Extrasensory Perception (ESP)


parapsychology, study of mental phenomena not explainable by accepted principles of science. The organized, scientific investigation of paranormal phenomena began with the foundation (1882) of the Society for Psychical Research in London. Such early efforts attempted to dissociate psychical phenomena from spiritualism and superstition, and particularly to investigate mediums and their claims of evoking spirits or apparitions. The society also studied automatic writing, levitation, and ectoplasmic and poltergeist activities. One of its principal founders, Frederic William Henry Myers, summed up the society's early efforts in Human Personality and Its Survival of Bodily Death (1903). An American Society for Psychical Research was also founded, with James Hervey Hyslop as its leading spokesman. Considerable experimentation has been conducted, perhaps the best-known being that of Joseph Banks Rhine at Duke. The Foundation for Research on the Nature of Man, created in the early 1960s, has since replaced the Duke program. In Great Britain the work of Whately Carington and Samuel George Soal paralleled that of Rhine. The great majority of parapsychological studies have focused on the area called extrasensory perception (ESP), which includes telepathy, clairvoyance, and precognition. The popular press often reports stories that are parapsychological in nature. Many scientists criticize the claims made by parapsychologists, arguing in particular that there can be no proof of such phenomena.

See S. Coblentz, Light Beyond: The Wonderworld of Parapsychology (1981); A. P. Dubrov and V. N. Pushkin, Parapsychology and Contemporary Science (1982); H. Edge et al. Foundations of Parapsychology (1986); A. Berger, Lives and Letters in American Parapsychology (1988).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2018, The Columbia University Press.

Extrasensory Perception (ESP): Selected full-text books and articles

Anomalistic Psychology: A Study of Magical Thinking By Leonard Zusne; Warren H. Jones Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 1989 (2nd edition)
Librarian's tip: ESP is discussed in Chap. 7 "Cognitive Processes"
Wondrous Events: Foundations of Religious Belief By James McClenon University of Pennsylvania Press, 1994
Librarian's tip: Chap. 6 "Performing Wondrous Events: ESP, Psychic Surgery, and Firewalking"
Fear of the Unknown: Enlightened Aid-in-Dying By Arthur S. Berger; Joyce Berger Praeger, 1995
Librarian's tip: Chap. 4 "Extrasensory Perception"
Philosophy and Parapsychology By Jan Ludwig Prometheus Books, 1978
Librarian's tip: Includes discussion of extrasensory perception in multiple chapters
The Maimonides ESP-Dream Studies By Krippner, Stanley The Journal of Parapsychology, Vol. 57, No. 1, March 1993
The Effect of Manipulating Expectations Both before and during a Test of ESP By Pitman, Janet A.; Owens, Nicholas E The Journal of Parapsychology, Vol. 68, No. 1, Spring 2004
The Ganzfeld Novice: Four Predictors of Initial ESP Performance By Honorton, Gregory The Journal of Parapsychology, Vol. 61, No. 2, June 1997
Testing for Telepathy Using an Immersive Virtual Environment By Murray, Craig D.; Howard, Toby; Wilde, David J.; Fox, Jezz; Simmonds-moore, Christine The Journal of Parapsychology, Vol. 71, Spring-Fall 2007
ESP under Hypnosis: The Role of Induction Instructions and Personality Characteristics By Tressoldi, Patrizio; Del Prete, Guido The Journal of Parapsychology, Vol. 71, Spring-Fall 2007
Considering the Sender as a Pk Agent in Ganzfeld ESP Studies By Roe, Chris A.; Holt, Nicola J.; Simmonds, Christine A The Journal of Parapsychology, Vol. 67, No. 1, Spring 2003
Extraversion and ESP Performance: A Meta-Analysis and a New Confirmation By Honorton, Charles; Ferrari, Diane C.; Bem, Daryl J The Journal of Parapsychology, Vol. 62, No. 3, September 1998
Cerebral Hemisphere Dominance and ESP Performance in the Autoganzfeld By Alexander, Cheryl H.; Broughton, Richard S The Journal of Parapsychology, Vol. 65, No. 4, December 2001
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