Parapsychology

Parapsychology

Definition:

  •  A branch of psychology concerned with the study of alleged psychic phenomena, such as clairvoyance, extrasensory perception, and telepathy.
  • 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.
  • Parapsychologists are not into astrology, UFOs, searching for Bigfoot, the Loch Ness monster, paganism, Satinism, vampires, alchemy, or witchcraft
  • A paradigm is an underlying worldview. It can be thought of as a framework of beliefs which are so taken for granted that most folks are not even aware they have made any assumptions.
  • A paradigm helps us to make sense of the world around us.
  • But perhaps more importantly, in terms of science, it not only determines what is true, but how truth itself can be determined

What do they study?

ESP: Extra-sensory perception; a general term for obtaining information about events beyond the reach of the normal senses. This term subsumes telepathy, clairvoyance, precognition, and presentiment
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Clairvoyance: Sometimes called remote viewing; obtaining information about events at remote locations, beyond the reach of the normal senses.

•       Precognition: Also called premonition. Obtaining information about future events, where the information could not be inferred through normal means. Many people report dreams that appear to be precognitive.

Presentiment: This is where physiological parameters may change prior to the application of a stimulus, suggestive of the fact that on an unconscious level the person knew what was coming before it occurred (and before it was even randomly chosen).

Telepathy: Direct mind-to-mind communication.

Mind-Matter Interaction: Previously known as psychokinesis or PK; direct mental interaction with physical objects, animate or inanimate.

Anpsi: Psi in animals.

Reincarnation: The belief that we live successive lives, with primarily evidence coming from the apparent recollections of previous lives by very small children.

Haunting: Recurrent phenomena reported to occur in particular locations that include apparitions, sounds, movement of objects, and other effects.

Place Memory: the apparent ability of a building or location to hold recorded impressions of people and events that transpired in the past

•       Poltergeist: Large-scale PK phenomena often attributed to spirits, but which are now thought to be due to a living person or group of people. Although reported in all age groups, the agent is most frequently an adolescent.

Psi: A neutral term for parapsychological phenomena, inclusive of both ESP and mind-matter interaction. Psi, psychic, and psychical are synonyms.

NDE: Near death experience; an experience reported by those who were revived from nearly dying. Often refers to a core experience that includes feelings of peace, OBE, seeing lights and other phenomena.

OBE: Out-of-body experience; the experience of feeling separated from the body, often accompanied by visual perceptions as though from above the body.

Why is it interesting?

  • Parapsychology is interesting mainly because of the implications.
  •  To list a few examples, psi phenomena suggest that:
    • (a) that what science knows about the nature of universe is incomplete
    • (b) that the presumed capabilities and limitations of human potential have been underestimated
    • (c) that fundamental assumptions and philosophical beliefs about the separation of mind and body may be incorrect

(d) that religious assumptions about the divine nature of "miracles" may have been mistaken

Who is interested?

Physicists tend to be interested in parapsychology because of the implication that we have a gross misunderstanding about space and time and the transmission of energy and information.
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Biologists are interested because psi implies the existence of additional, unexplained methods of sensing the world.
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Psychologists are interested for what psi implies about the nature of perception and memory.

  • Philosophers are interested because psi phenomena specifically address many age-old philosophical problems, including the role of the mind in the physical world, and the nature of the objective vs. the subjective.
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    Theologians and the general public tend to be interested because personal psi experiences are often accompanied by feelings of profound, ineffable meaning. As a result, psi is thought by some to have "spiritual" implications.

IPP

  • established in 1994 as an educational center dedicated to the scientific study of paranormal/anomalous events
  • Its focus is on experimental, clinical and empirical research, plus the collection and publication of case reports dealing with parapsychological experiences
  • Does Non-Profit research
  • The IPP’s main source of pride is its parapsychological library, which contains around 2500 books, 12,000 issues of academic journals and popular magazines, and thousands of files of articles in non-parapsychological journals in the scientific mainstream

Paranormal research society

  • They are a team of paranormal investigators whose primary goal is to document, and hopefully someday scientifically prove the existence of ghosts.
  • They also strive to educate the public, and help those who live with hauntings deal with their fears and experiences.
  • Although they do not discredit the use of psychics, we instead use both simple and high-tech electronic equipment to document and substantiate our experiences.
  • They do not use Ouija boards, séances, or divining rods to conjure or locate spirits.
  • They investigate both public places and private residences, and although we are based outside of Pottstown, Pennsylvania, we enjoy traveling to investigate haunted sites around the country.
  • They are a serious group of professionally-minded adults who believe that skepticism is healthy, and that all reasonable explanations should be ruled out prior to declaring an experience to be paranormal in nature

Equipment

  • Digital Camera
  • Audio recorder
  • Camcorder
  • EMF meters (Electro-Magnetic Field Detectors )
  • Batteries
  • Two-way radios
  • Flashlight
  • Pen and Pencil