The study of Anomalous Experience

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  • Created on: 23-10-13 18:51
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  • The study of Anomalous Experience
    • Pseudoscience
      • Pseudoscience - masquerades as science but lacks important characteristics of science i.e lacks refutable hypotheses.
      • In pseudoscience, the burden of proof does not rest with the phenomenon, but it is up to sceptics to disprove their reality.
      • Jealous phenomena - paranormal psychologist believe presence of sceptics cause phenomena to 'go away'.
      • Reasons to be concerned about paranormal research include : making money out of unfounded claims, not asking for evidence.
      • If two competing explanations, simpler one is to be preferred (Occam's razor) - paranormal explanations are extremely complex.
    • Scientific Fraud
      • Soal had faked results in research on anomalous experience.
        • Fraud never confirmed although analysis of results suggests fraud likely.
      • Rhine - reported that 12 researchers in his lab had behaved dishonestly to gain significant results.
        • Wrong to maintain anonymity of fraudulent researchers as means we are unable to identify work they were involved with.
      • Sargent - errors and failures to follow protocol during his research.
        • Bem and Honorton (1994) review - half of studies were from Sargent's lab and therefore may be flawed.
      • Geller - accused of using magic tricks to accomplish 'paranormal' feats.
    • ESP
      • ESP = perception of objects or events without any of the known physical senses being involved.
      • Ganzfeld technique - subject isolated in conditions of sensory deprivation.
        • Analysis of 28 ganzfeld studies - 38% success rate.
          • Autoganzfed - similar levels of success.
            • Ganzfeld technique - subject isolated in conditions of sensory deprivation.
              • Analysis of 28 ganzfeld studies - 38% success rate.
                • Autoganzfed - similar levels of success.
                • Images are complex, and require subjective evaluation of a 'match'.
          • Images are complex, and require subjective evaluation of a 'match'.
        • Previous lack of success in ESP believed to be because psi drowned out by other stimuli.
          • Psi = the process of information transfer or energy transfer in extrasensory perception or psychokinesis that is unexplained in terms of known physical or biological mechanisms.
        • 'File-drawer effect' - results of meta-analyses change according to which studies are left out.
      • Psychokinesis (PK)
        • PK = the movement or manipulation of objects or events without any physical contact.
        • Macro PK - effects that are visible to the human eye.
          • Batcheldor (1984) - developed technique to show that most people possess this power.
          • Validity of claims challenged by frequency with which effects recreated by magicians.
        • Micro PK - small effects on probabilistic systems e.g. throw of dice.
          • PEAR group uses random event generator to investigate micro PK.
        • Jahn et al. (1997) combined test results across all trials over 12 year period - found very large effect size.
        • Belief also important - Wiseman and Greening (2005).
        • Bierman (2000) - steady decline in effect size over years, suggesting phenomena not real.

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