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Parapsychology: the science of the paranormal

Professor Caroline Watt discusses her research on the existence (or not) of paranormal phenomena

You can also download the full transcript of this podcast below:

Transcript – Science of the Paranormal

A common belief?

Caroline’s research tells us that people believe in the paranormal much more than they admit. Fifty percent of the population report paranormal beliefs and almost half of those think they’ve had paranormal experience themselves. In this podcast, Caroline tells us more about what parapsychology is, and what might lie behind the unusual experiences that so many of us report.

A history of parapsychology

The research carried out by Caroline and her team has ranged from testing the existence – or not – of extrasensory perception and psychokinesis (the ability to mentally communicate with others), to studies on precognitive dreaming (the idea that you can dream about future events). These, and other topics such as out-of-body experiences, ghosts, hauntings and apparitions are discussed in fascinating detail in Caroline’s new book, Parapsychology: A Beginner’s Guide.

More recently, Caroline has outlined the importance of the links between early work on parapsychology, and the development of psychology as a whole. At this year’s Edinburgh International Science Festival, Caroline took to the stage to defend psychic research pioneer Eleanor Sidgwick as one of Psychology’s greatest (unsung) heroes.

Koestler Parapsychology Unit | From séance to science – Eleanor Mildred Sidgwick

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