This is the 2007 version. Click here for the 2017 chapter 04 table of contents.

Forms of ESP Studied by Parapsychologists

Parapsychology is the study of subjects like extrasensory perception (ESP) that are outside normal scientific areas of inquiry. ("Para" means "other.") Parapsychologists study several different forms of ESP:

What are four forms of ESP studied by parapsychologists?

1. Telepathy is the ability to transmit thoughts over a distance or read somebody's mind.

2. Psychokinesis (PK) is the ability to move objects or affect physical processes outside the body through mental effort alone.

3. Clairvoyance is awareness of physical objects or events without sensory cues.

4. Precognition is an ability to see or experience the future.

Many parapsychologists are well-trained scientists with sophisticated knowledge of experimental methodology. They are attracted to the unknown, a motivation that drives many other scientists. Other self-described parapsychologists are less reputable. They argue for witchcraft, astral projection, reincarnation, and other occult notions. Their work is generally not accepted by the parapsychology establishment, which publishes journals like the Journal of Parapsychology.

Natural Explanations of ESP-Like Experiences

One can admit the existence of ESP-like experiences without believing in psi energy. Alternative explanations exist for many events interpreted as ESP. In the coming pages we will consider a few of these alternative explanations, each of which is scientifically plausible and involves known, non-supernatural phenomena.

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