In Memoriam: Michael Persinger

By Krippner, Stanley | The Journal of Parapsychology, Fall 2018 | Go to article overview

In Memoriam: Michael Persinger


Krippner, Stanley, The Journal of Parapsychology


It is with great sadness that I read of Professor Michael Persinger's (1945-2018) passing. The Laurentian University obituary noted that "Dr. Persinger ... was a very engaged member of the Laurentian community. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin, Madison in 1967. He received his M. A. in Physiological Psychology from the University of Tennessee in 1969, and his Ph.D. from the University of Manitoba in 1971. Dr. Persinger began his academic career at Laurentian in 1971 as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology. In 1975, he was promoted to Associate Professor, and became Full Professor in 1980. In 1983, Dr. Persinger founded the Behavioural Neuroscience program at Laurentian, bringing together psychology, chemistry, and biology. He remained Coordinator of the Behavioural Neuroscience program until his passing. Dr. Persinger was globally renowned for his scholarly contributions, having published hundreds of peer-reviewed academic journal articles across several different fields of study ... He was a regular contributor to national and international television and radio programs, speaking on topics such as unusual experiences, climate change, religious experiences and many more."

This official obituary does not go into depth regarding Michael's contributions to parapsychology. I first discovered this interest when I was lecturing at a university in South Dakota and my host told me that a friend of his was engaged in parapsychological research. I had never heard of him but asked for contact information so that we could communicate. Michael wrote me a long response and told me about his analysis of spontaneous cases. He found a link between low geomagnetic activity and putative ESP, and a link between high geomagnetic activity and PK.

Michael asked for my data and I sent him the "hits" and "misses" for the first night for every participant in our Maimonides dream/ESP studies. The analysis demonstrated a significant connection, especially for what we called "high hits" (high ratings on correspondences between dream reports and pictorial targets) and low geomagnetic activity (Persinger & Krippner, 1989: Krippner & Persinger, 1996). …

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