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Anomalistic Psychology
Pseudoscience field of study that acts as a science however lacks certain important
characteristics of a science.
· Hines (2003) list of features that suggest that anomalous research is pseudoscience.
Irrefutable hypothesis the aim of a scientific process is to test hypotheses. You
Cannot prove a hypothesis right however you can only prove it wrong. However in
Some cases this is not possible, I.e. a study may find no evidence of ESP, although This
would seem to suggest that the hypothesis is wrong, but due to the arguments thrown
back from that from psychologists saying that there was bias and sceptics in the
experiment etc, then it makes it a nonfalsifiable hypothesis of which is not of a scientific
Lacks carefully controlled, replicable research many of the studies are highly
controlled however some of the experiments are not controlled at all therefore not been
replicable. If the study of then replicated but produces different results to the
original study
there are then doubts as to the originals' authenticity.
Lacks a theory to explain the effects scientific research aim is to construct
explanations for observations on the Earth, many paranormal psychologists however have
not given an explanation at all.
Burden of proof supporters of parapsychology say that they require no proof
and it is up to sceptics to disprove their theory. Such disproof is very difficult due to the
hypothesis being unfalsifiable.
Lack ability to change characteristic of science explanations are adapted as a
result of hypothesis testing, however in parapsychology they have kept the same views
and explanations even though they have no evidence.
· Randi 6 hallmarks of pseudoscience
1. It is illogical e.g. homeopathy.
2. It is inconsistent e.g. astrology is not consistent with astronomy.
3. It requires that we suspend our beliefs in well established scientific principles.
4. It is based on the interpretation of a single charismatic leader or sacred text.
5. It is fixed and does not change to new findings.
6. It cannot be used to make predictions about the future.
· Parapsychology is not the only example of pseudoscience can say that Freud's work is all
hypothetical as you cannot falsify it.
· There are many examples of scientific research where believers still persist with what they
think even though there is evidence against it e.g. cold fusion even though there is evidence
against it and said the original idea was due to poor methodology people do still believe the
theory today.
· The AAAS allowed the parapsychological Association to become an allocated in member
in 1969, thus appearing to con firm the scientific status that parapsychology has.
· Three reasons to be concerned about parapsychology

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As a society we should be encouraged to ask for evidence for things rather than just
believing in superstitions and trends which have in the past lead to persecution of witches etc.
Thorough research may lead to valuable discoveries , e.g. acupuncture..
Scientific fraud
· Soal affair mathematician spent years testing participants for ESP, he found a man Basil
Shackleton, who appeared to have these abilities.…read more

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Gets 4 images flashed in front of them, choose 1 they think has been sent to them,
· In 1985 Honorton published his analysis of 28 studies and found that there was a success
rate of 38% 25% is the level at which you'd expect it to be chance.
· Hyman criticised the Ganzfeld as hw said it lacked security and erroneous statistical data.
Hyman reanalysed the data and found no statistical evidence for it being more than chance.…read more

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They also found that these effects
occur when `operators' are at some distance from the machines and when the operators
were exerting their influence when the machines are not operating. Finally they found that the
effects increased when two volunteers worked together and had a close, emotional bond.
· Stevens (1998) conducted an experiment using the internet where remote participants were
invited to try to influence the activity of a split beam laser.…read more

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General cognitive ability studies have not confirmed this in all studies conducted. In some
cases the opposite has been found, a survey of New Scientist readers found that 67% of the
readers believed that paranormal activity was an `established fact' or a `likely possibility'.
Wiseman and Watt concluded that general cognitive ability, with the exception of syllogistic
reasoning, did not affect paranormal activity.
2. Links between distantly related materials the ability should not be viewed negatively, it is
likely that the same factors underlie creativity.…read more

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Research has also shown that the
right hemisphere is also linked to the part of the brain where you distantly relates material
(Wiseman and Watt, 2006) thus providing the link between cognitive and biological
· High levels of dopamine play the role of a reward system and may help people when
deciding what information is correct.…read more

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Evolutionary approach to functions
· As belief in paranormal activity tends to be across the whole of the world it would suggest
that there is an innate aspect of humans and this has evolved for an adaptive purpose.
Suggestion why it enables humans to stop worrying and/or questioning things, this then
allows them to be more productive in their everyday life, thus increasing the reproductive
success.…read more

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In contrast Dennett (2006) argues that religion is not directly adaptive but, instead, is a
byproduct of other mental faculties that have been selected for other reasons, such as the
theory of the mind, which allows people to deceive others.
Cultural Significance
Imagination Block (2008) suggests that when humans evolved, the ability to imagine
things that do not physically exist, this led to the development of the `transcendental
social' this unites people and the dead with the living.…read more

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· Rosa et al (1998) involved 21 touch therapy practitioners, in it the TT practitioner sat on
one side of the screen and placed their hands through the two holes in it. On the other side
an experimenter placed her hand about 4 inches above the practitioners hand. TT
practitioners should have been able to detect the energy field of the hand although they only
found it 44% of the time.…read more

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The sitter's ratings were actually lowest for the statements that were written
about them.
Why do people believe in Psychic Mediumship?
· Roe (1996) reports that many sitters are aware of the techniques used by mediums but still
remain convinced.
· Hines (2003) it is a big business so during a visit the medium could steal something whilst
the person goes to the toilet then use that knowledge to say that the spirit has put it there
etc.…read more



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