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Record Type: Review   ID: 1164

Psi Research Methodology: A Re-Examination. Proceedings of an International Conference Held in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, October 29-30, 1988

Coly, Lisette, & McMahon, Joanne D.S. (Eds.)

 The papers at this conference on parapsychology methodology tend to deal with specific topics, but the first, by Rao, offers an important general suggestion: to allow and monitor subliminal and even sensory stimuli in the design of experiments as well as information that could only be known by psi in order to see if this approach improves the quality of the psi results. Broughton presents the view that psi is an evolving ability and our experiments must be designed to take into account who their subjects are and design tests that are relevant to their needs. Palmer reminds his colleagues that before significant breakthroughs can be made the experimenter effect must be dealt with directly. Utts revises the methods of analyzing free-response data and describes some advances. Honorton describes meta-analytic methods and their application to parapsychology studies. Adamenko describes Kozyrev's theory that links some psi phenomena with entropy changes in living organisms. May points out that technology has improved psi research but in itself it cannot provide answers to difficult questions. Braud describes the experimental, theoretical, and practical advantages of using living target systems in research on distant mental influence. Stanford reviews what psychology has learned about internal attention states that might be relevant to psi research and criticizes some psi research studies of internal attention states and psi. Morris discusses the history and psychology of volition and psi research. He suggests that psi research itself could be useful to performance psychology. Roll points out that parapsychology does not have a defined subject: it uses methods taken from other fields and views its results in relation to the findings of other fields. Roll explores the "relation between self and other, between self and body, and between body and place" and suggests "that psychic phenomena are expressions of a corporeal self that includes others and that exists in ... space and time" (p. 275). He adds: "The findings of parapsychology suggest that science is a dialectic that may change the world at the same time that it explores it" (p. 289). Schouten notes that research methodology changes with the development of a discipline, and he assesses progress made in parapsychology as reflected in its methodo-logy. He does this by comparing parapsychology with psychology, and concludes that, given parapsychology's meager personnel, resources, and funding, it compares very well with psychology and has, indeed, made some slow progress. In his closing remarks, chair Hoyt Edge presents "idea clusters" that seemed to predominate in the papers presented and the discussions following them (which are also included in the book).
Publisher Information:New York: Parapsychology Foundation, 1993. 342p. Chap. bibl.; 11 figs; 9 tables
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