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In this article, parapsychology is defined as the organised attempt to create a for parapsychology, through the publication of popular science books and. () - Reviewed by Michael Nahm [Web, PDF] Book Review: Parapsychology and the skeptics: a. More popularly written introductory books on parapsychology have been published in recent years. The titles of most of them may be found in the literature cited.


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A PDF of the book Perspectives of Clinical Parapsychology: An Introductory Reader (Bunnik, ) is now freely available on the Parapsychological Association. Project Gutenberg offers free ebooks for Kindle, iPad, Nook, Android, and iPhone. Parapsychology as a science of magick: An occult perspective on psi. It has been reproduced in numerous books, articles, broadcast. and on.

Finally, a central feature of occultural re-enchantment is the impor- tance of popular culture. There are nevertheless two exceptions that are worth mentioning, since they reveal something of the contingency of the interpretations, agendas, and significances found in parapsychology. If the simplest method of throwing a die to select a target is used, before the experiment is finished it is necessary to equalize the number of times each face is used as target. It is possible to eliminate this hypothesis set of throws, of the by simply choosing the target face by the throw of a die see p. This would eliminate the possibility of precognitive telepathy. What's New. Then the upper left and lower right quarters were compared as the ones which were expected to show the greatest difference in scoring rates.

Editorial introduction. ParapsychoL, 1: Challenge of Psychical Research.

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New York, Harper, , pp. Parapsychology, in Encyclopedia of Psychology. New York, Philosophical Library, , pp. The place of parapsychology among the sciences.

Parapsychol, New York, H.: Human Personality and its Survival of Bodily Death. Longmans, Introduction to experimental parapsychology, in Presentday Psychology. RHINE, edge. The Reach of the Mind. New York, Wm. Sloane, New York, Holt, , pp. Presidential address. Thought transference and related Proc. Institution of Great Britain, Haiper, In parapsychology, however, as in any branch of psychology where there are subjective or mental factors and conditions to be dealt with, a consideration of the objective methods alone is not enough.

As a matter of fact, there even a question as to whether they come first in importance. But for the purpose of this book it will be advantageous to present the objective methods first and deal with the important consideration of psychological methods and conditions of experimentation later Chapter 7. The reasoning is that an appreciation of the sound status of the facts of parapsychology should come first, and for that the objective methods are clearly of prior importance. The techniques by By objective standardized test procedures generally used in the study of psi phenomena are, of course, an essential part of the methods; the main types of procedure are described in Chapter 8.

Likewise, the mathematical techniques that play an important part in measuring the degree to which the experimental results exceed the level expected from pure chance are an essential part of the objective methods; they are given in Chapter 9. These descriptions of the more specialized techniques, while they are essential to research and clinical use, are ciation of the general way in not necessary here for an appre- which psi has been 17 investigated.

This leaves for the the general program of how, in concretely describpresent chapter able fashion, research in parapsychology is done; how its questions arise; how, and how reliably, they are answered. It should be said at the outset that because of the challenge of the findings of parapsychology, the research workers have a greater consciousness of method and of rigorous control than is found in other branches of science.

The radical nature of the necessary to develop a wider range of in any other field. This is, however, safeguards against error than when revolutionary conclusions are drawn. The physical functions as are investigated of the human experiences some of and elusiveness very strangeness dealt with in this field tend to raise questions concerning the full adequacy of such methods. But we need only remember that physics itself, as well as other curricular branches of knowledge, have long been working at least partly with extrasensory phenomenaoperations and effects that are clearly beyond the range of the sense organs.

Most of the researches in general psychology, too, depend upon this indirect approach. The general principle followed is that anything in the universe man will ever know about and through these effects it can be indirectly the process itself is beyond the range of the senses studied, even and even beyond reach of the instruments that so greatly extend creates effects; if the range of the senses.

In theory, at least, it should be possible for science to investigate any real phenomenon, any true operation in the universe; and we can advance as far as we have the patience and ingenuity to go toward if the satisfying ourselves of its genuine occurrence. One of these its role of exploration or discovery, the turning up of new or ideas; the other is the task of verification or the, phenomena making sure whether a claimed discovery or suggested hypothesis Both are essential, and one is as important as the other.

Moreover, it is extremely important for worker and student alike to in mind, and keep both of these two types of scientific inquiry keep each with its proper requirements in its proper is not always done in actual practice. Many students place. The chief characteristic of the exploratory stage of scientific is that in it the explorer is permitted to range widely, inquiry venture freely, and look into everything that might be important to his interest without being burdened with too much precautionmore extravagant phase ary concern.

It is a more venturesome, a of investigation. It is always a first stage, of course, but only because of the natural order of investigation. While it is obvious that without this exploratory stage there would be little or nothing for science to verify or establish, it is equally true that with it alone no results would ever be firmly established.

On the other hand, the second or conclusive stage of research has very different characteristics. Its emphasis is mainly. The starting point crucial test and the first step is the drawing up of an experimental alternatives into account.

The most common violation of good method, at least in parapsy- much too ready confusion of these two phases chology, lies in the of science exploration and verification. For example, an over like a scout setting out with heavy battle to carry the complex controls of verification equipment attempt on purely exploratory is he setting forth along with him when common is the reverse emphasis in which a activities.

He does not feel the need of waiting for the slow, firm test of crucial are many variations of these familiar violainvestigationo There good procedure; they are not, of course, limited to parapsychology. As we have already said, however, there has been tions of good reason for workers in this field to become especially conscious of methods and standards. Exploratory Methods in Parapsychology The ways of exploratory inquiry in parapsychology are subsame as those used in other comparable fields.

One the stantially of them is the elementary method of studying reports of excep- and generalizing from such a study an hypothesis that can be put to test or a claim that can be examined by means of other methods.

This is the case-study tional spontaneous occurrences to A second method of exploration, identified as the preis adapted to the introductory study of such for as, special persons example, those whose behavior or unusual experience suggests psi powers. The third way of screen- method. Fourth, much valuable exploratory work is them out pilot test done by going over the data of earlier experiments.

Re-examined with fresh problems in mind, these records often contribute new insights not glimpsed during the original investigation. This is the method of re-examination.

A brief discussion of each of these methods will give a better idea of how most of the research in parapsychology has actually been done.

As in any field of science, more time and effort are generally needed on the explora- refined treatment of a crucial tory stage of a problem than for the conclusive stage of research. Case-Study Method Originally, parapsychology as a science began with reports of spontaneous personal experiences of unexplainable nature. In the early studies emphasis was placed upon the need to authenticate such cases as allowed careful checking on the reliability of reporting.

It became evident, however, that even elaborate effort in substantiating them did not furnish sufficiently unquestionable The hypothesis was too revolumethods had to be introduced for that tionary. Experimental purpose. The case study is by its nature primarily an exploratory method; it would be difficult if not impossible to convert it into a evidence to warrant a conclusion.

At the present stage of parapsychology, the case method provides a very important source of suggestions as to the nature and The research properties of psi as it functions spontaneously. If it be a how and if and lie question answerable, he specific question as to the collection be suitable psi operates spontaneously, should be able to get a tentative answer.

No matter however, the tentative human how strong new idea is This trial-answer or it may be but slightly the appearance of support, still based on the reports of experiences which cannot be sufficiently validated to permit a scientific conclusion to be reached. To mention only one possibility of weakness, the two collections might have a common defect, perhaps one inherent in the cultural influence affecting them both or in the method by which the two collections had been assembled.

It is not, in fact, justifiable to undertake the more crucial stage of testing until the exploratory build-up has at least answered the principal objections that may be raised and has developed a reasonably probable case.

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This much can be done by the case method when it is used to best effect Collections of psi cases will, of course, vary according to coland also according to the instructions issued regarding the lectors types of cases desired. It is best to make a new collection and to secure broad coverage of types; in older collections the persons reporting the cases may have been given too selective instruc- In the same way it would be wise not to require any of reporting or authentication since thereby specific standard many cases for which there could be no corroborative support tions.

Since the purpose is to discover own way of demonstrating such phenomena, it would be defeating the purpose of exploration to rule out at the collection point, just because they seemed less impressive from the point of view of evidentiality, any types of cases that could have bearing on research problems. In recognizing the tentative status of the case study results, the explorer can be relieved of misplaced anxiety over the reliability of a report. Case study methods involve much that need not here at length.

If clarified a question and the 23 asked of a case possible answers stated is clearly enough, for definite understanding by others. The standards of analysis need to be defined so plainly that another worker if desired, re-analyze the same material Results of be stated when in must, course, appropriate quantitative form as percentages or ratios and, when justified, the distributions can follow and, may be tested for extrachance significance see Chapter 9. The cases referred to thus far by a chi square method were those of the spontaneous type occurring to the individual, but in a more general way the same method of exploration applies to all nonexperimental items of observation that can be grouped or collected for general comparison and analysis.

Instances of observation among professional workers in related fields such as anthropology, psychiatry, and religion and among such practices as dowsing and mediumship should be studied in their preliminary stages by essentially similar exploratory methods. Individual Screening Method Probably the exploratory practices in widest use are those of examining and screening individual subjects, either for participation in more conclusive experimental work or for a more elaborate exploratory program.

Most commonly in such preliminary tests the investigator is dealing with a person who believes on some basis or other that he is gifted with psi capacity and wishes to know the extent of his ability. In any case, a widely adaptable preliminary test method is needed for this purpose, one that will lend itself to a variety of conditions while still affording a reasonably accurate estimate of have arisen as a result of the individual's the ability concerned.

It has been greatly advantageous, indeed, to have certain stand- ard methods of testing available, methods with an already existing frame of reference into which results may be placed for comparative judgment.

The fact that there are five possible choices makes 20 per cent success the level of scoring to be ex- is pected from pure chance. If for any reason the subject to be tested has an expressed preference, the five symbols of the standard deck star, circle, square, cross, waves can be replaced by a set of five colors, five animal pictures, or any other suitable set of items.

In fact, there are advantages in these local adaptations. If, for example, he shows any hesitation to use a test that makes possible definite scoring and mathematical evaluation , a preliminary test could use other It is wise to target material e. The change to other and better conditions can be made later, once success in scoring has been demonstrated and the subjects confidence established.

Should a subject fail in preliminary tests, it would be much better for him to do so on tests which he has been fully ready to accept and approve. If he does fail persistently from the start and no variation of conditions over a number of sessions can induce success, there is nothing to do but discontinue; and as only if, long as, he is giving a moderate show of successful scoring is it profitable to try to improve and advance the test at present the Above.

Once, however, a subject shows special ability under formal conditions, the next step is to introduce free, in- safeguards. This should, for psychological reasons, always be done with a subject's full approval and cooperation. The between advanced exploration and initial verification is, in any case, an arbitrary one. The subject himself is usually the better for not having the strain of being told he is facing a crucial test In general, any neglect of the delicate psychological condi- is to line tions that psi subjects require for effective demonstration is wasteassume, however, that Chapter 7 on the ful.

We psychological conditions for psi tests will be taken into account with this one. It is essential, too, that the experimenter have some knowledge what to expect from a how to judge the rate of He needs to know as the tests scoring. While it is important to allow the new subject to begin with any preferred condition he may have in mind and to of subject that is, allow an amply successful demonstration on this level before adding precautions, if a subject has no set ideas and no predilections as to methods it is of advantage to start with conditions that rule many of the conceivable errors as possible.

With that in we recommend a clairvoyance test rather than one for GESP mind, or general extrasensory perception. A GESP test makes no atout as tempt to distinguish between telepathy and clairvoyance for ex- A ample, the sender looks at the target card during the trial.

It also eliminates for the experimenter any concern over possible sensory communication between sender and receiver. Even if the subject prefers GESP, he may be persuaded or challenged to try clairvoyance after some initial success with the other method. If not, and the GESP test has to be used to start with, it is important, even on the exploratory level, to advance the test procedure so that two rooms are used, with the sender in one and the receiver in the other, and with the connecting door closed.

But with clairvoyance test methods the advance to adequate precautions can be more rapid and the evidential value of the results accordingly greater. The basic requirements for the procedure and for evaluating the results will be safeguarding found in Chapters 8 and 9.

It should be possible to develop testing devices that would be so adaptable to diverse situations and individual needs that when they are properly used the most free and informal ESP test would be fully safeguarded.

Progress toward this ideal is highly desirable especially since there are many clinical, educational and other practical adaptations of the ESP test that are awaiting such a development. But it is no less necessary here than elsewhere to emphasize again that the requisite psychological conditions discussed in Chapter 7 would also have to be met or the test could not be considered in any real sense an ESP test at alL C Pilot-Study Method The third exploratory procedure in parapsychology makes use of a small trial research preliminary to a larger, more thorough It already has had a fair amount of use and it has been of value to the field.

It is especially needed to offset the tendgreat ency of overenthusiastic experimenters to plunge into elaborately one.

They reason that since otters have succeeded they should expect to do so, and that since they have done competent research in other areas they should be expected to get results in parapsychology as well. But this is to overlook the many uncontrolled variables that are usually present in the psychological experiment and are especially likely to cause trouble in investigations with so elusive a capacity as psi.

It is in just such a case that a small pilot experiment can serve a very useful purpose in fact, a number of purposes. He can at the same time assemble a selected team of subjects and settle many other initial questions involving experimental conditions. If a preliminary experiment is clear-cut and indicative he then will know what to do on the main project If the pilot study modification of the design discouraging, more preparation or is in order and perhaps further preof course, important to keep in mind is liminary researches.

It is, that the pilot experiment is definitely exploratory and that, whatever its results, they are to be considered apart from the major it serves to introduce. They are usually difficult to persuade to try out first, on a preliminary scale, the wholly unsupported There is little to be gained from expectations they have built up.

The pilot test stands project at their early stage to ready to help the researcher, whether beginner or professional, fit his experiments more effectively to his project D. The Re-examination Method Fourth in the types of exploratory methods in general use in for other parapsychology is that in which old data are re-examined in mind.

After an purposes than the original investigators had and reported for what it experimental series has been evaluated was intended to do, the author or another worker has in many instances had reason to re-examine the data in search of the answer to a different question from the original one.

Many of the leading owe developments of the last quarter century in parapsychology incidental this of device to their origin or support exploring.

He might be, let us say, asking whether the scoring rate in PK tests falls off in the course of a run or column , as it does in ESP- Why should he trouble to carry out a new experiment to explore this possibility when there are files of old data to examine?

Thus the old material, when it could answer the question, has often acquired a later value which its original producer never anticipated. It is true tie first discovery in such a case tentative value of any exploratory finding. This possibility of a quick changeover to a method of crucial test is one of the greatest values of this method. As we stated, there has been a very productive reclamation program in parapsychology. Methods for Clinical and Other Practical Uses A broad category of methods remains that, while not exploratory in the sense that we have been using the term, is comparable in many respects.

These might be called clinical or practical methods; that is, ways of adapting psi tests to particular situations involving professional service in other areas than parapsychological research. Suppose, for example, that a clinical psychologist or psychiatrist needs to test a patient's belief that he is especially endowed with a psi capacity.

This somewhat resembles the situawhich the Individual Screening Method described above is used preparatory to a more controlled research. The purpose, however, may be entirely subordinate to some such objective as diagnosis or treatment, and the standards required should be those which the professional practitioner will need to have for his tion in purposes.

In a word, the adaptation of the standard testing techniques can, until specialized modifications have been developed for a given clinical purbe in much the same as managed pose, way exploratory testing of other individual subjects. The same relative care will be needed as in all psi testing to see that psychological conditions are properly met and to avoid imposing upon the subject to be tested a too artificial method or one he does not adequately understand or fully accept- Indeed, the rule should be rigidly imposed on the would-be experimenter to meet the subject's requirements as fully and carefully as if they were actually objective in character.

Standards of the clinical or practical tests may be laid down by the professional worker himself according to the needs of his situation. At one extreme they could be as high as those used in But for general use at the bedside, in school, or in a somewhat rough and ready test will be found suitable and more all the precautions not specifically needed may be dropped. Counterhypotheses to psi that have never had any real support in fact as, for example, involuntary whispering on the part of the agent in a test involving telepathy , and which have been given an exaggerated importance only because of the controversy over ESP, can profitably be forgotten in practical errors in testing.

Tins and the special precautions against possible in researches the controlled be more left to recording may safely to methods the to who wish Those apply parapsychology proper. For this purpose wide clinical adaptations of testing techniques are necessary entirely in order.

Also, the Re-examination Method can be so quickly converted to a fully verifying procedure that to single out the first stage as exploratory and then call the second verification even though it may be a mere duplication may seem a bit arbitrary. It is better, however, for the present to take these introductory fact-finding procedures as they are, since they are working successfully, and allow refinements of consistency and classification to develop with continued use and free discussion.

There is certainly no crucial need for logical consistency since the Bringing them into explicit focus as we methods are productive. No absolute distinction marks the transition from exploratory research to the second stage of method to which we now turn, that of verification or establishment Rather, the transition is first of a change of emphasis in the objective or purpose of the research He need not always change his actual test procedure; though he probably will So great, however, is the consequence of all worker.

The stress shifts completely from venturesome search to cautious assaying, each in its turn playing an essential part W. The Methods of Verification scientific establishment of any fact is admittedly a relative One's acceptance of a given finding or result often depends, for example, upon his personal attitude or philosophy.

Whether one is conducting the research himself or only appraising a published report of it, he may reach a decision regarding the condusiveness of the result without realizing the degree to which his mind was made in advance. Otherwise, he might be undertaking the investigation with an attitude that would require for his acceptance that it turn out in a definite, limited way; and if it did not, he would be prone to reject the results on some or matter.

In general, it is exceedingly questionable whether any experiment is worth doing until the investigator himself is psychologically and philosophically prepared to take the other. We shall, therefore, assume that for a conclusive experiment we have an experimenter prepared to accept the results in an objective manner.

What kind of methods, then, are needed for the crucial task of verifying an hypothesis in parapsychology? Statistical Evaluation the requirement of sound measurement.

In parapsychology this has to do with the estimation of significance with respect to chance. So long as psi capacity is in need of investigaFirst, there is always have to be provision to deal with chance as a possible explanation of results. In a word, statistics is needed in any branch of science for the investigation of functions not yet tion, there will understood and controllable at wflL Accordingly, when designing the scope and size of the experiment, it is necessary to take fully thought and record in advance just what means will be used to evaluate the results.

For most problems of parapsychology, fortunately, standard methods of applied statistics serve very well and distinctive in this aspect of the field.

The use of the principal methods has been expressly approved by both individual and group authority in statistics. These main techniques are described in Chapter 9 as well as in the textbooks on statistics listed there The test procedures that have been most widely used have been chosen and developed partly with a view to making evaluation comparatively easy.

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For the ESP researches the techniques involving testing by means of cards have been most commonly relied on, and the use of dice in the PK research has so far dominated that branch of the inquiry. In the ESP investigations the requirement that there be a reasonable approximation to a random series of targets card order has been sufficiently well met to serve the needs of statistical theory by shuffling the cards and foEowing and there is little need for the novel.

But the card order may, for special purof tables of random numbers. It accurately estimates the number of hits to be expected on the theory of chance and finds the deviaThis tion of the hit total from this mean chance expectation. Thus an estimate is made of the likelihood that results as different from chance expectancy as those in question would occur in a pure chance This is the measure by which the investigator knows series.

The ease with which the theoretical standard deviation is derived and the wide applicability of the method to the whole area of research in parapsychology for which standard methods of testing have been devised have done much to organize the field and to unify research activity within it searches can eral, now be Results of the different re- properly compared, combined, and, in gen- treated in a systematic manner.

If a test is to be at all crucial, there is no excuse for using conditions that leave the question of sensory cues as one to judgment or interpretation.

Almost all of the difficulties that have arisen in controlling against sensory cues have come up in tests of GESP. It is obviously a simple matter in a clairvoy- ance test to screen a pack of cards entirely from a subject's view, and such screening is necessary if a test is to be conclusive.

With an ordinary opaque screen large enough to rule out any possibility that the subject might see around its edges, the pack of cards can be conveniently handled by the experimenter under adequate Watchfulness against sensory observation of the target in reflecting surfaces or through crevices is unnecesthat is, sary if, in addition, the experimenter "plays his cards close," behind location safe a in card the guardedly always target keeps conditions of control.

A number of modified clairvoyance testing techniques involve elaboration of this simple screened card test The cards may some be enclosed in opaque envelopes or boxes that are then sealed, or there may be greater distance interposed between the subject and the cards by using different rooms, or even different buildings or geographic areas.

Again, in addition to the calling techniques just described are those known as ESP matching techniques, tests in which an unknown card is matched against a set of "key" cards order of these latter containing one of each type of symbol. The may be either known or unknown by the subject The various modifications are not different enough in principle to call for discussion. The main techniques themselves are given in Chapter 8.

Such method of communication between the separation will call for a two rooms. This should be a one-way method permitting only the If the agent when he is ready receiving subject or percipient to signal All sensory communication from die agent for the next trial would be suspect and it is necessary to go to considerable length to rule out the possibility of communication, deliberate or unconscious, on the part of an agent in an adjoining room.

This advantage has even tempted some experimenters to use the method in an exploratory way, since all that is needed is to hand out a record sheet and ask the would-be fill in the column with what he anticipates will be entered at the checking stage in the card column opposite. There is, of course, a question whether many subjects are psychologically prepared to undertake a test in precognition at so early a stage of subject to acquaintance with psi testing. In the standard tests of psychokinesis there is, likewise, no problem of sensory cues; but there is a somewhat comparable one in the need to eliminate the possibility of error due to physical imperfections in the dice or in the use of skilled methods of handling or releasing them so as to influence their fall.

These problems have long since been adequately solved in a number of different inequalities in the dice are, for example, adequately compensated for by the use of all the different faces of the die to ways.

Any an equal extent as the target objective. It has also been found in a variety of ways to avoid the risk that the subject may possible use trick throws to influence the fall of the dice in tests. One PK way to require the use of a dice cup with a sufficiently roughened interior and also deep enough to prevent the application of manual is It has, likewise, been found practical by electric switch, allowing them to fall from a V-shaped container onto a prepared walled and padded table.

Likewise, electrically driven, rotating cages have been used which skill to the roll of the dice. G Care in Recording A third general requirement for a proper experimental verification in parapsychology concerns the making of adequate records of the results. All the data of an experiment must be recorded in such a way as to eliminate any possibility of error that could produce spurious results. For this purpose, the ideally careful exsuch a way that the responsibility periment needs to be set up in is shared between two persons qualified by training and selection to produce a faithful record, shared in such a way that no error made by either one could go undetected.

This is referred to as the two-experimenter plan and its application to the various types of experiment might briefly be reviewed. The two-experimenter plan in a simple clairvoyance experiment of the type already described may be managed in the following way: The record pad presented to the subject for the recording of his responses has a carbon inserted for duplication.

The packs of cards to be used in a given run have been recorded in advance with one copy of the record in die possession of a second experimenter actually present in the experimental room being conducted. At the end of the run the who may or may not be at the time the test is instructed to turn over his duplicate to the second experimenter or it may be inserted in the slit opening of a locked box subject is prepared for the purpose by the second experimenter.

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Then the first experimenter who is conducting the test can proceed to check the run with the subject participating, using the copies which they have of the card and call records.

The second experimenter has his own copies of the records for safekeeping and for a wholly independent check In this way, while errors could still be made, they could not be made in a way that would produce extra- chance effects without being caught There are, of course, many modifications of this two-experimenter method.

One of these that is simpler in its routine and is widely used consists of loading a target sheet of symbols in a heavy, carefully-sealed manila envelope. The experimenter who does this keeps a carbon copy of the target sheet. The checking one working from the carbon sheets and the other experimenters, from the originals. After complete agreement is reached on the in the record results, the score totals are entered independently files of each experimenter. It is no great tax upon the intelligence of an experimental team to design or modify the standard test procedure so as to make it for the two experimenters, unconsciously or virtually impossible otherwise, to overlook errors of recording, checking, or scoring.

To apply the two-experimenter practice even to GESP tests is not speaking now only of the aspect of recording especially the card order is recorded in advance with a copy going to difficult when each experimenter and with the percipient's responses being recorded in duplicate. In precognition tests it is as simple as with tests of clairvoyance. It is somewhat better still to arrange for duplicate records both of targets and responses and to have independent checking.

Applying the two-experimenter plan to the PK tests is somewhat more awkward because it tends to clutter up the experimental room with the presence of an additional Two observers person. Precautions Against Deception A fourth type of requirement for sound verification might be found in the consideration of precaution against deliberate error. This is an unusual addition to scientific method, but it is called for largely because of the exceptional character of the hypotheses being tested.

Accordingly, it is might have advantageous, if not necessary, to give special attention to this requirement It is true, if all three of the requirements already listed have been be for the ordinarily fully impossible but it to is to add certain subject practice any trickery; possible supplementary safeguards that would further reinforce those precautions.

In precognition tests, however, no further control and carefully met, it would against fraud is needed. In clairvoyance tests, too, the complete exclusion of deception by the subject is easily managed by the use of a two-experimenter plan.

In psychokinesis, likewise, if the use a rotating cage is adopted, or any plan that eliminates the subthe dice and, of course, he is not recording his of ject's handling own results , subject trickery is ruled out. With GESP and pure of telepathy, precautions have to be elaborate and have to be adapted to the special needs of the experimental situation.

This methodological problem is often taken too lightly; as we have said, GESP hardest psi-test procedure to control adequately against error, especially error due to deception. Price Science and the supernatural. Science, August 26, suggested that deliberate fraud on the part of the investigators is the explanation of experiments that cannot be attributed to error or incompetence. His article initiated a contro- was carried on at length in the January 6, issue of Science, as well a symposium on the topic in the Journal of Parapsychology for December Just how much confirmation is needed for a discovery each may judge for himself.

But depends a great deal on how unexpected unusual circumstances tinder the precautions have been taken in It error by the parapsychology to add safeguards against possible themselves error of either a deliberate or an unexperimenters conscious type.

That was the purpose of the two-experimenter plan. It is periments, not practicable, however, even in parapsychology exto require more than two experimenters for a given and that is where the line has been drawn.

Only in a few been assigned, but with too many managers becomes the investigation unwieldy. The heightened apprehen- project, instances have three siveness that led to such modifications, too, belonged rather to the period of inflamed controversy which is past, and for the more now prevailing the two-experimenter team will of adequate protection against error, even for the assurance give most crucial verification stage.

The cautious reader may still fall normal situation back on confirmation for further guarantees. These four main requirements of conditions for a crucial investigation in parapsychology have been outlined in a manner suited to the purpose of this book. Certain general practices of research tidiness could be added that apply to every research field. It is always wise, for instance, to draw up in advance a written plan a conclusive research project Special provision should be made at the start to meet all reasonably possible irregular contingencies e.

There might be mentioned a great deal more on the side of good However, the scope and degree of emphasis followed will, we believe, adequately serve the needs and aims of most of those who wish to pursue inquiries in parapsychology with, of course, the exception of veteran workers in the field; these latter research habits.

Those who wish to acquire a reading acquaintance with the highest standards of controlled psi testing may, for example, consult the 1 But it is weE to keep in mind that Pratt and Woodruff report.

The conditions should be calculated to fit the needs, as intelligently conceived. The conclusions, of course, depend upon the adequacy of the weakest feature, not upon an elaborate display of many precautions.

Parapsychology: Frontier Science Of The Mind

In each case, the evidence for any given type guishable. A general account of these methodological distinctions will help in the appreciation of the quality of the research procedure on which the structure of parapsychology rests. In clairvoyance tests designed to exclude the possibility of telepathy and precognitive telepathy, it was necessary to have the trials made in such a way that not only did no one know Again, attack the card order during the test, but so that even when the checking While this section is written from the point of view of the actual development of methods for distinguishing types of psi, the purpose is still one of presenting only a general description of methods.

In other words, the test scored the number of hits made but left no record of the order in which the calls or responses were made.

Accordingly, precognitive telepathy was ruled out; no potential agent ever knew which target was for which trial when the final checking was done. This case against precognitive telepathy rests on the clairvoyance tests with matching methods, and depends on the assumption that the cards in a given pile that are laid down opposite a given in key card are not identified in terms of their original positions The issue could be investigated with somewhat better means of a clairvoyance test machine in which by merely the padc nicety the total hits and trials are counted.

To safeguard a telepathy test against the tive clairvoyance was more difficult It possibility of precogni- was necessary to avoid having any card or other abjective target recorded or existing anywhere, either at the time of the test or kter on.

Certain responsibilities follow from seeking scientific recognition through a peer-reviewed journal. One of them is that, when it starts to publish reports of radical breakthroughs, colleagues will want to critically analyse the data, look for flaws, inconsistencies or experi- mental error, and seek alternative hypotheses. The establishment of JP in marks the beginning of a wave of critical responses to parapsychology, mostly coming from the discipline that it most sought to attach itself to: Thouless , pp.

An even graver allega- tion was levelled by B.

Books about Parapsychology (sorted by popularity) - Project Gutenberg

This indicated a highly problematic source of error, especially when combined with the imprecise descriptions of how apparently successful experiments had been conducted. It would seem that sensory cues could not be properly discounted, throwing all the results into doubt. Selection bias was brought forwards as another probable source of error for many of the findings. The mathematician and sceptic Martin Gardner , pp. This policy suggests that the journal consistently avoided publishing negative results, an obvious problem for the sake of statisti- cal meta-analyses.

In the early reception there was also much concern with the sta- tistics used by Rhine and his companions cf. One correspondent, R. In short, Rhine and his collaborators had a tough time maintain- ing their newly won professional recognition. To make matters worse, the Duke parapsychology laboratory lost its university funding in the mid s, as McDougall stepped down.

These disappointments made alternative strategies necessary in order to maintain the legiti- macy of the field. The most significant one was a turn towards lay people Allison , pp. Parapsychology was of ever growing popular interest, and Rhine turned out to be a deft publiciser and fundraiser.

Media coverage of the unusual research at Duke peaked in —8, when Rhine published his popularising New Frontiers of the Mind, appearing as a Book-of-the-Month-Club selection.

Parapsychology

The book was further marketed by a commercial radio show broadcasted by the Zenith Radio Corporation. Zener-cards were com- mercially produced and sold, appearing with J. These channels of funding, unconventional and with strings attached, made parapsychology an even easier target for its critics. As David Hess , pp. The last significant strategy to maintain the legitimacy of parapsy- chology is somewhat more recent, and is linked up with intellectual developments in the history and philosophy of science.

These concepts, which went through a radicalisation when they were put to use by sociologists of science in the s and a cf. Hacking , Zummito , were taken up by parapsychologists as well, disgruntled by their non- acceptance into mainstream scientific discourse. Nickles ; Northcote , pp. Claims of new and promising results are followed by critical appraisals that typically expose lacking experimental controls, bogus statistics, or even fraud e. Markwick Meanwhile, the American mentalist Kreskin and the spoon-bending Israeli Uri Geller boosted interest in paranormal topics, filling a similar role for post-war parapsychologists as mediums had done to earlier generations.

Despite much professional resistance, parapsychology went through another phase of international expansion in the post-war era. There are nevertheless two exceptions that are worth mentioning, since they reveal something of the contingency of the interpretations, agendas, and significances found in parapsychology. What little existed of psychical research in Russia at the time of the revolution was at first banned by the Stalinist regime. In the context of the Cold War it re-emerged when spuri- ous!

This was supposed to reflect that the alleged phenomena were extensions of physical science, rather than anomalies to be counted against materialism. Similarly, parapsychological research blossomed in China shortly after the Cultural Revolution. Beloff , pp. Blackmore The main controversies in post-war parapsychology have remained the issue of replication, the design of experiments, and the use of statis- tics.

As late as the CIA was asked to evaluate the research that had been carried out with government funding for two decades. Star Gate was disbanded that same year, much to the dismay of its coordinator, who suspected political rather than scientific reasons behind the decision e. May , pp. Sensory deprivation is good for two things: The targets used are typically pictures or short video clips, which, ideally, are picked out from a pool of packets by some random process.

The receiver has been instructed to continually report what she is experiencing of visual imagery or hallucinations while in the ganzfeld, and is later presented with a packet of pictures or video clips. At this point she is told to pick out the one that most resembles any experiences during the deprivation; this forms the basis for determining hits and misses. There has been much controversy over the results generated from ganzfeld experiments.

Psychologist Ray Hyman published a critical appraisal of 49 such experiments in , finding statistically signif- icant results, but also significantly inadequate randomisation in the design Hyman In stark contrast, the prolific parapsychologist Dean Radin , p. The dispute has rolled since, and there seems to be no overall agreement between the opposing camps e. Paranormal Re-Enchantment: Parapsychology and Contemporary Religion Whereas professional parapsychology has had little or no substantial influence on institutionalised scientific disciplines, it has made a deeper impact in other segments of modern culture.

In this last section we shall look briefly at the connections and the significance of parapsychology to the contemporary religious landscape. These positions are divided over belief and disbelief in paranormal phenomena, but also over claims to rationality and the degree to which they seek scien- tific legitimacy. Both Hess and Northcote suggest that participants in clashes over the paranormal get socialised into certain patterns of stra- tegic positioning, and certain modes of rhetoric e.

Hess , pp. Sceptics, on their part, see only the growth of irrationalism, and may indeed feel that it is scientific values that are really becoming marginalised in post- modern society ibid. Hammer The dynamics of parapsychol- ogy in its public aspect, including religious appropriations and scepti- cal attacks, has been a generator of premises that find their way into occultural currents.

Dyrendal, this volume. Although this is hardly the place to examine all the mani- festations of parapsychological aspects in the occulture, I will outline some important historical and thematic connections in the concluding section below. Wouter Hanegraaff ; has argued that, historically, the roots of New Age thought is found in a seculari- sation of esotericism which occurred after the Enlightenment. Steven Sutcliffe , p.

On both these readings, psychi- cal research should be regarded as important. Intellectual currents such as trans- personal psychology and the Human Potential Movement are often mentioned in connection with New Age; increasingly, the use and importance of psychedelics has come into focus as well e.

Hammer , pp. In this connection, mention should be made of the Esalen Institute, estab- lished in in Big Sur, California.

Parapsychology has figured prominently in the history of Esalen as well. Its basic argument stated that ESP had been well-established by parapsychology invoking scientific legitimacy , that clairvoyant abilities existed, and that this pointed us towards a new worldview.

Furthermore, the utopian call for a new, non-reductionist, non-ma- terialist paradigm that is so central to New Age science was prefigured in the earlier discourse of psychical researchers and parapsychologists. Rhine Granted these discursive similarities it is hardly surprising that para- psychology has remained an interest to New Age discourses of science.

Finally, a central feature of occultural re-enchantment is the impor- tance of popular culture. The consumption of popular oc cultural products, as agents of re-enchantment, is paramount to the diffusion of emerging occultural religiosity. Again we find the paraculture baked into the process. Parapsychological concepts are frequently mediated through popular culture; a complete list of Hollywood movies figuring some kind of ESP would be extensive indeed.

References Allison, Paul D. The Social Construction of Rejected Knowledge. Edited by Roy Wallis. University of Keele. Alvarado, C. Asprem, Egil. Barrett, William.

Barton, Ruth. Similarly, Hess discusses the place of paraculture in Hollywood by looking at popular movie franchises such as The Exorcist, Poltergeist, Ametyville Horror, and the Ghostbusters series Hess , pp.

A closer study of psi in popular culture seems a prom- ising way to bring the analytical concepts of paraculture and occulture together. Beloff, John. A Concise History. Athlone Press. Bem, D. Bierman, Dick J. Bird, James Malcolm, ed. The Margery Mediumship: A Complete Record from Jan. New York. Blackburn, Douglas. Thought-Reading or Modern Mysteries Explained: Blackmore, Susan. Edited by B. New York: Parapsychology Foundation. In Search of the Light: The Adventures of a Parapsychologist.

Prometheus Books. Bourdieu, Pierre. Edited by J. Richardson, translated by Richard Nice. New York, NY: Greenwood Press. Bowler, Peter J. Reconciling Science and Religion: University of Chicago Press. The interaction of human intention with random number generators.

A meta-analysis. Broughton, R. Capra, Fritjof. The Tao of Physics: Berkeley, CA: Nothing Unscientific Is Happening. Frames of Meaning: The Social Construction of Extraordinary Science.

Campbell, Colin. Coover, J. Experiments in psychical research at Leland Stanford Junio University. Paulo Alto: Stanford University Press. Crookes, William. Naturalism in Question. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. This volume. Edited by Philip Clayton with Zachary Simpson. Oxford University Press. Galison, Peter. Image and Logic: A Material Culture of Microphysics.

Gardner, Martin. Fads and Fallacies in the Name of Science. Putnam and Sons. The Founders of Psychical Research. Gieryn, Thomas. Strains and Interests in Professional Ideologies of Scientists. Cultural Boundaries of Science: Credibility on the Line. Grean Raia, Courtenay. The Substance of Things Hoped For: Gregory, Frederick. Scientific Materialism in Nineteenth Century Germany.

Reidel Publishing Co. Gruber, Elmar. Gurney, Edmund, F. Myers, and Frank Podmore, eds.. Phantasms of the Living. Two volumes.

Hacking, Ian. The Social Construction of What? Hammer, Olav. Claiming Knowledge: Strategies of Epistemology from Theosophy to the New Age. Edited by Wouter Hanegraaff et al. Edited by Daren Kemp and James R. Hanegraaff, Wouter. New Age Religion and Western Culture: Western Esotericism in the Mirror of Secular Thought. Dictionary of Gnosis and Western Esotericism. Koninkleijke Brill. Hansel, C. ESP and Parapsychology: A Critical Evaluation.

Hecht, Jennifer Michael. The End of the Soul: Scientific Modernity, Atheism, and Anthropology in France. Columbia University Press. From Wikibooks, open books for an open world. Retrieved from " https: Parapsychology Shelf: Hidden categories: Requests for expansion Books with print version Intermediate reading level Subject: Psychology Subject: Namespaces Book Discussion.

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