Syllabus: Eight (8) Important Experiments in Parapsychology

Course Objectives

Through the weekly study of eight original research studies from the field of parapsychology, the students will develop a familiarity with research writing and understand the development of the methodologies and thought processes that produced the current theories in the field.  The writings of important researchers will be studied in the context of the times to demonstrate the relevance and importance of the study to the advancement of the science of parapsychology.

Course Outcomes

Students will improve their ability to read and evaluate research articles and understand the significance of articles on multiple topics in parapsychology in the context of the original research work.  Their understanding of research methodology and critical analysis will advance as they read and discuss their ideas on how to improve research studies with other students in the discussion forums in the courseroom.

Course Outline

I. Distance ESP Experiment

  •       Origin of ESP Testing.
  •       Importance of distance studies
  •       Methodology   
  •       Analysis methods
  •       Criticisms
  •       Significance of the study

II. The Ganzfeld Controversy

  • Historical origins
  • Development of the original method
  • The controversy (Honorton & Hyman)
  • The Auto-Ganzfeld
  • Further Criticisms
  • Meta-analyses
  • Significance of the study

III. Remote Viewing Research

  • Definition of Remote Viewing
  • Methodology
  • Targeting and Judging
  • Analysis
  • Context and importance of this study

IV. The Seaford Poltergeist

  • Definition of poltergeist
  • Field investigations
  • The Seaford Case
  • Methodology
  • Evaluation
  • RSPK
  • Significance of the study

V. Psychokinesis at the PEAR Labs

  • Definitions of PK
  • Background of the PEAR Labs
  • Population, Sample, & Methodology
  • Instrumentation
  • Analysis Method
  • Criticisms
  • Significance of the Study

VI. Plants, PK, and Energy Healing

  • Affecting living systems
  • Context of the study
  • Population, Sample, and Methodology
  • Analysis method
  • Criticisms
  • Significance of the study

VII. Feeling the Future: Presentiment with Daryl Bem

  • What is presentiment?
  • Context of the study
  • Population, Sample, and Methodology
  • Analysis method
  • Criticisms
  • Significance of the study
  • Meta-analyses

VIII.  OBE, Phsyical Factors, Quantum Physics, or similar topic

  • Definition of the study
  • Context of the study
  • Population, Sample, and Methodology
  • Analysis method
  • Criticisms
  • Significance of the study

Course Materials

Various articles selected by the instructor and provided for download throughout the course.

Course Activities

-       Students will be expected to view the class broadcasts or the recordings of the classes each week.

-       Students will be expected to participate in weekly discussion forums and activities. Each student will be expected to provide an original posting each week and to respond to at least one other student in the discussion forums. Greater participation in this area will be considered during class evaluations.

-       One multiple choice or short answer evaluations will be assigned after the 4th or 5th week of class.

-       The student will choose a study they believe is important to the field of parapsychology and crtically evaluate the published documentation.  The evaluation will include a justification for selecting the study, an analysis of the methodology and analysis methods, a discussion of the criticisms, and original thoughts on how the study could be improved given our current knowledge of parapsychology.  This will be a 4-10 page paper due at the conclusion of the class.

Evaluations and Grading

Students who are taking the course for a grade will be assessed using a letter grade based on the standard letter grade format.

A – 90 - 100

B – 80 – 89

C – 70 – 79

D – 60 – 69

F – Below 60

Participation in the forums is a large component of the grading, and substantive postings are necessary to get full credit for each discussion topic.

The following activities will be considered to contribute to the courses as follows:

Discussions (Total 40%)

-       Week 1-2 (10%)

-       Week 3-4 (10%)

-       Week 5-6 (10%)

-       Week 7-8 (10%)

Assessment #1 (30%)

Critical Research Evaluation (30%)