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Old 1st May 2013, 03:28 PM   #1
DoomMetal
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Post The rise of anomalistic psychology and the downfall of parapsychology?

I have recently been looking into anomalistic psychology. They now teach it on the A2 psychology syllabus in the UK in universities and there is also talk about it becoming introduced to other European countries. It has also been included in some psychology courses in Italy for example.

Will anomalistic psychology spread to the American education system? According to some reports I have read anomalistic psychology is on the rise and parapsychology is now on the decline.

Any thoughts?
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Old 1st May 2013, 03:35 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by DoomMetal View Post
I have recently been looking into anomalistic psychology. They now teach it on the A2 psychology syllabus in the UK in universities and there is also talk about it becoming introduced to other European countries. It has also been included in some psychology courses in Italy for example.

Will anomalistic psychology spread to the American education system? According to some reports I have read anomalistic psychology is on the rise and parapsychology is now on the decline.

Any thoughts?
The cynic in me speculates that anomalistic psychology is parapsychology in a cheap suit.
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Old 1st May 2013, 03:39 PM   #3
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I had to look it up. Apparently people like French are trying to relate so called paranormal experiences to other, better understood psychological phenomena.
Not likely to be offered in my department in the near future.

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Old 1st May 2013, 04:32 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Jeff Corey View Post
I had to look it up. Apparently people like French are trying to relate so called paranormal experiences to other, better understood psychological phenomena.
Such as delusion and false memory?
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Old 1st May 2013, 04:40 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by aggle-rithm View Post
Such as delusion and false memory?
Anomalistic psychology is the study of human behaviour and experience connected with what is often called the paranormal, without the assumption that there is anything paranormal involved so yes it explains the paranormal by known psychological factors such as delusion and false memory but also hallucinations, cognitive biases, anomalous psychological states, dissociative states, personality factors, developmental issues, magical thinking, mental imagery and suggestion etc.
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Old 2nd May 2013, 05:46 AM   #6
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That sounds pretty much legit, to me.
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Old 2nd May 2013, 08:49 AM   #7
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It's valid. I like the idea of not looking for something paranormally new but figuring out how and why people say they experience these strange things. "What happened, if anything?" is the right question to start with.

Also, Dr. Krissy Wilson. http://www.csu.edu.au/psychology/sta.../krissy-wilson
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Old 3rd May 2013, 03:09 AM   #8
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Be careful. The Parapsychologists are trying to hijack the terminology for themselves to make themselves look more legit.

There are trying to say it does cover real paranormal phenomena. This is clearly nonsense to my mind.

They are also trying to reinvent themselves, and give themselves a make-over by inventing the term "Clinical Parapsychology" - which scares me half to death. Interestingly, even if clinical parapsychology existed (which it does not), none of the UK-based parapsychologists hold professional clinical doctorates as far as I can see - so they are not even qualified themselves for it!!!!!!!

I'm more worried about so-called professionals working with vulnerable people and at the same time, believing in mediumship, spiritualism, ghosts, etc......how good can that interaction be? How good can that 'clinical' advice be?

The Paras know they are a joke, hence the need for the re-branding.
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Old 3rd May 2013, 05:35 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by DoomMetal View Post
Anomalistic psychology is the study of human behaviour and experience connected with what is often called the paranormal, without the assumption that there is anything paranormal involved so yes it explains the paranormal by known psychological factors such as delusion and false memory but also hallucinations, cognitive biases, anomalous psychological states, dissociative states, personality factors, developmental issues, magical thinking, mental imagery and suggestion etc.
Sounds good to me. I've always thought the only way the "paranormal" could be of interest to science would be in understanding why people believe in it.
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Old 3rd May 2013, 05:44 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by aggle-rithm View Post
Sounds good to me. I've always thought the only way the "paranormal" could be of interest to science would be in understanding why people believe in it.
Same for religion.
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Old 3rd May 2013, 10:21 AM   #11
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Coincidentally (and not, of course, parapsychologically!) I have just seen this article, linked to from an item on the GH News Desk:
http://www.realitysandwich.com/explo..._psi_phenomena
I didn't bother to read it - the various headings at the top are enough, I think.
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Old 3rd May 2013, 10:43 AM   #12
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I would like to point out that research on strange experiences is nothing new and has been going on for decades in the fields of Psychology, Psychiatry, Cognitive Neurosicence, Neurology, etc.

Although the term 'anomalistic psychology is relatively new, what it claims as its remit is also on the agenda of these other fields and has been for many years. So it is not the case that simply looking into strange experiences means you're an anomalistic psychologist (for example).

In addition, and more generally, I personally prefer the term "anomalous cognition" - as it more explicitly implies the angle of interest and its use pre-dates that of anomalistic psychology. So I am not so much a fan of a term, for an area of research, that already exists under different and perfectly useful / reasonable definitions
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Old 3rd May 2013, 12:49 PM   #13
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Quote:
Be careful. The Parapsychologists are trying to hijack the terminology for themselves to make themselves look more legit.
As far as I know this is not the case. The parapsychology community have rejected anomalistic psychology and they are very critical towards it.

Most parapsychologists have no interest in psychology where as anomalistic psychology is sub-field of psychology.

Quote:
I would like to point out that research on strange experiences is nothing new and has been going on for decades in the fields of Psychology, Psychiatry, Cognitive Neurosicence, Neurology, etc.

Although the term 'anomalistic psychology is relatively new, what it claims as its remit is also on the agenda of these other fields and has been for many years. So it is not the case that simply looking into strange experiences means you're an anomalistic psychologist (for example).

In addition, and more generally, I personally prefer the term "anomalous cognition" - as it more explicitly implies the angle of interest and its use pre-dates that of anomalistic psychology. So I am not so much a fan of a term, for an area of research, that already exists under different and perfectly useful / reasonable definitions.
I am in agreement but in recent years the field of anomalistic psychology has connected to much of the work which took place decades ago under different research areas. For example the psychologists Leonard Zusne and Warren Jones in their book Anomalistic Psychology: A Study of Magical Thinking mention the work of early psychologists such as Joseph Jastrow on the psychology of strange experiences and reference other early psychological texts on explaining paranormal experiences.

Daniel Loxton in his recent paper on the history of scepticism links many early proponents of anomalistic psychology to scepticism, for example the psychologist D. H. Rawcliffe wrote an early book entitled Illusions and Delusions of the Supernatural and the Occult in the 1950s which he explained claims of "supernatural" experience or phenomena in terms of known psychological factors.

It is very useful in my opinion to have all this work under the "field" of anomalistic psychology. As previously stated this field is a serious threat to modern parapsychology.

In recent years anomalistic psychological publications by Chris French and Richard Wiseman have been published in mainstream scientific papers. The research is getting more wider known.

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Old 4th May 2013, 01:22 PM   #14
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Chris French has a new book coming out in October 2013 entitled An Anomalistic Psychology: Exploring Paranormal Belief and Experience.
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Old 5th May 2013, 04:29 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by DoomMetal View Post
As far as I know this is not the case. The parapsychology community have rejected anomalistic psychology and they are very critical towards it.
You're quite wrong. I'm on record arguing with a number of UK parapsychologists who are doing exactly what I covered earlier. It would not be fair of me to name them here, but their attempts at re-branding are well known here for those of us following the details close enough. Yes some are critical, but many sniff an opportunity here and have tried to align themselves with the more respectable approach of anomalistic research.

Quote:
Most parapsychologists have no interest in psychology where as anomalistic psychology is sub-field of psychology.
I agree most parapsychologists have no interest in psychology, that's WHY they cannot see that what they call anomalistic is simply basic psychology and neuroscience. They cannot see it, cos they do not read the relevant literature and are largely ignorant of the broader landscape. So you make my point for me in a way here.


Quote:
I am in agreement but in recent years the field of anomalistic psychology has connected to much of the work which took place decades ago under different research areas. For example the psychologists Leonard Zusne and Warren Jones in their book Anomalistic Psychology: A Study of Magical Thinking mention the work of early psychologists such as Joseph Jastrow on the psychology of strange experiences and reference other early psychological texts on explaining paranormal experiences.
I'm not arguing any different on this - in fact its almost the same point I made.

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It is very useful in my opinion to have all this work under the "field" of anomalistic psychology. As previously stated this field is a serious threat to modern parapsychology.
So you're not a neuroscientist then? As I think they would have a different view considering they pioneered the paradigms, methods, models and theories that permeate all of 'anomalistic' approaches. So - no need to re-brand in my opinion. All the latest thinking say on, OBEs, NDEs, sensed-presence hallucinations, delusions, hallucinations etc - is being advanced by mainstream cognitive neuroscientists / neuropsychiatrists / Neurologists.

Quote:
In recent years anomalistic psychological publications by Chris French and Richard Wiseman have been published in mainstream scientific papers. The research is getting more wider known.
Not quite. RW publishes very little in the mainstream and I'm not aware of any major theoretical contributions he has made to the field of mainstream psychology (IMO). I am very aware of him talking about what others have done and found - which is good, as you say, for promoting science.

But don't fudge the important distinction between those doing the work, and those who like to talk about those doing the work. Again, RW is NOT a neuroscientist or cognitive psychologist so would not necessarily be coming from that angle. In other words, it's not evidence against my position.
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Old 5th May 2013, 04:41 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by DoomMetal View Post
They now teach it on the A2 psychology syllabus in the UK in universities
This seems unlikely. Universities do degrees not A-levels.
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Old 5th May 2013, 04:46 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by DoomMetal View Post
As previously stated this field is a serious threat to modern parapsychology.
In what way is this different from findings from Cognitive Neuroscience, brain-imaging, Neurology, Neuropsychiatry, Cognitive Psychology....etc....etc. as I listed much earlier? Surely these are the true threats to the parapsychs.

You don't need anomalistic psychology, if its already being done by the mainstream - which it is. It's just spin. There are some positives from such spinning, but some negatives along the way as well.

I also dislike the term "Neurotheology" for the same reason. It's just good old honest (hopefully) neuroscience. No need for any spinning here.
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Old 5th May 2013, 04:56 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by geni View Post
This seems unlikely. Universities do degrees not A-levels.
My mistake, it is being taught in schools:

From a 2009 article:

w w w. guardian.co.uk/science/2009/aug/11/anomalistic-psychology-paranormal-parapsychology

Quote:
From next month, potentially thousands of teenagers at schools and colleges throughout the UK will start lessons that deal with telepathy, psychokinesis, psychic healing, near-death experiences and talking to the dead. Surely the minds of the nation's youth will be corrupted by all this mumbo-jumbo?

Don't panic. I believe this is a development to be warmly welcomed, although I should declare a vested interest. From September, anomalistic psychology will be offered as an option on the A2 psychology syllabus for A-level students from the Assessment and Qualifications Alliance, the largest of the three English exam boards. For several years I have been teaching a course on anomalistic psychology at Goldsmiths, University of London, as part of our BSc in psychology. I have also been trying, along with others, to raise the academic profile of the discipline through the work of the Anomalistic Psychology Research Unit at Goldsmiths and am therefore delighted by this latest development.
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Old 5th May 2013, 05:11 PM   #19
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In what way is this different from findings from Cognitive Neuroscience, brain-imaging, Neurology, Neuropsychiatry, Cognitive Psychology....etc....etc. as I listed much earlier? Surely these are the true threats to the parapsychs.
Yes I understand there are some neurology studies into out of body experiences and the NDE but that is about it. In the field of anomalistic psychology the researchers actually go out and investigate supposed paranormal phenomena such as hauntings, ghosts, mediumship, levitations, ESP, psychokinesis or telepathy and carry out experiments with subjects, mainstream scientists have no time for this. I have not seen any neuroscientists doing this. Neuroscientists have better things to be doing that investigating supposed "paranormal" phenomena.

Can you name a neuroscience publication into hauntings, ghosts, mediumship or psychokinesis? The only one I have seen is on poltergeists and was

Lange, R., Houran, J. (1998). Delusions of the paranormal: A haunting question of perception. Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, 186 (10), 637–645.

I have scanned scientific journals for some time and find nothing apart from this paper:

Schulter, G. & Papousek, I. (2008). Believing in paranormal phenomena: Relations to asymmetry of body and brain. Cortex, 44, 1326-1335.

Mainstream science i.e. neurology has no time for looking into paranormal phenomena, you won't find many papers on this stuff, but you look in the field of anomalistic psychology and you find it all (most of these studies are listed in Leonard Zusne, Warren H. Jones. (1989). Anomalistic Psychology: A Study of Magical Thinking. As for Richard Wiseman not publishing in any mainstream or notable journals then see these:

Wiseman, R., Greening, E., and Smith, M. (2003). Belief in the paranormal and suggestion in the seance room. British Journal of Psychology, 94 (3): 285-297.

Wiseman, R., C. Watt, P. Stevens, et al. (2003). An investigation into alleged “hauntings”. British Journal of Psychology, 94: 195-211.

British Journal of Psychology is pretty mainstream, I have had a look in that journal for other studies into alleged "paranormal" phenomena and have not found much.

The reason anomalistic psychology is a threat to parapsychology is they are now teaching this in schools, neuroscience courses etc don't have modules in debunking paranormal phenomena but the field of anomalistic psychology is mostly doing this

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Old 5th May 2013, 05:46 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by idoubtit View Post
Originally Posted by DoomMetal View Post
Chris French has a new book coming out in October 2013 entitled An Anomalistic Psychology: Exploring Paranormal Belief and Experience.
Both Krissy and Chris are booked to speak at this year's Australian National Skeptics Convention.

https://nationalskepticsconvention.org/speakers/
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Old 6th May 2013, 10:16 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by DoomMetal View Post
Yes I understand there are some neurology studies into out of body experiences and the NDE but that is about it.
Dear god - I cannot believe you just said that. You clearly do not read and are not a professional in this field. Scan some of the top international peer-reviewed journals and you will find loads of articles. Indeed, if you read the reference section of some of those you go on to mention you will find lots in mainstream journals - far more than parapsychs and besides, anomalistic psychology does not really have a journal, as it's not really a 'field' and that's my point all along.

The journal "Cortex" has had 2 special issues in the last few years on anomalous cognition (the preferred term) - packed full of papers from different authors. The same goes for the journal 'Cognitive Neuropsychiatry' (on delusions). Other journals like Epilepsy and Behaviour, Journal of Nervous and mental disease, PLOS One, Frontiers in Neuroscience, etc, and indeed 'Science' have all covered this stuff from the mainstream angle. You need to read more - just because you are not aware of it does not mean it's not there.

Quote:
In the field of anomalistic psychology the researchers actually go out and investigate supposed paranormal phenomena such as hauntings, ghosts, mediumship, levitations, ESP, psychokinesis or telepathy and carry out experiments with subjects, mainstream scientists have no time for this. I have not seen any neuroscientists doing this. Neuroscientists have better things to be doing that investigating supposed "paranormal" phenomena.
Michael Persinger?
Jason Braithwaite?? (ahem...)

are two neuroscientists that do go out into the field - but mainstream scientists like these dont need to if they are working on models of hallucination. All the other garb you list is just parapsychology - so why on earth neuroscientists would bother is beyond me.

You kind of make my point for me here. Anomalistic psych is confounding those who claim to have 'powers' with the cognitive neuroscience of strange experience - like I said in my previous post, this is the world of the parapsych trying to align themselves with legit science - I'm not standing for that and have been openly critical about these attempts.

Quote:
Can you name a neuroscience publication into hauntings, ghosts, mediumship or psychokinesis? The only one I have seen is on poltergeists and was
See above, but also you totally misundertand the point as many neuroscientists are researching why people believe in this stuff - so not much need for the dreamcatcher here.....

Quote:
I have scanned scientific journals for some time and find nothing apart from this paper:

Schulter, G. & Papousek, I. (2008). Believing in paranormal phenomena: Relations to asymmetry of body and brain. Cortex, 44, 1326-1335.
Oh well, that means it must not be there......see above. You dont really seem to have a grip on the discussion.

Quote:
Mainstream science i.e. neurology has no time for looking into paranormal phenomena, you won't find many papers on this stuff,
Utter nonsense (see above again). The distinction is not 'paranormal phenomena' as that's just parapsychology - however neuroscience has been investigating anomalous cognitive experiences for over 100 years in various ways (i.e., hallucinations, delusions, cognitive biases, perceptual biases). This is why the two need to be kept distinct and why terms like 'anomalistic psychology' are unhelpful - you cant see the join....


Quote:
As for Richard Wiseman not publishing in any mainstream or notable journals then see these:

Wiseman, R., Greening, E., and Smith, M. (2003). Belief in the paranormal and suggestion in the seance room. British Journal of Psychology, 94 (3): 285-297.

Wiseman, R., C. Watt, P. Stevens, et al. (2003). An investigation into alleged “hauntings”. British Journal of Psychology, 94: 195-211.

British Journal of Psychology is pretty mainstream, I have had a look in that journal for other studies into alleged "paranormal" phenomena and have not found much.
You make my point for me in two ways. Firstly, only two publications hardly constitues and extensive background - thus supporting my original point. Secondly, the BJP is not a very highly rated journal, with an impact factor well below that considered 'internationally excellent'. Mainstream scientists in top institutions would not publish there - its simply not prestigious enough. People might 'ship' the odd paper there - but would not have all their stuff going their. Its only a national journal - big difference to a journal of international standard. btw I am well aware of these papers.

Quote:
The reason anomalistic psychology is a threat to parapsychology is they are now teaching this in schools, neuroscience courses etc don't have modules in debunking paranormal phenomena but the field of anomalistic psychology is mostly doing this
wrong....it is no threat to parapsychology if it fudges the boundaries...it creates more problems than it solves.
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Old 6th May 2013, 10:59 PM   #22
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Dr B. can you expand on why you believe parapsychology and anomalistic psychology are the same?

Parapsychology endorses the paranormal, whilst anomalistic psychology explains away the paranormal via psychology. There is a major difference. So what is your problem with this?

Anomalistic psychology is no different than what sceptics such as Ray Hyman have been doing for years, Hyman recently had no problem classifying some of his work under that term. Anomalistic psychology is mainstream science.

Quote:
Secondly, the BJP is not a very highly rated journal, with an impact factor well below that considered 'internationally excellent'. Mainstream scientists in top institutions would not publish there - its simply not prestigious enough. People might 'ship' the odd paper there - but would not have all their stuff going their. Its only a national journal - big difference to a journal of international standard. btw I am well aware of these papers.
The British Journal of Psychology is owned by the British Psychological Society, the leading psychological professional body in Britain. If that is not good enough to publish a paper debunking the paranormal then who knows what is.

I am not getting your arguments Dr. B you are creating arguments for no reason and where no problems exist.

Go onto any paranormal forum and the biggest threats to the psi believers or parapsychologists is the research of anomalistic psychologists such as Chris French or Richard Wiseman. Their research has received mainstream recognition, not just in mainstream journals or books, but in the media, newspapers and even in schools. Should you not be pleased about this?

and btw Michael Persinger is a confirmed parapsychologist who believes ESP, remote reviewing and telepathy are real, he has even written papers claiming precognition is real in parapsychology journals. It is hard to see what your agenda is and you are confusing things

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Old 7th May 2013, 12:04 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by DoomMetal View Post
Dr B. can you expand on why you believe parapsychology and anomalistic psychology are the same?
You hinted at it above yourself. You glued together aspects of strange experience with those of 'claims of powers'. The two are completely different. In addition, we already have names for fields of enquiry for both. The first is, as I have said, mainstream cognitive and neurosciences. So no need for the re-branding on that count. The latter is just basic parapsychology - again, no real need for a re-brand.

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Parapsychology endorses the paranormal, whilst anomalistic psychology explains away the paranormal via psychology. There is a major difference. So what is your problem with this?
So you agree - its just Psychology!!!!

As I have explained previously anomalistic psychology is an unecessary and redundant re-branding. It's not a field of science at all. It's a smoke screen, designed purely to engage with the masses. There are some positives to this, but in my opinion its vastly over-written by the negatives. You don't need a new term for something which is already being done by traditional mainstream sciences. In fact, it causes confusion.

Quote:
Anomalistic psychology is no different than what sceptics such as Ray Hyman have been doing for years, Hyman recently had no problem classifying some of his work under that term. Anomalistic psychology is mainstream science.
Ray Hyman has been doing mainstream science - simple. Again, you make my point for me.

Quote:
The British Journal of Psychology is owned by the British Psychological Society, the leading psychological professional body in Britain. If that is not good enough to publish a paper debunking the paranormal then who knows what is.
Those papers are not 'debunking' anything and you clearly misundertood my point. You are obviously not a publishing scientist. The BJP is certainly not a 'go to' journal for your best findings. Its impact factor is evidence for my position and directly against yours. It is a national journal and not an international journal. The difference is huge. You ignored my point on that. Luckily for you, I remember.

Let me put it this way. You would not get hired in my, or any other, top UK university off the back of BJP publications and if I spent the next couple of years sending all my research there, I would be summoned into a room by the 'powers that be' for a little 'chat' about my publication strategy. Don't get me wrong, its 'passable' - but who wants 'passsable'? Anyway, this is tangential to the main point

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I am not getting your arguments Dr. B
I know, but that does not make them false, it highlights your inexperience of what you talk about.

Quote:
you are creating arguments for no reason and where no problems exist.
But your confusion is the reason, as these sorts of things will confuse lots of newbies like you. I'm trying to explain to you the broader picture, as I see it, as an experienced academic, and you're saying you've read a couple of coffee table books arguing one position so there....

Quote:
Go onto any paranormal forum and the biggest threats to the psi believers or parapsychologists is the research of anomalistic psychologists such as Chris French or Richard Wiseman.
Wiseman is trained in parapsychology. Although a skeptic, that's his background. He is damm good at it as well and I wish he would do more of it (i.e., the in-depth critques). French is more mainstream and actually does publish a good deal in respectable mainstream journals. French is more 'psychological' in his approach. But then, he trained mainstream so it shows.

Quote:
Their research has received mainstream recognition,
Not sure this is true for one of them....evidence?

Quote:
Should you not be pleased about this?
It's not entirely true and you miss the more fundamental point - mainstream scientists do this as well.....without the need of such re-branding....so your point is redundant.

Quote:
and btw Michael Persinger is a confirmed parapsychologist who believes ESP, remote reviewing and telepathy are real, he has even written papers claiming precognition is real in parapsychology journals. It is hard to see what your agenda is and you are confusing things
Oh the old 'agenda' routine - the last bastion of the weak argument. I have no agenda. I used him as an example of someone who 'goes out there' and does field work (you asked in an earlier post). I agree he has developed some strange views, but for much of his career has been a 'down the line neuroscientist'. (PS - I have argued against many of his theories - but that's a separate discussion).
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Old 7th May 2013, 12:13 AM   #24
Dr B
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The nub of the issue is interesting and important. You should read up on how scientific fields become established and grow and learn some lessons from history. Try reading some stuff on the history of science, and the sociology of scientific knowledge, even some constructivism (in small doses) might be helpful. Kurt Danzinger has written widely on the issue as has Graham Richards. There are some warnings there about how subject areas get 'constructed' and the problems that can arise from attempts at re-branding and trying to draw new demarcations without showing why the old ones don't work!!!!! That's the big flaw here.

What you're saying is that we need this new terminology for rational explanations for the seemingly anomalous. I'm saying we most certainly do not - the case has yet to be made for why existing fields of enquiry are insufficient to capture this.

I am not arguing over the veracity of the natural explanations which are clearly more helpful, useful and scientific. I'm saying the re-branding and the coffee-table books dont help and are unecessary. They only lead to confusion in the long run....
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Old 8th May 2013, 05:42 AM   #25
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Dr B have you read The Psychology of Anomalous Experience by Graham Reed? It is the main textbook on anomalistic psychology and it covers much of the things you have been saying about anomalous experiences or cognition.

It was re-published by Prometheus Books

w w w . nous. org.uk/Reed.html

It seems your argument is not with anomalistic psychology itself but with the name " re-branding". Also you insult books on anomalistic psychology as coffee books but remember the everyday public don't go about reading complicated scientific journals on neuroscience. Its nice to keep stuff simple and easily obtainable for the masses. That's why anomalistic psychology is spreading on the news and by the media and even been taught in the classroom
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Old 11th May 2013, 01:52 AM   #26
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Spoon-bending for beginners: Teaching anomalistic psychology to teenagers

http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/20...parapsychology

Anomalistic psychology, Lesson One: Seeing is not believing

http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/20...tical-thinking

The rise of anomalistic psychology – and the fall of parapsychology?

http://blogs.nature.com/soapboxscien...parapsychology

Quote:
Anomalistic psychology is definitely on the rise. Not only is it now offered as an option on many psychology degree programmes, it is also an option on the most popular A2 psychology syllabus in the UK. Every year more books and papers in high quality journals are published in this area and more conferences and symposia relating to topics within anomalistic psychology are held. There is no doubt that anomalistic psychology is flourishing.

And what of parapsychology? The health of this discipline is somewhat harder to assess but apart from the occasional ray of hope offered by the latest false dawn, the situation does not look encouraging for parapsychologists. Funding for such research is inevitably more difficult to obtain in times of economic uncertainty. Scarce research funding will be invested in areas where the probability of success is high – and the history of parapsychology shows all too clearly that studies in this area often involve huge investments of time and resources and produce nothing in return. Without a genuine breakthrough in the near future, can parapsychology survive for much longer? Without psychic powers, it’s difficult to know but I certainly would not bet on it.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anomalistic_psychology
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Old 12th May 2013, 12:58 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by Dr B View Post
But your confusion is the reason, as these sorts of things will confuse lots of newbies like you. I'm trying to explain to you the broader picture, as I see it, as an experienced academic, and you're saying you've read a couple of coffee table books arguing one position so there....
So are you trying to instruct the "newbie", attack, or both? What do you think the proper approach to "newbies" is?
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Old 14th May 2013, 12:09 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by mike3 View Post
So are you trying to instruct the "newbie", attack, or both? What do you think the proper approach to "newbies" is?
Hiya Mike.

I'm certainly not 'attacking' anything - but inform on the reality of the situation. DoomMetal has produced no evidence that AP is 'on the rise' in terms of serious mainstream academia - and that's because such evidence does not exist. Coffee-table books are meaningless, and schools also teach creationism so let us dispense with that as evidence of anything. The A-level for psychology in the UK is not a requirement for Psychology at degree level, and indeed, students are probably better off without it as its 30years out of date and not typically taught by tutors with a background in psychology.

The proper approach to newbies is simple. Present science as it is, in an honest light so they have a healthy appreciation of the true landscape. From this position they are better informed not just about the issues, but also future research decisions (should they want to do a PhD) and future job decisions and what fields to work in. One can research anomalous cognitive experiences and aberant beliefs from Neurological perspectives, Cognitive neuroscience and brain-imaging, the Clinical sciences, Neuropsychiatry, Neurophysiology, Psychophysiology, Cognitive psychology / science, etc. All these fields of enquiry do genuinely exist. AP does not, as a 'field of science' - its just a spin / branding issue being driven by fewer than a handful of people who will benefit from the spin (i.e., sell books and get bums on seats on courses).

As I've said earlier, I can see some positives from such re-branding - but they are out-weighed by the negatives. There are also many warnings from history (again, mentioned above with some names to track down) about cavalier attempts to 're-name' existing concepts while not actually bringing anything new to the table.
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Old 14th May 2013, 12:15 PM   #29
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Wink

Quote:
DoomMetal has produced no evidence that AP is 'on the rise' in terms of serious mainstream academia.
From an article in Nature:

Quote:
Anomalistic psychology is definitely on the rise. Not only is it now offered as an option on many psychology degree programmes, it is also an option on the most popular A2 psychology syllabus in the UK. Every year more books and papers in high quality journals are published in this area and more conferences and symposia relating to topics within anomalistic psychology are held. There is no doubt that anomalistic psychology is flourishing.
http://blogs.nature.com/soapboxscien...parapsychology
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Old 14th May 2013, 12:16 PM   #30
Dr B
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Originally Posted by DoomMetal View Post
Spoon-bending for beginners: Teaching anomalistic psychology to teenagers

http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/20...parapsychology

Anomalistic psychology, Lesson One: Seeing is not believing

http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/20...tical-thinking

The rise of anomalistic psychology – and the fall of parapsychology?

http://blogs.nature.com/soapboxscien...parapsychology

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anomalistic_psychology
all taken from mainstream areas and again no empirical evidence of any 'rise'. I maintain my position, AP is not a 'field of science' and as such, cannot 'rise'
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Old 14th May 2013, 12:18 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by DoomMetal View Post
Its not an article and contains no evidence I can see. It looks like an opinion????

Edit - its not an article in nature....its a blog on the website - if you confuse this we are in real trouble here.....
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Old 14th May 2013, 12:27 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by DoomMetal View Post
Dr B have you read The Psychology of Anomalous Experience by Graham Reed? It is the main textbook on anomalistic psychology and it covers much of the things you have been saying about anomalous experiences or cognition.
So what? Its just neurocognitive psychology. Nothing more. No need for a re-branding. What new methods, paradigms, concepts, etc has AP been uniquely and specifically responsible for inventing and / or applying? That is to say, something that does not exist, and is not being done well, in existing fields of known science?

Quote:
It seems your argument is not with anomalistic psychology itself but with the name " re-branding".
No, AP is re-branding - you've made no argument here and every post you show nothing more than you dont have a background in neuroscience and are unaware of the things I've discussed above. Try something - read!

Quote:
Also you insult books on anomalistic psychology as coffee books
I dont insult - its a fact.

Quote:
but remember the everyday public don't go about reading complicated scientific journals on neuroscience.
Dont patronise the public and dont underestimate what they do read.

Quote:
Its nice to keep stuff simple and easily obtainable for the masses.
Not if its ultimately misleading and besides this can be done easily without any recourse to AP - you just need to teach neuroscience / psychology in an engaging way. It's not that hard to do, AP takes all of its examples from these areas.

Quote:
That's why anomalistic psychology is spreading on the news
So did the idea of the MMR jab and its link to autism....so what? You're not making the argument that the news define science are you?

Quote:
and even been taught in the classroom
So is creationism, and the classroom does not defined what science is and is often far removed from the realities of it. You still have not used a single piece of academic / empirical evidence for your position.
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Old 14th May 2013, 12:35 PM   #33
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Angry

Dr B you are being rude in your posts and I see no reason to continue this discussion, you comments are highly insulting to those who work in anomalistic psychology such as Dr. Chris French. You have ruined this thread with a confusing silly argument and woomeisters and psi believers coming across this thread will probably support your attacks against anomalistic psychology. As I said I am not sure what your position is and you have made arguments where none exist. So lets end the convo here.
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Old 14th May 2013, 12:42 PM   #34
Dr B
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I know you are not clear on what my position is. Perhaps you could extend the curtesy of actually reading what I suggested and ponder the issues as they are far more involved than what you currently think them to be.

I rebut your argument I have been rude, and note your lack of evidence for your position. As I have said repeatedly above, I can see the advanatges and merits of a re-branding - but it does not carve out a new area of science - that's not what it is and that's the wrong way to see it.

The thread is not ruined just because your viewed was challenged and rebuffed. That is the purpose of the site.

I have certainly not made arguments where none exist - just because you have not read widely enough, does not mean the evidence is not there. That would be an arrogant position to take.
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