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SIMILARITIES: Some areas to pseudoscientific
research use similar research methods to scientific Harm? There are three main problems with
research. Both have hypotheses that need to be tested, paranormal research. First some people make a lot of
then the results tend to be published into journals. Both money out of unfounded claims. Second, as a society
gather data and have research that is based on their we should be encouraged to ask for evidence rather
research. They both choose their areas of study. Similar then believe and respond to superstitious beliefs of
methodologies have been used to gather data. Different the past. Third thorough research has allowed
research methods can be used in the acquisition of acupuncture to become a therapy for pain relief, after
knowledge. results have been repeated.
DIFFERENCES: one major
difference between
pseudoscience and science, Paranormal research is
is that (PS) doesn't use peer PROBLEMS not the only example of
review and publishes results
WITH pseudoscience Similar
directly to the public. accusations have been
PSEUDO-SCIENCE.
made because of Freud's
theories are un-falsifiable.
Many of his theories cannot
Lacks the ability to change: be disapproved. They are
one of the key features of many examples of where
Pseudoscientists might pick and choose science is adapt the researchers persist despite
what to study, most scientists would explanations that have come clear disproof. 1989 the
argue that their selection of topics they about as a result of hypothesis discovery of cold fusion.
research on, they already have testing. This is the case with
knowledge on this. psi-phenomena that has been
continued to be explained in
the same way for centuries,
despite lack of evidence.…read more

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J.B Rhine Was one the first serious paranormal Scientific fraud: tends to be found throughout
researchers, who accused 12 of his researchers in his research scientific research (example Cybil Bert)
lab for behaving dishonestly in seeking to gain Playfair (2009) suggests that many noted scientists
significant results, including Walter Levy (assistant) who including Galileo, Mendel and even Newton. Have
tampered with the equipment to obtain significant results resorted to data fudging or outright invention.
when recording ESP in rats. However Hines (2003) suggests that fraud has been
Carl Sargent: conducted common in areas of parapsychology than in other
research into ESP using the areas of scientific investigation, presumably because
Ganzfield Technique in which of the lack of positive results pushes researchers to
Blackmore (87) came to visit invent them.
his laboratory and watched The Soal affair: British
the research, however he did mathematician who had
notice suspicious behaviour, been testing ESP for years
Sargent defended himself but and found one participant
left the research field soon SCIENTIFIC FRAUD Shackleton who had
after suggest he may have appeared to have
been guilty. paranormal abilities. The
Uri Geller: became famous in the 1970's results obtained a high level
for his ability to bend spoons, and for of odds for example 1035 to
having other psychic powers. James Cottingely fairies: There were 1, it was later revealed by
Randhi (82) a highly successful magician five photographs between one of his agents that Soal
accused Geller for being a fraud, in which 1920-1916 taken by two has cheated by changing the
he uses standard magic tricks to women who show visual 1s in the answer sheets to
accomplish his alleged paranormal feats. evidence of fairies. It was later 4s and 5s. However this
There have been a number of challenges proved by the two ladies that claim is still remains a
to Geller's honesty, including his former the fairies were paper cut outs mystery as the man is now
manager who explained that she used to and that they were fake (1983) dead. However after
help him to cheat. analysis of the data does
show a high rate of 4s and
5s does suggest that
scientific fraud had occurred.…read more

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Parapsychology (PP): was a term introduced in the
1930's to refer to the scientific study of paranormal
Schlitz and Wiseman: The aim of the research was
phenomena. Science considers sensory information to
to determine whether or not ppts could detect
be the only way by which humans can perceive and
whether they knew someone was staring at them
experience their world. However some phenomena
from a distance. The results from Schlitz's research
involves exchanges of information that exceeds the
were more significant as he was a believer in the
capacities of the sensory (and motor) systems as they'
paranormal. Wiseman on the other hand repeated
re currently understood. It is these paranormal
the research and found no evidence because he was
phenomena that parapsychology seeks to explain this
sceptic. Research can be influenced in an
by using scientific methods.
unconscious way, sceptics and artificial conditions
Many studies are highly cause psi-phenomena to disappear.
controlled, however many are Psychodynamic theory is
not controlled, and have been largely unfalsifiable, yet is
failed to be replicated. If the SCIENTIFIC STATUS continues to be accepted by
study is replicated but the OF many. Mossaeu (2003)
original results are not surveyed parapsychological
PARA-PSYCHOLOGY. publications and found that
consistent this places the Refer to essay for more points ^-^!
original results in doubt. 12% did falsify the
hypothesis.
Parapsychologists would
It seems to lack a theory to argue that Psi phenomena
Hypotheses that cannot be falsified, the explain observations, the main are not normally distributed
aim of the scientific process is to test a aim for scientific research is to but exists in unique
hypothesis, one feature of science is to construct explanations for individuals. Therefore an
prove theory wrong. Some observations. This results into appropriate method of
parapsychologists claim that because of the criticisms for poor research must be developed
sceptics in the room that are present this methodology in results into to test this idea the
proves their hypothesis is wrong. proposing alternative Ganzfield experiment
Therefore the hypothesis is irrefutable. explanations. Burden of proof addresses the issues of
is placed on the sceptics to controlled replicable
disapprove. research.…read more

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In order to silence sceptics Honorton et al (74) designed the well known Ganzfield technique to test telepathy
between two people in experimental conditions. The rationale behind the Ganzfield technique was to test ESP
without being drowned out by other information carried through audio or vision.
Participants are placed in two separate rooms, the `sender' and the `receiver' are placed in two separate sound
proof chambers (prevents sensory leakage) The transmission of information through normal human senses some
way.
Receiver sits in a reclined chair, eyes are tapped down with half ping pong balls and a red light is shown on the
receivers face. This helps eliminate visual interfaces. Headphones are placed over the ears and white noise is
played in the background to eliminate background noise.
The Sender randomly selects one image (target) from a selection, such as a picture, photo or brief video clip and
concentrates on this for approximately 15 minutes and attempts to mentally send the information to the receiver.
The receiver provides aloud a continuous verbal description on the thoughts, feelings and images that they
experience and these descriptions are carefully recorded by the experimenter via an audio link in another room
(who doesn't know the answers)
At the end of the Ganzfield procedure the ping pong balls and headphones are removed, receiver is presented
with four images (one target and three decoys) and judges which one closely matches the image described under
the Ganzfield procedure. Carefully identifying the target scored as a `hit' by chance alone (guess) we would
expect a success rate of 25%. Anything greater than 25 % suggests something more than chance i.e. ESP.…read more

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Honorton et al (85) reported a 38% success rate for ESP The sheep-goat effect: Schmeidler and McConnell
studies. In 1990 he introduced a even tighter procedure (58) collected evidence from over 1000 subjects that
and obtained a 34 % `hit' rate. Hyman et al (85) sheep tended to score above chance whereas goats
produced a joint communication and conducted a better show results at levels of chance or even negative
controlled study for research, he re-analysed his data results (called psi-missing) therefore there is an
and detected many flaws. This was also because interaction between subjects beliefs and the
Hyman was sceptic. researchers beliefs of the research.
Milton + Wiseman (99) reviewed 30 well
controlled studies and concluded that the
studies showed no significance. The
analysis was criticised as it didn't follow the
Both Schlitz and Wiseman
Ganzfield procedure. Bem et al (2001) when ISSUES WHEN (97) conducted a study
some of the studies were shifted and added RESEARCHING ESP
whether participants could
more significant results were obtained. THROUGH detect whether or not they
GANZFIELD knew someone was
TECHNIQUE . watching them. The point is
Hyman (85) criticised many of the meta-
that Schlitz who was a
analysis of Ganzfield studies as they
believer obtained more
used studies where H0 was rejected.
positive results then
Such a sample of studies were biased Wooffitt et al (2007) found Wiseman the sceptic who
and gives the strong impression of strong evidence of researcher bias, replicated the research. In
evidence of ESP. Studies that accepted when he analysed 30 Ganzfield paranormal research it is
H0 were filed away. This means that studies and found that sceptical always up to the skeptics to
successful studies tend to be published experimenters didn't encourage disapprove or explain the
while unsuccessful studies tend to be the receiver to elaborate. evidence.
discarded and never published. Hyman
argues if we take all the possible
unpublished studies with non- significant
results into account, the overall success
rate would be much closer to chance.…read more

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