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Psychic Healing and Psychic Mediumship
1. Psychic healing- any method used to alleviate health problems by purely mental
means, can be conducted face-to-face, over the telephone or from a distance,
methods-faith healing and laying on hands (therapeutic touch).
2. Research supporting psychic healing- Wirth-patients wounds were treated with
either TT or no treatment, patients didn't know which they were getting, eliminating
placebo effects. Wirth found that patients treated with TT healed faster.
Cha-"miracle study" effect of prayer on infertile women, found twice as many
women who prayed for by Christian strangers became pregnant compared to those
who had no-one praying for them.
3. Research not supporting psychic healing- Lyvers found no evidence for psychic
healing, found evidence believers were more likely to think they had received
healing benefits. Rosa-TT- found participants performance wasn't even as good as
chance- correct only 44% of the time.
4. Psychic mediumship- communicating with people in the afterlife or spirit world.
5. Research supporting psychic mediumship-Keen- 500 experiments- objects
materialised and flew about the room, voices were heard was captured on film, no
6. Research not supporting psychic mediumship- O'Keeffe and Wiseman-ppts rated
relevance of each statement, lowest for the statements that had been written about
7. Critical Point 1: There are serious methodological flaws in Wirth's research implying
support for psychic healing. Firstly, when Wirth repeated the experiment he failed to
replicate his own findings and when other researchers tried to discuss his findings,
Solfvin et al, they were unable to contact him. Consequently, this undermines the
research and raises question about whether it was fraudulent or not. This conclusion
is proven by the fact that Wirth was convicted of Fraud and given a 5 year prison
8. Critical Point 2: There is an issue of whether Cha's research was fraudulent as well.
Many scientists including Flamm have questioned the study on the power of prayer
and even led one of the authors to withdraw his name from the study and Cha was
accused of plagiarism in another journal. This once again undermines the study,
however this study is still taken as evidence for the power of prayer today.
9. Critical Point 1: There is a potential methodological flaw with Rosa's study on
Therapeutic Touch. This is that it was designed by a 9 year old girl so there is a
question of whether many extraneous variables were accounted for. However, the
study was published in the reputable Journal of the American Medical Association.
Although there is further criticism for this study from Hines, who says that the study
was invalid as the experimenter was not ill and so could affect their aura.
Consequently, this raises conflicting points about the validity of the study.
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Critical Point 2: There is an alternative explanation for why people could guess which
hand was being used. Long argues that the reason for this was due to the ability to
detect heat from the experimenter's hand. Therefore, this undermines research that
supports therapeutic touch.
11. Critical Point 1: There is a key reason why Schwartz did not get a higher result for the
undergraduate students.…read more