Academic journal article The Journal of Parapsychology

Glossary

Academic journal article The Journal of Parapsychology

Glossary

Article excerpt

The definitions of most of the following terms have been borrowed or adapted from A Glossary of Terms Used in Parapsychology by Michael A. Thalbourne (republished by Puente Publications, Charlottesville, VA, USA, 2003). We highly recommend this book to those who seek a more complete glossary of parapsychological terms.

AGENT: In a test of GESP, the individual who looks at the information constituting the target and who is said to "send" or "transmit" that information to a percipient; in a test of telepathy and in cases of spontaneous ESP, the individual about whose mental states information is acquired by a percipient. The term is sometimes used to refer to the subject in a test of PK.

ANOMALOUS COGNITION (AC): A form of information transfer in which all known sensory stimuli are absent; that is, some individuals are able to gain access to information by an as yet unknown process; also known as remote viewing (RV) and clairvoyance.

ANOMALOUS PERTURBATION (AP): A form of interaction with matter in which all known physical mechanisms are absent; that is, some individuals are able to influence matter by an as yet unknown process; also known as psychokinesis (PK).

CALL: (As noun), the overt response made by the percipient in guessing the target in a test of ESP; (as verb), to make a response.

CLAIRVOYANCE: Paranormal acquisition of information about an object or contemporary physical event; in contrast to telepathy, the information is assumed to derive directly from an external physical source and not from the mind of another person.

CLOSED DECK: A procedure for generating the target order for each run, not by independent random selection of successive targets, but by randomization of a fixed set of targets (e.g., a deck of 25 ESP cards containing exactly five of each of the standard symbols).

CONFIDENCE CALL: A response the subject feels relatively certain is correct and indicates so before it is compared with its target.

CRITICAL RATIO (CR): A mathematical quantity used to decide whether the size of the observed deviation from chance in a psi test is significantly greater than the expected degree of random fluctuation about the average; it is obtained by dividing the observed deviation by the standard deviation; also called the z statistic.

Critical Ratio of Difference (CRd): A critical ratio used to decide whether the numbers of hits obtained under two conditions (or by two groups of subjects) differ significantly from each other; it is obtained by dividing the difference between the two total-hits scores by the standard deviation of the difference.

DECLINE EFFECT: The tendency for high scores in a test of psi to decrease, either within a run, within a session, or over a longer period of time; may also be used in reference to the waning and disappearance of psi talent.

DIFFERENTIAL EFFECT: In an experiment where the subjects are tested under two different procedural conditions: (i) the tendency of subjects who score above chance in one condition to score below chance in the other, and vice versa; (ii) the tendency of one condition to elicit psi-hitting from the group of subjects as a whole and the other condition to elicit psi-missing.

DISPLACEMENT: A form of ESP shown by a percipient who consistently obtains information about a target that is one or more removed, spatially or temporally, from the actual target designated for that trial. Backward Displacement: Displacement in which the target extrasensorially cognized precedes the intended target by one, two, or more steps (designated as -1, -2, etc.). Forward Displacement: Displacement in which the target actually responded to occurs later than the intended target by one, two, or more steps (designated as +1, +2, etc.).

ESP CARDS: Special cards, introduced by J. B. Rhine, for use in tests of ESP; a standard pack contains 25 cards, each portraying one of five symbols, viz. …

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