Parapsychology: Research on Exceptional Experiences

By Jane Henry | Go to book overview

Chapter 3

Meta-analyses

Deborah L. Delanoy

A vast array of parapsychological work has been conducted over the past century. Summarising and describing parts of this work have been greatly aided by recent meta-analyses of some areas of parapsychological research. Meta-analysis of some groups of experimental studies has provided a way of assessing the overall significance of a large number of studies (i.e. examining the likelihood that the outcomes are due to chance), arriving at an estimate of the magnitude of the effect being examined (i.e. determining the effect size of an experimental outcome), and has aided in uncovering trends and patterns contained within the databases. (See Chapter 2 for a discussion of meta-analytic procedures, including the procedure's strengths and weaknesses.)

Below, the findings of meta-analyses of nine parapsychological databases are discussed. All of the key meta-analyses have been fully published in refereed journals. They represent a variety of different experimental procedures. The databases include extrasensory perception (ESP) and psychokinesis (PK) studies, as well as some of the research relating psi performance to personality. Collectively these studies represent a sizeable proportion of the parapsychological experimental literature conducted over the last sixty years.


Ganzfeld studies

The ganzfeld technique aims to help percipients obtain ESP impressions. The ganzfeld may be psi-conducive by helping a participant to better direct their attention to their internal processes and thereby become more aware of subtle ESP impressions which might otherwise be drowned-out by our normal, more noticeable, sensory input (Honorton 1977). Ganzfeld stimulation can bring on a mildly altered state of consciousness, often thought to be similar in experience to the hypnagogic state. While receiving this stimulus, the percipient says out loud all their mental experiences (these are referred to as 'mentations'), with the goal of receiving impressions of a sensorially isolated and remotely located target picture or short video clip.

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Parapsychology: Research on Exceptional Experiences
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • List of Illustrations viii
  • About the Authors ix
  • Acknowledgements xii
  • Introduction 1
  • Parapsychology 5
  • Chapter 1 - Parapsychology 7
  • Chapter 2 - Methodology 28
  • Chapter 3 - Meta-Analyses 42
  • Chapter 4 - Psychological Factors 64
  • Chapter 5 - Scepticism 80
  • Paranormal Cognition 91
  • Chapter 6 - Second Sight 93
  • Chapter 7 - Extrasensory Perception 99
  • Chapter 8 - Precognition and Premonitions 108
  • Chapter 9 - Animal Psi 114
  • Paranormal Action 123
  • Chapter 10 - Psychokinesis 125
  • Chapter 11 - Healing 137
  • Chapter 12 - Shamanism 149
  • Anomalous Experience 165
  • Chapter 13 - Coincidence 167
  • Chapter 14 - Apparitions and Encounters 175
  • Chapter 15 - Out-Of-Body Experiences 188
  • Chapter 16 - Near-Death Experiences 196
  • Chapter 17 - Imagery 204
  • After-Life Associations 213
  • Chapter 18 - Survival 215
  • Chapter 19 - Reincarnation 224
  • Chapter 20 - Religion 233
  • Appendices 243
  • Appendix 1 245
  • Appendix 2 248
  • Index 254
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