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Just what is parapsychology

This question is often asked and the reply given is very obscure. Parapsychology is often defined as the science of the unexplainable. Extra sensory perception falls into this science and is branched off into different, but specific groups. These groups define extra sensory perception as the ability to pick up information or manipulate things that normally can’t happen in everyday life. Many people have claimed an ability of extra sensory perception, and many of their arguments are very effective, but there are many skeptics that claim that it is utterly bogus and cannot be reproduced under controlled situations.

It has many believers and non-believers, but it is a often explored subject that interests people of all ages. Parapsychology is one of the most interesting of all sciences. “Most sciences try to explain observable phenomena, parapsychology tries to observe unexplainable phenomena. ” (http://wheel. ucdavis. edu) This science is widespread throughout the world and pops up in many different cultures. “Scientific methodology in this field dates from the foundation in London of the Society for Psychical Research (1882) which sought to distinguish psychic phenomena from spiritism and to investigate mediums and their activities. http://wheel. ucdavis. edu)

The research started over one hundred years ago and their goal was to understand why unexplainable phenomena was occurring. “Modern experiments, notably at Duke University under Joseph Banks Rhine, in Britain at the Society for Psychical Research and in Russian research labs, have concentrated principally on extrasensory perception, psychokinesis, and astral projection. ” (http://wheel. ucdavis. edu) J. B. Rhine did experiments in the field of extra sensory perception to test if it actually existed. Rhine made the “ESP cards” famous by his use of them in guessing experiments.

Rhine claimed in his 1934 book, Extra-Sensory Perception, to have found overwhelming evidence of ESP. ” Joseph Banks Rhine was a pioneer in the science of parapsychology and he revolutionized the research into the subject. There are three main branches of extra sensory perception, and the most known about and most popular is telepathy. “Telepathy was one of the first phenomena to be studied by physical researchers. ” The possible idea we can seize messages from other minds is very ancient. “When two people communicate without using the normal senses, the phenomenon is known as telepathy. Psychology-447)

This abnormal way of communication has sparked much interest into this subject, due to that fact that it is not a common sense people have. Recently a well know man, Uri Geller, had experiments performed on him to help prove to the world that telepathy existed. “Witnesses claim to have watched Geller, who once made a living as a stage magician, perform apparently impossible feats;… keys, spoons and other metal objects [would] bend by themselves. ” (Psychology-433) People accused him of being a fraud and many have asked him to reproduce the same results under restricted settings.

Scientists at the Stanford Research Institution decided to study Geller under controlled conditions” (Psychology-433) If Geller could satisfy the Stanford Research Institution, people of the world would be more inclined to take psychic powers seriously. “During most of the experiments, the psychic was locked in a specially designed room called a Faraday cage” (Psychology-433) This cage had locked him away from all outer stimulus and prevented any outside world signals to enter. “A double blinded experiment was performed in which a single 3/4 inch die was placed in a 3x4x5 inch steel box. Ebon-72)

The box was vigorously shaken and at random, an unknown number to both Geller and the scientists was facing upwards. “In the eight times in which he gave a response, he was correct each time. The probability of this occurring by chance is approximately one in1010. ” (Ebon-73) The experiments continued on and similar results occurred, proving that his answers were not just random guessing, but a form of telepathy. Clairvoyance is the power to perceive things that are out of the natural range of human senses. Precognition, psychic knowing of future events, is usually associated with clairvoyance.

It is a very sketchy subject and people often get confused when they think about what clairvoyance really is. “.. You’d be using telepathy if you correctly called a Zener card your sender was concentrating on, but if you could correctly name the next card… that would be clairvoyance. ” This separation alone helps people understand the difference between telepathy and clairvoyance, since they are so closely related. “At the beginning of every new year, clairvoyants make predictions based upon their alleged supernatural power of perception which allows them to see the future. http://wheel. ucdavis. edu)

These predictions made all of the time and there are many occurrences in which their prophecies come true, but there is a majority of attempts to foresee the future that have failed. “A subset of ESP covering apparent information transmission as though it were the result of visual perception. “(Koestler) The perception can appear externally either replacing the normal visual scene, as in visions, or being incorporated into it, or internally, in the form of mental imagery and intuition.

One of the more common appeals as proof of clairvoyance is the dream come true. ” (http://wheel. ucdavis. edu) Many people have experienced this phenomena and seem to feel that is a direct result of their clairvoyant abilities. “Some predictions come true not because of psychic powers which allow a person to look into the future but because of natural powers which help a person anticipate and predict the future based upon past experience and current knowledge. ” (http://wheel. ucdavis. edu) People sometime make claim to their clairvoyance, but some of their claims can be easily argued.

A person that has a dog may bring a friend over and know that the dog is going to bark when it sees the friend, even though the dog hasn’t yet barked, but due to past experience, they can accurately guess towards a future event and see the dog bark. Psychokinesis is a trait that is wanted by many people just for the fact it makes less work. “Psychokinesis is a person’s ability to influence a physical object or an event, by merely thinking about it. ” (Thomas-1) The ability to manipulate things just by thought alone stirs up mixed emotions towards things such as gambling or saving a life.

Psychokinesis often seems to be related to crisis situation such as death or disaster. ” (Psychology-449) These disasters may coincide with an event that seems to happen at the same time, such as a clock stopping as a loved one dies. “Uri Geller claims he can bend spoons and stop watches using only his thoughts to control the external objects. ” (Ebon-63) This is a very convincing way to prove of his ability to manipulate objects. “It was always necessary for him to have physical contact with the spoon or for that matter, any object that he bends. Ebon-64)

These bends in the metal requires extremely strong fingers, but is unexplainably bent by a simple, light massage to the metal. Dr Albert Ducrocq tells us, “The bends in metal objects (made by Geller) could not have been made by ordinary manual means. ” (Ebon-64) Uri Geller has an uncanny ability to bend pieces of metal in various sizes with just his mind power, further enforcing the existence of psychokinesis. Though all of the research done on extra sensory perception and parapsychology, it is still debatable over if the phenomena actually exists.

Many people lay claim to their own piece of the extra sensory pool, but it can never really be called definite. There are as many, if not more skeptics as there are believers in parapsychology. For those people who wish not to believe that telepathy, clairvoyance, and psychokinesis exists, they should look at our past. Once man thought that we were the center of the universe. Once, we all agreed that the earth was flat. Now we are getting meteorites that possibly hold life from a different planet. Anything could be possible, but it doesn’t always have to or need to be explained.

Uri Geller is world renowned and has opened the gates of parapsychology. His ability to bend metal with just pure mind power is extremely interesting and it’s a trait that more people would like to exploit. He was also able to consistently identify objects and placements of objects that would have normally been nearly impossible. His results of his guessing the right option were one in 1010 and he accomplished these small feats systematically. There are many psychics in the world, and there are also many fakes, which gives reason for many people in not believing that extra sensory perception exists.

The interest into the subjects of telepathy and other paranormal activity has increased dramatically over many years. Television is also attributing to the voice of psychics showing us concepts and actual events that is hard to deny when seen by the naked eye. In all of these unexplainable senses and phenomena, there still lies the question, do we all have these “powers” and is research into the subject of parapsychology going to continue? I’m not clairvoyant, but I am pretty sure that there will be more Uri Geller’s and more open minded research.

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