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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-mooc-logo-by-radiantskiesParapsychology only studies those anomalies that fall into one of three general categories: ESP, mind-matter interaction (previously known as psychokinesis), and phenomena suggestive of survival after bodily death, including near-death experiences, apparitions, and reincarnation. Most parapsychologists today expect that further research will eventually explain these anomalies in scientific terms, although it is not clear whether they can be fully understood without significant (some might say revolutionary) expansions of the current state of scientific knowledge. Other researchers take the stance that existing scientific models of perception and memory are adequate to explain some or all parapsychological phenomena.

 What is not parapsychology?

In spite of what the media often imply, parapsychology is not the study of “anything paranormal” or bizarre. Nor is parapsychology concerned with astrology, UFOs, searching for Bigfoot, the Loch Ness monster, Paganism, Satanism, Vampires, Alchemy, or Witchcraft.

What is parapsychology?

Many scientists have viewed parapsychology with great suspicion because the term has come to be associated with a huge variety of mysterious phenomena, fringe topics, and pseudoscience. Parapsychology is also often linked, again inappropriately, with a broad range of “psychic” entertainers, magicians, and so-called “paranormal investigators” or “paranormalists.” In addition, some self-proclaimed “psychic practitioners” call themselves parapsychologists, but that is not what we do.

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9 Responses

  1. nsikelelo says:

    When I was young I used to see such shadows, they used to make whispering sounds as they were moving about in the room

  2. Angela says:

    I’m looking to study this filed. The reason is that I’m a psychic/medium myself. I’ve been dealing with it all my life with no guide or explanation. I want to help others, especially children and their families. I need to learn more about this field. Do you have any recommendations to where to start, and which university, etc.? Any recommendations and advice are greatly appreciated. Thank you.

  1. November 12, 2015

    […] Psychokinesis is the ability to independently affect the matter only with the power of the mind. It is several different types, such as telekinesis – moving objects or pyrokinesis – influencing fire. Psychokinesis is one of the major scientific fields of parapsychology. […]

  2. August 16, 2016

    […] Parapsychologists use the term “psi” to describe all types of psychic phenomena.  In addition to psi being the 23rd letter in the Greek alphabet, it refers to experiences of the human mind that cannot be explained by traditional scientific principles. Examples of psi are telepathy, clairvoyance, psychokinesis, apparitions, hauntings and poltergeists, and out-of-body and near death experiences. […]

  3. September 19, 2016

    […] on whether you are in the U.S. or abroad? That’s right! A poltergeist in the U.S., according to parapsychologists, is caused by a person, called an “agent,” while the same activity in other parts of the world […]

  4. September 19, 2016

    […] on whether you are in the U.S. or abroad? That’s right! A poltergeist in the U.S., according to parapsychologists, is caused by a person, called an “agent,” while the same activity in other parts of the world […]

  5. November 13, 2016

    […] ability to view a location you’ve never visited is known as “remote viewing” in parapsychology. The earliest references to remote viewing can be traced back to Ancient Greece, but serious study […]

  6. November 22, 2016

    […] often talk about being psychic as if there’s just one type of psychic ability. But if parapsychology has shown us anything, it’s that psi abilities cannot be tested or determined using one method. […]

  7. February 24, 2017

    […] 1970, learning that the Soviet Union was investing heavily in “psychotronic” (parapsychology) research, the U.S. launched a program called SCANATE (scan by coordinate), which would later go by […]

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