Many people including J.B. Rhine
who helped establish parapsychology as an experimental science believed only ESP and PK should be included.
While life after death research would remain psychical research.
Recently parapsychology has included studies in near death experiences (NDE), out of body experiences (OBE), reincarnation and past lives.
What do you believe should be included and not included and why?
The essential nature of parapsychology rooted in human psychology. The goals of this field are to first verify that the phenomenon are occuring, that they cannot be explained in our currently accepted scientific knowledge, and to expand that scientific knowledge by further investigating the phenomenon using sound methodology. Any human activity that fits this criteria can logically be studied in Parapsychology.
Rhine originally established the Foundation for the Research into the Nature of Man, and it was concerned with the human experience – examining it and trying to explain it using scientific means.
I understand why Rhine would not believe that “life after death” could legitimately be studied in Parapsychology because it is experienced after a person has died and cannot be verified.
On the other hand, NDE, OBE, and memories of past lives are a part of the human experience that have been described and documented, and the reports can be collected and verified using scientific methodology. One additional human experience that I believe could be included in this heading is the study of the experiences of mediums. This could be considered to be part of ESP, but mediums consider themselves to actually be interacting with non-physical beings. If multiple mediums have similar experiences interacting with the same “non-physical beings”, that would qualify as multiple reports that could be compared and the consistency of the reports verified.
Finally, sightings of UFOs, Bigfoot, the Loch Ness Monster, etc. are purely physcial in nature and, though rare, can be examined as purely physical events, not psychological phenomenon. Thanks for the question!