Paranormal Facts and Journal Research

Greetings Readers,

One of the questions we get from readers of Paranormal Facts is, “How do your summaries differ from the research articles you summarize?” The answer is that they differ a great deal. With the exception of the occasional parapsychologist, most of our readership are not scientists. That is our audience here and we hope you enjoy our summaries.

However, please remember that most research articles (which by the by, are the basis for college textbooks and academic debates) are usually between 20 and 30 pages each. Each published research article contains MASSIVE amounts of mathematics and scientific details. While valuable to other scientists and to the field, most of these details would detract from the main findings for the everyday Joe.

So the answer is that we try our best to highlight either the main findings of a research article or an interesting aspect of a research article for you to read as Paranormal Facts. As a scientist, I encourage any of you to personally subscribe to the major parapsychology journals. Not only will you support the non-profits that publish the journals, they make for exciting and fun reading (even if science jargon is not your style).

 

Links to the major three are listed below.

Society for Scientific Exploration (Journal for Scientific Exploration)

Parapsychological Association (Journal of Parapsychology)

Society for Psychical Research (Journal of the Society for Psychical Research)

 

Get your reading on!

Dr. Laythe

Good Therapy: A Plea To Therapists to Accept Paranormal Experiences

Powell contributes to a growing theme in parapsychological research to consider the therapeutic benefits of accepting patient’s paranormal experiences as legitimate. To that end, Powell cites four case studies where working with the patient’s paranormal experiences led to positive outcomes for the client.

 

In a strict sense, paranormal experiences within psychology can easily be diagnosed as a possible sign of psychosis (seeing and hearing things) or other mental illness of a serious nature. Powell makes the case that without other symptoms present of psychosis, it may be best to treat paranormal experiences as real to the client.

 

Powell supports his perspective with four case studies, each of which involves the patient having contact with a deceased relative or belief that a spirit was harassing them. Powell approached each case by accepting these events at face value and treating them as real. By validating the patient’s experience and working with them to resolve their perceived paranormal experience, all four clients reported relief from their symptoms and positive outcomes.

 

Reference:

Powell, A. (2017). Research note: The healing potential of anomalous perceptual experiences. Journal of the Society for Psychical Research, 81, 26-31.

Parapsychology For Everyone

Ladies and Gentlemen,

We’ve been promising a free parapsychology course, and we are proud to announce that it’s ready for its first round of online students. Included are fifteen sections and a hearty (optional) quiz if you want to test your knowledge.

What do I need to do?

  1. Go to www.israenet.org/classes and click the link!
  2. Read and examine the content at your own pace!

This is our first release of the class, so please feel free to provide us with feedback (constructive comments only, please). Email blaythe@israenet.org with any comments. I’ll be checking into the class periodically.

Part of the Public Service We Provide At ISRAE,

Dr. Brian Laythe

Does Empathy Relate to Paranormal Experiences?

In a recent publication, Irwin reexamines the potential relationship between empathy and paranormal experiences. Irwin’s study serves as a replication of previous work and tries to untangle the previously mixed findings between being empathetic and experiencing the paranormal. The current study separates empathy into two components: mentalizing empathy and systemizing empathy. Mentalizing represents the ability to attribute mental states to self and others. Systemizing empathy represents the tendency to look for abstract rules or patterns about how others will behave or react.

 

Irwin’s findings indicated a predictive relationship with systemizing empathy, but not mentalizing empathy. In other words, people who tend to use rules and predictions in terms of understanding others are more likely to report what they believe to be paranormal experiences. However, additional analysis showed a predictive relationship between more traditional forms of empathy and the reporting of paranormal experiences.

 

Irwin concludes by stating that some types of measures will weakly predict paranormal experiences, others may not (for reasons that have not been scientifically determined). He suggests that empathy alone is a predictor of paranormal experiences, and warns the audience against reducing these findings to simple tendencies towards mental illness.

 

 

 

 

Reference:

Irwin, H. J. (2017). Empathy and parapsychological experiences: a constructive replication. Journal of the Society for Psychical Research, 81, 1-16.

State of the Paranormal Union

Hello Readers!

I wanted to reach out to all of you and thank you for your readership of Paranormal Facts. We are proud to announce that we have almost 4000 repeat visitors per month! As we still have a few months to go before we reach a year of Paranormal Facts, none of us here at ISRAE can complain about those numbers.

We sincerely hope that you find value in our summaries of real parapsychology research. Part of our public mission at ISRAE is to provide access to paranormal research to the general public. That is our drive behind what you are reading right now.

I want to remind everyone that we’re offering a free layperson’s parapsychology course on our website.  In addition, the Paranormal Experience Registry (PER) is now up and running. The PER is time-consuming to complete, but all of those questions help us create an excellent database to analyze and to eventually provide you with some answers about paranormal experiences. If you can’t donate, consider donating time to the PER. Your experiences are valuable, and we want to hear about them!

We are a non-profit, and we run on your generosity. As a reminder, We have recurring donation plans that cost less than a cup of coffee per month! Our non-profit has a Guidestar Silver Rating, so you can rest assured that all transactions are secure. Every dollar helps us maintain research such as the PER, Paranormal Facts, and future services.

Again, reach out to us if there is a topic you would like to see or something you think we can help with. We serve at your pleasure.

Paranormal is Normal,

Dr. Laythe

Who Is Really Causing PSI In The Lab?

A recent article by  Parker and Miller further expand upon the theory that some PSI research has actually been influenced by researchers and not necessarily the participants. Was this influence purposeful? No. Miller and Parker claim that some researchers are psychically altering their experiments unconsciously.

 

Parker and Miller proceed to demonstrate a long history of PSI research where the predominant amount of PSI supporting studies were conducted by researchers who had previously demonstrated psychic aptitude. However, the findings are more complex than this because studies specifically designed to examine experimenter PSI have often shown mixed or controversial results.

 

These authors make the further claim that parapsychology and it’s research is in jeopardy because a sufficient solution for researchers tampering with research via PSI ability has not as of yet been solved. For those who are not actively involved in the parapsychological community, PSI experimenter effects are becoming a popular and worrisome concern.

 

On a personal note, it is interesting that the findings of parapsychology do not negate the existence of PSI. They confirm it. The question is, did the PSI effect come from the experimenters, the participants, or a mixture of both? Only time and research will tell.

 

Reference:

Parker, A. & Miller, B. (2014) Revealing PSI secrets: Successful experimenters seem to 16 by using their own PSI. Journal of Parapsychology, 78, 39-55.

 

Have You Tried Our Free Parapsychology Class?

Ladies and Gentlemen,

We’ve been promising a free parapsychology course, and we are proud to announce that it’s ready for its first round of online students. Included are fifteen sections and a hearty (optional) quiz if you want to test your knowledge.

What do I need to do?

  1. Go to www.israenet.org/classes and click the link!
  2. Read and examine the content at your own pace!

This is our first release of the class, so please feel free to provide us with feedback (constructive comments only, please). Email blaythe@israenet.org with any comments. I’ll be checking into the class periodically.

Part of the Public Service We Provide At ISRAE,

Dr. Brian Laythe

The Missing Historical Information About Mediums

Alvarado in a recent article makes a historical claim about the sources used when describing mediums and contact with the supernatural. In psychology, mediumship is considered to be related to the subconscious mind and dissociative processes. Under these theories,  mediums are simply sharing what is in their unconscious mind.

Unlike traditional psychology, Alvarado posits historical sources that emphasize a super normal aspect of mediumship. In other words,  Alvarado makes the case that despite possible mental illness or unconscious processes that mediums have been able to obtain knowledge or information beyond what traditional science can explain.

 

Mainstream science has never accepted the supernormal or supernatural as a source of mediumship. More specifically, theorists who have examined supernatural explanations for mediumship have not been officially included in the annals of science. Alvarado thinks that this is unfortunate. Both meaning and understanding could be brought to this topic by including these researchers end the complete scope of mediumship research.

 

Alvarado C. S. (2014). Mediumship, psychical research, dissociation, and the powers of the subconscious mind. Journal of Parapsychology, 78,  98-114.

Types of Parapsychology Research

John Kruth in a recent article in the Journal of Parapsychology breaks down five different approaches to scientifically analyzing research. These include narrative, case studies, phenomenology, grounded theory and ethnographic studies. Kruth also explores transpersonal research perspectives. Qualitative research is a method for providing reliable information on a case-by-case basis. Quantitative research is the mathematical analysis common to science. Kruth makes a claim that the laboratory is sometimes not the best environment to study either PSI or paranormal phenomena.

 

Kruth makes the claim that some types of paranormal experiences are too complex or obscure in order to accurately study them in the laboratory. In some cases qualitative research, again, which are case studies, many times provide a voice and meaning to the phenomena being studied. Kruth makes an important statement about not only proving paranormal phenomena via mathematics and laboratory methods, but also by examining the context and meaning that humans have with these events.

 

Kruth, J. G. (2015).  Five qualitative research approaches and their applications in parapsychology. Journal of Parapsychology, 79, 219- 233.

 

Support Impoverished Paranormal Research

Ladies and Gentlemen,

We would like to thank you all for keeping up with Paranormal Facts. As always, we hope you have enjoyed learning about the science behind the paranormal encounters people report. Our campaign has been very successful, with over 8000 visits to our page last month and 1200 regular viewers! Each month we see a substantial increase in our readership, and that makes us happy.

I want to remind everyone that we’re offering a free layperson’s parapsychology course on our website.  In addition, the Paranormal Experience Registry (PER) is now up and running. Yes, the PER takes some time to complete, but your donation of time will eventually help those who have had a paranormal experience.

Finally, if you like Paranormal Facts, or have taken our class, consider showing your appreciation with a donation. We have recurring donation plans that cost less than a cup of coffee per month! Our non-profit has a Guidestar Silver Rating, so you can rest assured that all transactions are secure. Every dollar helps us maintain research such as the PER, Paranormal Facts, and future services.

If there is something you would like to see from ISRAE, don’t be shy. Email us at blaythe@israenet.org. We’re open to your suggestions or requests.

Paranormal to the People!

Dr. Laythe