mind map of exceptional experience : psychic healing and mediumship. supporting and not supporting research.

  • Created by: alice
  • Created on: 16-12-12 15:11
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    • Psychic Mediumship
      • Supporting Research
        • Schwartz et al. (2001) ---tested 5 mediums filmed by an American TV network. 2 women over 40 who had recently experienced deaths were 'sitters'. the sitters were unseen by the mediums and could only answer 'yes' or 'no'
          • The women judged the accuracy of the mediums statements as 83% and 77%.
            • The same statements were given to a group of undergraduates; the accuracy was only 36% -suggesting the mediums performance was well above chance
          • Asking students as a baseline for the accuracy of the mediums statements will produce a lower rating as the statements would have been designed for middle-aged women
            • The control group was far too different to the ppts, that alone accounts for the difference in accuracy ratings
        • Keen et al. (1999) ---group of researchers published the Scale Report describing the results of over 500 experiences done in Scole, Norfolk
          • Objects materialised and flew around the room, voices were heard; it was all caught on film. -a professional magician claimed he could find no evidence of fraud
      • Psychic mediums claim to be able to communicate with people in the afterlife or spirit world
      • Cold Reading
        • Reading the many cues that can help a talented medium produce accurate information is known as 'cold reading'
        • Even if they don't see the sitter they can pick up information by the tone of their voice
        • A cold reader starts with general statements about the person, e.g. 'I'm getting an 'M''. Responses in later conversation are used to help convince listeners of the psychics abilities (Wiseman and O'keefe, 2001)
      • NOT Supporting Research
        • O'Keefe and Wiseman (2005) ---5 mediums gave readings for 5 sitters. Each sitter read all 25 readings that were produced and related the personal relevance of each.
          • The sitters ratings were lower for the statements that had been written for them
      • Why Do People Believe?
        • Spiritualism is a big business, people resort to using complex and convincing strategies
          • E.g. a medium may hire an accomplice to visit a regular sitter; during this visit take something important and move it. This way the medium can tell the sitter where to find it (Hines, 2003)
        • Techniques such as the Barnum effect (tendency for people to accept general statements as an accurate description of themselves) and the willingness of the sitter to elaborate on limited information, help the medium to appear to have special powers
          • Roe (1996) reported that many sitters are aware of this but nevertheless remain convinced
    • Psychic Healing
      • Support Research
        • Wirth (1990) ---Patients with wounds were treated with either TT or no treatment. Patients didn't know which group they were in. -Patients treated with TT healed faster
          • Wirth et al. (1997) ---failed to replicate his research on wound healing
          • Researchers who wished to discuss his research have failed to be able to contact him (Solfvin et al. 2005)
        • Cha et al (2001) ---Looked at the effect of prayer on infertile women. Twice as many women who were prayed for by Christian strangers became pregnant, as to those who had no one praying for them
          • Questioning by various scientists led to 1 of the authors to withdraw his name saying he had nothing to do with the study
          • Wirth has been convicted of criminal fraud and given a 5 year sentence
          • Cha has been accused of plagiarism in another journal
      • NOT Supporting Research
        • Lyvers et al. (2006) ---A team of psychologists were invited by an Australian TV company to test the powers of a well-known psychic
          • 20 volunteers who were suffering from back pain found through newspaper add. They were randomly assigned to either a treatment or control group. -all ppts were told the psychic was focusing on them
            • TV broadcast showed the psychic seated in a separate room looking at a photo of each ppt, the effect of the psychic healing was assessed by questionnaire
              • No overall reduction in pain was recorded in both treatment and control groups. -there was a correlation between belief and pain reduction, suggesting that belief plays a central role in the success of psychic healing
        • Rosa et al. (1998) ---involved 21 TT practitioners. A TT practitioner sat on the otherside of a screen, placing their hands through holes in it. On the otherisde the experimenter placed her hand about 4 inches above the practitioners left or right hand
          • The study has been criticised by TT supporters becuase it was designed by a 9 year old girl. Didn't stop it being published in the reputable journal of the American Medical Association
          • TT practitioners should be able to sense the hands energy field , but the performance was less than chance : 40%
            • Supporters claim that the experimenter was not ill  which would have disrupted their aura (Hines, 2003)
        • Long et al. (1999) ---repeated the Rosa study using ordinary people instead of TT practitioners. Found that when the hand was only 3 inches away results were better than chance (Long suggested this was because they could detect the body heat from the hand
        • Glickman and Gracely (1998) ---designed a study that eliminated body hear and results were ar chance level
      • Psychic healing refers to any method used to alleviate health problems by purely mental means can be used face-to-face, over the phone, or from a distance -methods include faith healing and therapeutic touch (TT)
        • In TT the therapist moves their hands over the patients body to detect their 'aura' and aims to restore health by realigning the patients energy field. -Taught to 10,000 nurses in the US alone (Solfvin et al. 2005)
      • Why Do People Believe?
        • Some cases are successful, such successes may be due to spontaneous recovery or the patient is only temporarily better then relapses but doesn't report it
        • Success may also be the placebo effect, i.e. real measurable improvement that occurs as a result of believing that treatment will work


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