The Scientific Study Of Interactions Between Living Organisms And Their External Environment

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Introduction Parapsychology is the scientific study of interactions between living organisms and their external environment that seem to transcend the known physical laws (Rhine Research Centre, 2013). Parapsychology consists of areas including telepathy (the transmission of information between people using non of our sensory channels or physical interaction), clairvoyance (the ability to obtain information about a person, or object through extrasensory perception), precognition (psychic ability to see events in the future), psychokinesis (using only the mind to manipulate objects), survival studies (studies of human consciousness). Paranormal activity and experience is a very controversial topic that results in a wide range of beliefs…show more content…
The extent to which ESP is believed varies and depends on many factors, for example profession is known to play some role as a survey of 1100 college professors found that 55% of natural scientists, 66% of social scientists, 77% of academics in the arts, humanities and education and only 34% of psychologists believed that ESP is either an established fact or a likely possibility (Presley, 1997). The belief that ESP belief is linked to a lower IQ has been proven inaccurate (Roe, 1999) and instead it has been shown how education level can positively correlate with ESP belief (Rice, 2003). Surveys have proven to find that ESP belief is very common (Moore, 2005) and a meta-analysis has shown that ESP has supporting research and that the idea of the paranormal should not be viewed with scepticism (Storm, Tressoldi & Di Risio, 2010). However, there have been multiple pieces of research to show how unreliable memory can be and that cognitive biases result in events being misinterpreted (Henkel & Mather, 2007; Kahneman et al., 1993) so claims to have experienced ESP have to be looked at critically and with the view that a person’s account may not be reliable. A ‘file-drawer’ problem can also be claimed. This is the claim that the statistical significance of findings can occur by chance and that parapsychologists ignore the falsification
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