Parapsychology A Paranormal Study


Parapsychology A Paranormal Study

Parapsychology A Paranormal Study -We welcome you to the “Introduction to Parapsychology – Personal Paranormal Study” written by Dan Scott. At the completion of the introduction module, the participant should be able to understand a very basic glossary of terminology.

Disclaimer – we are not an accredited learning institution. This module is not intended to replace any formal studies in the field of parapsychology. This module is intended to help develop our team of paranormal investigators ONLY.

General Glossary Terms

  1. Paranormal – of or pertaining to the claimed occurrence of an event or perception without scientific explanation.
  2. Parapsychology – the branch of psychology  that deals with the investigation of purportedly psychic phenomena, as clairvoyance, extrasensory perception, telepathy, and the like.
  3. Psychology – the science of the mind or of mental states and processes.
  4. ESP (Extra Sensory Perception) – perception or communication outside of normal sensory capability.
  5. Scientific method – a method of research in which a problem is identified, relevant data are gathered, a hypothesis is formulated from these data, and the hypothesis is empirically tested.
  6. Apparitional Experience –  is an anomalous, quasi-perceptual experience.
  7. Paranormalist – A paranormalist is any person that actively seeks out a personal paranormal experience.

General History Of Parapsychology

The Father of Modern Parapsychology

Max Dessoir Circa. 1889, authored an article, Die Parapsychologie. Eine Entegegnung auf den Artikel “Der Prophet”, which appeared in 1889 (translation: Parapsychology. A Response to the Article “The Prophet”). Dessoir, is credited for coining the term parapsychology.

Though the term was coined by Dessoir,  J.B. Rhine popularized the term parapsychology in the English language. Rhine was one of the first to engage in large-scale, organized study of the subject.

Parapsychology A Paranormal Study

J. B. Rhine (Joseph Banks Rhine) is widely considered to be the Father of Modern Parapsychology. Dr. J B Rhine also coined the term “extrasensory perception” (ESP) to describe the apparent ability of some people to acquire information without the use of the known (five) senses). He also adopted the term “parapsychology” to distinguish his interests from mainstream psychology.

Dr J B Rhine Along with his wife Dr Louisa E. Rhine studied the phenomena now known as parapsychology at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina. J B Rhine collaborated with Professor William McDougall who served as the Chairman of the Department of Psychology. Together they attempted to use the scientific method to observe and test phenomena. Use of the scientific method and scientific measurements while avoiding fringe subjects (UFO’s, Big Foot, etc) were key points usually broached in parapsychology. 

What areas does the umbrella of parapsychology cover

As mentioned certain areas of study used to fall outside of the reach of parapsychology. Those studies included numerology, astrology, UFO’s, cryptozoology, big foot, paganism, shamanism, alchemy, vampires, other mythical lore, witch craft or wiccanism, and demons. The primary reason for exclusion of such subjects was swaying public support. The more fringe the phenomena the higher likelihood of being considered fake or fraudulent scientific research. Parapsychology research tapered off heavily in the United States during the 1960’s. Most likely due to many factors including the Vietnam War and necessary social change.

Parapsychology Research Continues

Parapsychology has witnessed a reemergence caused by a spree popular commercial Television programs focused on the paranormal and haunted locations. As the name suggests para – psychology, is a quasi study in the actual, respected field, of psychology. Generally speaking, because current science is unable to prove the existence of any paranormal activity, most scientists avoid or even scoff at the study of parapsychology. Scientific method requires a high expectation of logic; 1+1 must equal 2. The paranormal often involves illogical outcomes in expected logical settings thus, adding to the frustration of science professionals.

Finding parapsychology courses at accredited learning institutions in the United States is still difficult due to the stigma attached to it. Research is currently conducted in some 30 other different countries. Field research is completed in University settings as well as private. The United Kingdom research is among the most active in the world today.

From Parapsychology To The Paranormal

For most of the modern century, parapsychology has been used almost exclusively for the attempted scientific study of unexplained phenomena. Other terms have sometimes been used interchangeably with parapsychology and include parapsychical, psychic phenomenon, and psychical science. The use of the word paranormal is a modern spin on parapsychology.

The current accepted definition for the term paranormal is – anything just outside of the normal and expected. Paranormal research today is unlike Dr. Rhine’s parapsychology. Paranormal research by definition encom-passes any subject the falls outside the expected normal, and does not necessarily use scientific method.

Most paranormal research todat is focused on one or more specific areas of study rather than the entirety. Some areas may also go hand in hand and be studied in conjunction such as numerology, astrology, UFO’s, cryptozoology, paganism, shamanism, alchemy, vampire and other mythical lore,  witch-Craft or wiccanism, dream interpretation, demons, angels, poltergeists and Ghosts.

Ghost Hunting And The Paranormal

Ghosts Hunting is one of the fastest growing areas of study by private research. The terms apparitional experience and paranormalist have been around for quite some time. The terms Apparitional Experience and paranormalist have been popularized by writer Dan Scott.

In scientific or academic discussion, the term apparitional experience is to be preferred to the term ghost and paranormalist is preferred over ghost hunter.

Dan Scott
  • The term ghost implies that some element of the human consciousness (energy) can survive the expiration of the vessel (body). Under certain circumstances this energy can manifest. The word ghost does not require a witness to be relevant, Apparitional experiences do.
  • There are many other competing explanations for apparitional experiences.
  • Firsthand accounts of apparitional experiences differ in many respects from their fictional counterparts in literary or traditional ghost stories.
  • The content of apparitional experiences includes both humans and animals.

An Apparitional Experience

The primary area of study will be ghosts. Apparitional Experiences – an anomalous, quasi-perceptual experience.; It is characterized by the apparent perception from a living person or animal without any material stimulus for such a perception. The witness experiencing the apparition is awake and of sound mind. We will be excluding dream visions from consideration as they relate to the unconscious and unaware mind.

A Paranormalist

A paranormalist is any person that actively seeks out a personal paranormal experience. The definition usually applies to apparitional experiences (ghosts) but has gained recent use in other fields such as cryptozoology, and ufology. Paranormalist’s can include skeptics or believers, and does not require use of scientific methodology.

Is There Proof Of Apparitional Experiences

Many paranormal groups have submitted evidence of Orbs, Shadow figures, and Ghosts. The primary issue with such evidence is that Science demands empirical data gathered via established known methodology.  A majority of established paranormal groups fail to meet the scientific standards needed to conduct their investigations.

The counter argument made by paranormal groups is that the paranormal operates outside of known areas of science and into a quantum realm of metaphysics. This argument suggests that no known scientific model may be employed as the results fall beyond the scope of science itself.

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