Abstracts from Australian Journal of Parapsychology
Volume 11(1), pp. 7-39
The Case of a Long-Distance Psychic: A Pilot Study on the Accuracy Testing of Paranormal Statements
Abstract: A Bosnian woman living in Sweden, who was having difficulty coping with a constant influx of unexplained images in her mind, sought the opinion of a parapsychologist. Thus she initiated contact with the author (L.S.). The woman claimed to have predicted some major world events and so, by way of e-mail correspondence, a pool of 55 items (i.e., statements about L.S.) was analyzed for its possible paranormal content so that the nature of her mental experiences could be assessed. The author found that 45 (82%) of these 55 items were true. The 55 items were administered to a demographically matched sample (N = 18). Various analyses of proportion-true (i.e., accuracy) scoreswere conducted. The results of six tests consistently showed significant differences between L.S.’s score and test scores, suggesting that the items were expressly pertinent to L.S. No sheep-goat effects were found. Post hoc analyses ruled out the possibility that L.S.’s significantly high scores were artifacts of response bias. The author concluded that there is strong evidence that the woman is psychic and that the items are the result of some kind of unexplained (putatively paranormal) process.
Volume 11(1), pp. 41-59
A Free-Response Clairvoyance Experiment with a Gifted Psychic
Kaare Claudewitz, Finn Willadsen, & Adam Ryczkowski
Abstract: Through five experimental sessions, the psi ability of a psychic was tested by asking her to describe and identify pictures hidden in opaque envelopes. In each of five sessions, ten envelopes were used (total trials = 50) and the descriptions were matched by independent judges. For all but one judge, the hit rates were significant (p < .001), suggesting that the psychic had an above-chance capacity to convey information about the pictures by her impressions. Phenomenological aspects of the mentations are discussed.
Volume 11(1), pp. 61–71
Thinking Styles of Psychic Claimants
Abstract: A number of papers have investigated the idea of rational versus intuitivethinking and how this might relate to paranormal beliefs. Those who possess both intuitive and rational thinking styles are more likely to report paranormal experiences and subjective paranormal ability than those who express either intuitive or rational thinking. The purpose of the present study was to investigate the differences between psychic claimants (N = 49) and non-psychic claimants (N = 45) on such personality factors as Global Constructive Thinking, Emotional Coping, Behavioural Coping, and Esoteric Thinking. The sample consisted of 94 participants, all of whom believed in psi. Participants completed the Constructive Thinking Inventory and the Anomalous Experiences Inventory. The psychic claimants group had significantly higher scores on 12 out of 23 factors/facets which could not all be explained by chance. Compared to non-psychic claimants, the psychic claimants tend to have more positive attitudes; their thinking is action-oriented; they are good behavioural copers; they think in ways that promote effective action; and they are more accepting of others. At the same time, they are more rigid in their thinking than non-psychic claimants.
Volume 11(1), pp. 73–88
Social Psi and Parasociology
Abstract: All societies have recorded, in one form or another, anomalies that impacted on life and culture. Whether these anomalies were attributed to the intervention of spiritual entities, magical powers, or a mixture of exotic natural phenomena compounded with superstitious beliefs, the indisputable fact remains that anomalistic events also have a social dimension. Starting with the nineteenth century, a number of serious researchers looked into various forms of anomalies and, during the twentieth century, the discipline of parapsychology emerged to become a more unified research effort to understand anomalies. Yet, most of those who looked into these anomalies were essentially limiting their analysis to the individual experience; the social dimension was often forgotten. This paper proposes a way forward to bridge the disparities that exist between socially-relevant anomalistic events and their rigorous study through approaches that are compatible with the findings of modern parapsychology.
Volume 11(1), pp. 89–99
Prescribing for Parapsychology: Note on J. B. Rhine’s Writings in the Journal of Parapsychology
Carlos S. Alvarado
Abstract: In addition to his experimental research program exploring ESP and psychokinesis, J. B. Rhine influenced parapsychology through a variety of non-research papers appearing in the Journal of Parapsychology. Founded in 1937, the journal carried a variety of Rhine’s prescriptions for parapsychology. This included commentaries designed to set research priorities and discussions of aspects of the field such as the use of spontaneous cases, the importance of scientific methodology, and the subject matter of parapsychology. Part of Rhine’s writings may be conceptualized as boundary work, particularly his attempts to separate parapsychology from other areas.
Volume 11(2), pp. 116–137
Extending von Lucadou’s Model of Pragmatic Information to UFOs: A Case Study of the 1952 Washington DC UFO Wave
Abstract: This article proposes a historical case study of the 1952 UFO incidents over Washington DC, and looks at these events as psi-related effects. It uses the Model of Pragmatic Information (MPI) to analyse the anomalistic situations of 1952 in greater detail, and shows that the events unfolded very much like a recurrent spontaneous psychokinesis (RSPK) episode, in ways predicted by the MPI. However, there are reasons to look for a focus person which, in this case, could be a social group instead of one or a few individuals, illustrating that the notions of parasociological analysis and social psi can be useful, both for studying the UFO phenomenon, and enriching parapsychological research.
Volume 11(2), pp. 138-153
Incorporation of Future Events into Dream Content: An Experimental Study
Fernando de Pablos, Rossana López Sabater, & Lola Martínez Liart
Abstract: Spontaneously occurring precognitive dreams are most likely replays of biographical, unforeseeable, future dangers, and roughly 50% of them correlate with events occurring within a temporal window of 12 hours after waking up. These observations constituted the framework for the design of the present experiment. Fifteen participants reported their dreams over a two-night period preceding a future target event. Control night (C) was chosen a week before the target, and Stimulus night (S) was a few hours prior. The target stimulus was a concealed jigsaw puzzle (a photographic composition of the film Cabaret containing erotic and war motives), which was not opened and completed by the participant until immediately after S-night. It was hypothesised that positive (i.e., stimulus-related) dream content would be higher on S-night than on C-night. Dream content was analyzed using four dimensions: War, Erotic, Spectacle, and Visual/Manual (activities related to visually/manually constructing a jigsaw puzzle). A significantly higher number of positive dreaming contents occurred on S-night compared to C-night, though there were no significant differences in number and length of dreams.
Volume 11(2), pp. 154-192
Exploring the Psychic Brain: On Neuroscience and Psi Phenomena
Bryan J. Williams
Abstract: One of the fundamental questions in the attempt to understand ostensible psychic, or psi, phenomena is the question of how psi can be processed by the brain. On the surface, psi seems to conflict greatly with the prevailing view in psychology and neuroscience that behaviour largely has its basis in brain functioning. As a way to address this issue, many experiments in parapsychology, both past and present, have been designed to incorporate the methods and techniques of neuroscience, in an effort to learn more about the brain processes that may be involved in the experience of psi. A concise review of the findings from certain experiments relevant to the topic of psi and neuroscience is presented in this paper, with particular focus on the findings that seem to show the highest degree of consistency to date. Despite some individual limitations, these findings tend to indicate that psi phenomena do show at least some correlates with brain activity. Although the findings do not yet provide definitive answers or lead to complete working theories, they do suggest that, contrary to some skeptical claims, psi phenomena are not “above and beyond” the brain.
Volume 11(2), pp. 194-207
Other Selves, Other Worlds: The Mediumistic Approach to MPD
Susan B. Martinez
Abstract: Arguing for the universality of spirit return, we reject the supposition that multiple personality disorder (MPD) has its origin in ‘fragmented’ self. ‘Fusion’ of these extraneous personae may be a very bad idea, for clairvoyance has a downside, and many ‘multiples’ are mediums, even unbeknownst to themselves. Triggered by trauma (abuse), the victim of MPD displays various talents akin to those of the psychic sensitive which, in turn, resemble the manifestations of spirit possession. And MPD may have nothing to do with the putative subconscious. MPD is here viewed as a special case of psychic invasion. We need to consolidate our knowledge not only of MPD, but also of Out-of-Body Experiences (OBE) and Near-Death Experiences (NDE), etc.