An Introduction to the Psychology of Paranormal Belief and Experience

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About the Book

When someone admits to a strange experience, such as witnessing an unidentified flying object, having telepathic hunches, or seeing angels or ghosts, listeners usually explain it away as mistaken perception, intoxication, ignorance, or even mental illness. Though these unsympathetic psychology-based explanations remain the most popular responses to claims of the supernatural, those who use them often have little understanding of what such dismissive “solutions” actually entail. This study offers a balanced and accessible analysis of various explanations for the paranormal. By providing insight into how these theories are applied, or misapplied, to inquiry into the paranormal, it clarifies the relationship between the field of psychology and the supernatural.
Instructors considering this book for use in a course may request an examination copy here.

About the Author(s)

Tony Jinks teaches neuroscience and paranormal studies to psychology students at the University of Western Sydney, Australia. He is a consultant on the Australian Institute of Parapsychological Research Review Board and publishes in a wide variety of scientific fields.

Bibliographic Details

Tony Jinks
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 273
Bibliographic Info: 23 photos & illustrations, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2012
pISBN: 978-0-7864-6544-6
eISBN: 978-0-7864-8916-9
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Preface     1

Introduction: What Is the Paranormal?     3

PART 1: THE PARANORMAL AS EXPLICABLE

1. Parapsychology      23

2. Superstition and Belief in the Paranormal      53

3. Witnessing the Paranormal: Illusions      79

4. Witnessing the Paranormal: “Everyday” Hallucinations      112

5. Witnessing the Paranormal: Neurological Dysfunction      139

6. Witnessing the Paranormal: The Induction of Hallucinatory Encounters      152

7. Criticisms of Tectonic Strain Theory and Transcranial Stimulation Methods, and Alternative Electromagnetic Theories      168

PART 2: THE PARANORMAL AS INEXPLICABLE

8. Psychodynamic Approaches to Paranormal Experience: Psychoanalysis and the Birth Memories Hypothesis      181

9. Advanced Psychodynamic Theories: The Projection of the Paranormal      199

10. Transpersonal Psychology      214

Notes      235

Bibliography      245

Index      265