or some secret knowledge of them.
    In which case, it directly implies that the individual is “super normal” can fly, teleport, shoot lasers out their eyes, etc — not quite the same thing as being “beyond normal” where it would be unexplainable…it is explained by the fact they are “super normal”.

  7. I’m not quite sure about the differences of those… but I wish skeptics would stop posting answers! We stand firmly by our beliefs, and we don’t like people trampling on them!

  8. Yes, there is a huge difference between these three things, although they are =all= interrelated, and also components of what is generally termed “paranormal phenomena”.
    Just so we’re on the same page with it, the term “paranormal” refers to anything that appears to be outside or beyond the scope of the usual, known, or expected. (IMO, the word “normal” is a misnomer because there really isn’t any such thing except as a statistical or perceptual average — nevertheless, it’s the best word we’ve got to describe what we mean.)
    “Parapsychology” is a specific branch of psychology that deals with the study and investigation of evidence pertaining to psychic phenomena, such as extrasensory perception (ESP), telepathy, clairvoyance, psychokinesis, communications with alternate or spirit realms, and similar psychological phenomena and manifestations that are (currently) inexplicable by science.
    “Metapsychology” is the science of formulating systematic theory and speculative thought dealing with aspects of the mind that cannot be evaluated on the basis of objective evidence because the concepts extend beyond the limits of psychology as an empirical science. Some examples of this include, among other things, the effects of mass consciousness experiments, prayer and meditation, and the manifestation of “intent” and/or strength of will.
    “Occultism”, and it’s root word “Occult”, is something that many people misunderstand and often interpret wrongly. The term “occult” simply refers to things that are mysterious, secret, hidden, or undetectable; taken as a whole, it also refers to supernatural powers or agencies. “Occultism” has two meanings that are, again, often confused and frequently misconceived — in general, it is the study of the supernatural — but it also refers to a =belief= in both supernatural powers and in the possibility of bringing them under human control.
    You asked an excellent question, and I’m glad you did! Some of the answers I’ve read here were quite good and appear to be from some very knowledgable people in their respective fields of expertise. Unfortunately, some of the other answers serve to illustrate the degree to which these terms are misunderstood and have, for numerous reasons, become confused with things that they are not. I hope my answer has helped you. I also hope it will help diminish the misinterpretations that continue to exist.


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