Ciaran O' keefe and parapsychology

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Ciaran O' keefe and parapsychology

#1  Postby endless psych » Mar 03, 2010 12:37 pm

Ciaran O' Keefe is going to be in Edinburgh next week as part of the Mary Kings Close Ghost fest and is appearing at Edinburgh Skeptics in the pub on the 18th.

Which has prompted me to ask what folks make of parapsychology?

It there room for a "science" of life after death and psychic abilities or is it all just a bit of fun for bored academics who if they were serious would be doing anomalistic psychology instead?

I tend towards the latter - Anomalistic psychology seems to employ the principle of Occams razor whereas Parapsychology does "science" but really, really wants to believe which arguably clouds their judgement.

There are other issues with parapsychology as a peer reviewed science: the main being are there actually enough reviewers so that anon. peer review is possible? It's a small field (comparative to others) and reasonably close knit - I wonder if that is enough to cast doubt on the peer review process in of itself?
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Re: Ciaran O' keefe and parapsychology

#2  Postby jerome » Mar 04, 2010 9:48 am

There are about 50 PhD's in the UK specifically in parapsychology topics: my girlfriend is half way through hers at the moment: and I guess it depends on what you think of the research community overall. I have just been reviewing the Liverpool Hope conference of 2005 on Anomalous Experiences, that is the book of the conference, for one of the Journals --
ANOMALOUS EXPERIENCES: ESSAYS FROM PARAPSYCHOLOGICAL AND PSYCHOLOGICAL PERSPECTIVES edited by Matthew D. Smith. MacFarlane & co Inc. Publishers, Jefferson, North Carolina and London, 2010. 220 pp. £36.50 (paper)
ISBN 978 0 7864 4398 7
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Anomalous-Exper ... 0786443987

If you want a good overview of current research on a number of issues I would recommend Varieties of Anomalous Experience: Examining the Scientific Evidence (Hardcover) American Psychological Association (2000) - a superb book - http://www.amazon.co.uk/Varieties-Anoma ... 634&sr=1-1

If you want an overall guide to Parapsychology as it stands the best is probably

An Introduction to Parapsychology (
the Irwin and Watt fifth edition, though the earlier editions are good, just outdated) McFarland & Co Inc; 5th Revised edition edition (15 May 2007) http://www.amazon.co.uk/Introduction-Pa ... pd_sim_b_1

The LEXSCIEN database is free to browse abstracts, http://www.lexscien.org/lexscien/index.jsp and you can get a week's free trial. You can get reduced price membership by subscribing to the European Journal of Parapsychology - http://ejp.org.uk/ or the best bet with 500 free downloads a month from there stuff the SPR - http://www.spr.ac.uk There is an essay on the SPR on my blog, as well as a number of essays on parapsychology. http://jerome23.wordpress.com/2010/01/2 ... -research/

JSPR abstracts siince 2000 are on the SPR website if you can not be bothered to sign up to LEXSCIEN
http://www.spr.ac.uk/main/page/spr-publ ... psychology

Obviously I know Ciaran, just as i know Matthew Smith, Susan Blackmore, Chris French, Richard Wiseman and most of those involved in UK parapsychology at least slightly. I am an active member of this research community. I'll happily chat about it any time. :) Anomalistic Psych is parapsychology btw: there is no real difference, as Anomalistic psych has been covered b the parapsychology journals from the beginning. It's just parapsi is a multi-disciplinary affair, and AP is just the name that psychologists write on their research proposals to get funding :)

j x
Yours sincerely, Jerome -- a threat to reason & science

I am an Anglican Prejudice declared - My blog: http://jerome23.wordpress.com/
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Re: Ciaran O' keefe and parapsychology

#3  Postby endless psych » Mar 07, 2010 9:43 pm

Interviewing Caroline Watt for a podcast related to the Mary Kings Close GhostFest tomorrow and arranging a chat with Chris French.

Slightly concerned about duplicaiton of answers now... Any suggestions for questions?

Also have PM'd you...
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