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Psychology, Psychotherapy, and Parapsychology
Record Type: Review   ID: 1288

Parapsychology and Psychology: Matches and Mismatches

Schmeidler, Gertrude R.

 This work is in three parts: "Introduction: A Theory" (four chapters), "Examining the Theory" (nine chapters), and "Speculation" (four chapters). In Chapter 2, "A Theory of Parapsychology," Schmeidler notes that parapsychology is often criticized by both proponents and opponents for (a) not having a theory and (b) for not having a repeatable experiment. In this book she denies the first and questions the second. Schmeidler proposes that parapsychology has had an implicit theory since its beginning 100 years ago: it is that "psi is a psychological function." Furthermore, psi responses should be processed in the same manner as other psychological responses; and variables that affect how other abilities are used will also affect how psi is used. This work, then, reviews Schmeidler's own experiments and those of others that test the consequences of the above assumptions. The question of repeatability is also examined in Section I. In Section II, Schmeidler examines the experiments that test her theory, with a chapter each devoted to "The Experimenter Effect," "Social Psychology," "Personality," "Moods," "The Longer Altered States of Consciousness," "Perception," "Cognition," "Brain and Other Body Changes," and with a closing chapter entitled "Evaluation of Replicability and of the Theory." The last section reviews theories of psi, including a chapter on "Psi and the Self," and closes with a "General Overview." Each chapter has a helpful summary overview at the end. The glossary is experimentally oriented and includes general scientific and psychological experimental terms as well as parapsychological.
Publisher Information:Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 1988. 236p. Bibl: 205-220; Glos: 201-204; Ind: 221-236
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