Mind-Matter Interaction: A Review of Historical Reports, Theory, and Research

By Giesler, Patric V. | The Journal of Parapsychology, Fall 2012 | Go to article overview

Mind-Matter Interaction: A Review of Historical Reports, Theory, and Research


Giesler, Patric V., The Journal of Parapsychology


MIND-MATTER INTERACTION: A REVIEW OF HISTORICAL REPORTS, THEORY, AND RESEARCH by Pamela Rae Heath. Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 2011. Pp. 319. $45 (paperback). ISBN 978-0-7864-4971-2.

Pamela Rae Heath's (2011) newest work, Mind-Matter Interaction: A Review of Historical Reports, Theory, and Research (or MMI for short), is the result of a common postdissertation trajectory. The new scholar publishes his or her dissertation, or parts of it, in a journal article, as Heath (2000) did, and then, much later, in a book. In Heath's case, MMI actually represents an additional step in that trajectory, for it is a second book, a second incarnation, of Heath's (1999) Psy.D. dissertation, Into the Psychokinetic Zone: a Phenomenological Study of the Experience of Performing Psychokinesis (PK). Yet, far from being an overkill repeat performance, MMI is a substantially expanded, revised, and in many respects, very much improved version of her first book (Heath, 2003) based on her dissertation: The PK Zone: A Cross-Cultural Review of Psychokinesis (or The PK Zone for short).

Usually, such books stick closely to the original dissertation structure. An introduction and literature review are followed by the study, its findings, and implications for that literature. The opening literature review serves to situate the doctoral study in it. Although such books tend to be geared toward an academic audience, many scholars make more extensive revisions so that the work may become accessible to the general educated public as well. This is what Heath has done with MMI. The potential benefits of doing that are great (e.g., an easier read, fuller explanations, and greater overall clarity), but so are the risks (e.g., oversimplification, generalization, and problematic changes in how sources are acknowledged to facilitate the read).

Briefly, in all three of her major works--the dissertation, The PK Zone, and MMI--Heath devotes more than half of the text to a literature review. This is a critical and insightful review of anecdotal accounts (Part I) and scientific research (Part II) on a huge range of phenomena and experiences that potentially entail some form of "psychokinesis" or "mind-matter interaction" as she prefers to call it in MMI. In her revision of The PK Zone for MMI, Heath substitutes "MMI" for "PK" wherever it appears, without any substantive differentiation of the referents for the terms. In fact, she uses a standard definition of PK by Dale and White (1986, p. 931) to define MMI (MMI, p. 3), the same definition she used to define PK in The PK Zone (The PK Zone, p. xxiii), as I will discuss later on. Then, in the remaining sections of Part II, Heath draws on the literature to identify salient factors in the performance of PK, discusses the facilitation and training of PK, and reviews prominent theories. Finally, in Part III, Heath presents her own phenomenological study of the experience of performing PK for eight individuals who meet her criteria of being PK performers.

Overall, The PK Zone and MMI reflect the structure of her dissertation. But while the literature review is spectacular and enthralling in the range of phenomena and research it covers (see details below), it is really a separate work of its own. It does not serve to contextualize her study in that literature (substantively or theoretically), as it does not treat what her study focuses on, the experience of performing PK; nor is there any review of the vast number of phenomenological studies of experience and their critiques (e.g., in anthropology, alone: Desjarlais & Troop, 2011; Kultgen, 1975). Of course, I understand that there is comparatively little in the psi literature on the experience of performing PK, and Heath's study certainly helps fill that gap. But the point is that the literature review (Parts I & II) does not serve to directly contextualize the study presented in Part III and thus strikes me as a separate work with separate goals. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Mind-Matter Interaction: A Review of Historical Reports, Theory, and Research
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.