Jones Read preview Synopsis Updating and expanding the materials from the first edition, Anomalistic Psychology, Second Edition integrates and systematically treats phenomena of human consciousness and behaviors that appear to violate the laws of nature. The authors present and detail a new explanatory concept they developed that provides a naturalistic interpretation for these phenomena -- Magical Thinking. For undergraduate and graduate students and professionals in cognitive psychology, research methods, thinking, and parapsychology. Excerpt A decade ago we prepared the first edition of the present text because we felt there was a need to present to our students a systematic and scientifically respectable account of anomalistic psychological phenomena--those behavioral and experiential phenomena that seem to violate natural laws. Except for an occasional discussion of parapsychology, the introductory texts offered little, if anything, along these lines, and other textbooks were likewise silent on these matters.
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File:Henry Maudsley. The physician John Ferriar wrote An Essay Towards a Theory of Apparitions in in which he argued that sightings of ghosts were the result of optical illusions.
Moll argued that suggestion explained the cures of Christian Science, as well as the apparently supernatural rapport between magnetisers and their somnambulists. He wrote that fraud and hypnotism could explain mediumistic phenomena. Researchers involved with anomalistic psychology try to provide plausible non-paranormal accounts, supported by empirical evidence, of how psychological and physical factors might combine to give the impression of paranormal activity when there had been none.
Apart from deception or self-deception such explanations might involve cognitive biases , anomalous psychological states, dissociative states , hallucinations, personality factors, developmental issues and the nature of memory. Half of the subjects were informed that the locations they were in were haunted , whilst the other half were told that the building was simply under renovation.
The results showed more intense perceptual experiences on nine of the ten subscales from the group that was told the building was haunted which has indicated that demand characteristics alone can stimulate paranormal experiences.
After the seance, approximately one third of the participants incorrectly reported that the table had moved.
The results showed a greater percentage of believers reporting that the table had moved. In another experiment the believers had also reported that a handbell had moved when it had remained stationary and expressed their belief that the fake seances contained genuine paranormal phenomena. The experiments strongly supported the notion that in the seance room, believers are more suggestible than disbelievers for suggestions that are consistent with their belief in paranormal phenomena.
The data did not reveal any paranormal effects as no significant differences between the three treatment groups were found. The results concluded that the fall in blood pressure in all three of the groups was caused by the psychosocial approach and the placebo effect of the trial itself. In their paper they wrote "statistical significance of the overall database provides no directive as to whether the phenomenon is genuine or not" and came to the conclusion that "publication bias appears to be the easiest and most encompassing explanation for the primary findings of the meta-analysis.
Research has also suggested that PKMB effects can be created by verbal suggestion. This may sound the height of boldness; however, the effect is astounding — and combined with suggestion, it does work.
Participants in the first group heard the fake psychic suggest that the key was continuing to bend when it had remained stationary, whilst those in the second group did not. The results revealed that participants from the first group reported significantly more movement of the key than the second group.
The findings were replicated in another study. The experiments had demonstrated that "testimony for PKMB after effects can be created by verbal suggestion, and therefore the testimony from individuals who have observed allegedly genuine demonstrations of such effects should not be seen as strong evidence in support of the paranormal".
Sensory cues have also occurred in remote viewing experiments. In an experiment Schienle et al. According to the results the believers overestimated the number of successful transmissions whilst the skeptics made accurate hit judgments. Parapsychologists typically are actually searching for evidence to prove the reality of paranormal forces, to prove they really do exist.
It is now offered as an option on many psychology degree programmes and is also an option on the A2 psychology syllabus in the UK.
Anomalistic Psychology: A Study of Magical Thinking
Early history[ edit ] Henry Maudsley — an early researcher in anomalistic psychology. According to anomalistic psychology, paranormal phenomena have naturalistic explanations resulting from psychological and physical factors which have given the false impression of paranormal activity to some people. The physician John Ferriar wrote An Essay Towards a Theory of Apparitions in in which he argued that sightings of ghosts were the result of optical illusions. This viewpoint interpreted psychical phenomena naturalistically. All apparent cases were attributed to fraud, suggestion , unconscious cues or psychological factors. Moll argued that suggestion explained the cures of Christian Science, as well as the apparently supernatural rapport between magnetisers and their somnambulists.
Anomalistic Psychology : a Study of Magical Thinking.