Psychic phenomena in all forms are hugely popular - so if it’s supernatural experiences and theories you’re looking for, a quick visit to a bookshop or a surf on the web will sort you out with reading matter of very variable quality on everything from crop circles to ghosts and reincarnation in minutes.
However, if you want to know more about the authentic scientific research being conducted in this area, and considered assessments of its validity, then you’ll have to search much harder. Here are a few initial avenues to explore.
... for a general introduction, try the latest version of this undergraduate text book, which has a large section devoted to parapsychology:
Foundations of Psychology (3rd Edition)
- Nicky Hayes. Chapter 12 ’Sensation and Parapsychology’.
Published by Thomson Learning.
... and ...
Foundations of Parapsychology: Exploring the Boundaries of Human Capability
- H.L. Edge, R.L. Morris, J.H. Rush and J. Palmer
Published by Routledge & Kegan Paul
... for an account of the history of belief in supernatural abilities and magical phenomena, right up to the present day:
Parapsychology: A Concise History
- John Beloff, Published by The Athlone Press
... another historical book, this one written by the father of parapsychological research, J.B. Rhine, detailing many of the earliest experiments conducted back in the 1930s:
- J.B. Rhine. Published by Branden Publishing Co.
... for a look at all aspects of parapsychology, from the point of view of a personality researcher AND a parapsychology researcher:
Explaining the Unexplained: Mysteries of the Paranormal
- Hans J. Eysenck and Carl Sargent. Published by Prion Books Ltd.
... and for a more practically scientific approach to psychical research and methodology:
Guidelines for Testing Psychic Claimants
- Richard Wiseman and Robert Morris. Published by University of Hertfordshire Press.
... and finally, since there are so many uncritical books out there on the subject of the supernatural, here are a couple of books that will prime you to assess all psychic claims and demonstrations with a highly critical eye - since things are not always how they appear:
Magic in Theory
- Peter Lamont & Richard Wiseman Published by University of Hertfordshire Press.
... and ...
A Skeptic’s Handbook of Parapsychology
- P Kurtz (Editor)
Published by Buffalo, New York: Prometheus
First, try the extensive homepage of the Koestler Parapsychology Unit at Edinburgh University
Secondly, check out the Rhine Center in the US. This is the oldest parapsychology research centre in the world and has conducted many experiments over the decades.
Other good websites include:
Princeton Engineering Anomalies Laboratory
Studying science with the OU
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