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Parapsychology

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Parapsychology Most sciences try to explain observable phenomena. Parapsychologists try to observe unexplainable phenomena. By: Ashley Durkee and Jason Hester – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Parapsychology


1
Parapsychology
  • Most sciences try to explain observable
    phenomena. Parapsychologists try to observe
    unexplainable phenomena.
  • By Ashley Durkee and Jason Hester

2
Parapsychology
  • The study of certain reported but unsubstantiated
    events that have no presently known explanation.
  • No parapsychology experiment has ever been shown
    to have both positive results and be replicated
    by independent researchers.

3
ESP Extrasensory Perception
  • ESP is the most testable and well known area of
    parapsychology
  • Often referred to as the 6th sense.
  • 3 main types of ESP
  • Telepathy
  • Clairvoyance
  • Precognition

4
Telepathy
  • one person sending thoughts to another or
    perceiving another's thoughts without using any
    of the five recognized senses.
  • Term was coined by F. W. Myers in 1882.
  • Popularized by fictional novels and movies.

5
Clairvoyance
  • French for clear seeing
  • The ability to see information about people,
    objects, or locations without using any of the
    five senses.
  • Includes crystal gazing and tea leaf reading.

6
Precognition
  • Knowledge of a future event or circumstance not
    obtained by inference or deduction, but by
    paranormal means.
  • Precognition is what most people mean when using
    the term psychic.

7
Precognition
  • Dream interpretation
  • Many people believe dreams predict the future
  • Ex. Joseph in the Old Testament

8
Origin of Belief in ESP
  • The term ESP was used as early as the late 19th
    century.
  • Used to describe the ability of a person who had
    been hypnotized or in a trance state yet could
    sense things without using the five senses.
  • However, the phenomena of ESP may go back to
    Biblical times.

9
Origins of Belief in ESP
  • In Western culture, the founders of
    parapsychology were mostly people who lost their
    religious faith and began searching for a
    scientific basis for believing in the meaning of
    life and life after death (Alcock, 1985 Beloff,
    1985).

10
Persistence of Belief in ESP
  • Misperceptions and Coincidences
  • Psychic connection between twins
  • Confirmation Bias/Selective Recall
  • Recollection of eerie happenings
  • Misinterpretation of Data
  • Inconsistent measuring techniques

11
Persistence of Belief in ESP
  • A survey published in 1987 by Univ. of Chicago
    found that 67 of all adult Americans believe
    they have experienced ESP, up from 58 in 1976.
  • According to leading Russian scientists, "Many
    people believe in clairvoyance, astrology, and
    other superstitions to compensate for the
    psychological discomforts of our time."

12
Testing ESP
  • Because a good magician can do something
    shouldn't make you right away jump to the
    conclusion that it's a real phenomenon. -
    Richard Feynman

13
Testing ESP
  • Bem and Honortons Ganzfeld Studies
  • Uri Geller
  • J. B. Rhine
  • Pearce-Pratt Series

14
Testing ESP
  • "Exteriorization of Sensitiveness."
  • A photograph of the sensitive was taken and the
    negative was then held by her a few moments. The
    operator, with a pin, scratched the hand on the
    negative. Instantly the sensitive ejaculated with
    pain, and a small red spot appeared on the back
    of her hand. This rapidly grew into the blister
    shown on the next slide.

15

16
  • A person who talks a lot is sometimes right.
    Spanish Proverb

17
What the Skeptics Say
  • Most of the evidence for ESP is anecdotal and is
    dismissed by skeptics as based on one or more of
    the following 
  • Incompetence or fraud by parapsychologists
  • Cold reading
  • Subjective validation
  • Selective thinking and Confirmation bias
  • Poor grasp of probabilities and of the law of
    truly large numbers
  • Not falsifiable
  • Gullibility, self-deception, and wishful thinking

18
What the Skeptics Say
  • After thousands of experiments, a reproducible
    ESP phenomenon has never been discovered, or has
    anyone produced any individual who can
    convincingly demonstrate psychic ability.
  • A National Research Council investigation of ESP
    concluded that "the best available evidence does
    not support the contention that these phenomena
    exist.

19
What the Skeptics Say
  • U. S. National Research Council (1988)
  • A 2 year study concluded there was no scientific
    justification from research conducted over 130
    years for the existence of parapsychological
    phenomena.
  • the best scientific evidence does not justify
    that ESP -that is, gathering information about
    objects or thoughts without the intervention of
    known sensory mechanisms- exists.

20
Pursuit of Parapsychology
  • Over 200 colleges and universities in the U.S.
    alone have courses in parapsychology (yes, ASU is
    one of them, hint, youre in it) with many
    offering degrees in the subject.
  • John F. Kennedy Universitys Graduate School of
    Consciousness Studies offers a masters degree in
    parapsychology.
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