Parapsychology: Science of the Unexplained Essay

1589 Words7 Pages
Telepathy: the ability to exchange information without the use of the known senses. Psychokinesis: the ability to move or influence objects without physical contact. Precognition: the ability to obtain information about future events outside of available perception. These abilities, along with many others are just some of the many instances of unexplained phenomena that parapsychology attempts to understand. The exact purpose of parapsychology is widely misinterpreted; whether due to a lack of information in the general public or preconceived notions from media portrayal, it is inaccurate to think that parapsychology and its researchers deal with paranormal activity or fringe sciences. The history of parapsychology has also been affected…show more content…
The function of a scientist in any field is to determine the reasons how and if possible why events happen. Therefore, the purpose of parapsychology is the attempt to understand and explain events that occur outside of conventional scientific explanation, a purpose that early parapsychologists based their research upon. While research of psychic phenomena is often considered to have emerged during the Cold War, in which American and Russian scientists work to develop a means of psychic warfare, the actual birth of parapsychology as a science dates back to the late 19th century with the foundation of the Society for Psychical Research (SPR). The SPR was founded in 1882 by researchers at Cambridge University, all of whom shared belief that “various claims for the existence of paranormal phenomena warranted scientific scrutiny” (Irwin 1989), despite growing disregard in established scientific fields. The early focus of the society was primarily on mediums “who claimed to be receiving information from the souls of the departed” (Alcock, 1981), as well as accounts of extra-sensory perception, both of which was met with much skepticism; accordingly many of the founding members of the SPR were in fact either skeptics dismissing the events entirely or philosophers seeking to prove whether or not the events in question were paranormal. More recent developments in

More about Parapsychology: Science of the Unexplained Essay

Open Document