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This section contains information about phenomena that are generally believed to have a supernatural, mystical nature, and the very existence of which is currently in doubt.Phenomena Hierarchy

Extrasensory perception

Added Tue, 04/10/2016
circumstance perception

In the modern world psychics in a narrow sense of the word we call people with psychic abilities.

Usually the term "psychic ability" combines such phenomena as:

  • Clairvoyance (or the ability to obtain information in addition to the mechanisms of perception and channels known to science and that modern scientific tools, including information about past events and future);
  • Telepathy (the brain's ability to transmit thoughts and images to another brain at a distance directly, without the use of any known means of communication);

Since ancient times, there were shamans and mystics who tried to predict the future or unravel the mysteries of the past and present. In order that others implicitly believe in the truth of these predictions, they surrounded themselves with an aura of mystery. So now it is traditionally believed that psychics get their knowledge from the "astral", "ghosts world", etc. which, according to the logic of the majority themselves as psychics, it is impossible to identify, not having the same gift. Mainly thanks to such allegations now ESP default include into the category of pseudoscience. For example, Wikipedia gives this definition:

Extrasensory perception (ESP, ESP) (lat. extra — "above and beyond", "outside"; sensus "feeling") is a term used for many alleged paranormal forms of perception or abilities.

That is, modern science denies the existence of "astral", "world of ghosts" and "sources of information" for the psychic, and for some reason, on the basis of this denies the possibility in principle circumstance perception.

But it was not always so. And to understand how you came to such conclusions, it is necessary to consider the history of studies of extrasensory perception.

The first society of "psychic research" of these phenomena were created by scientists between 1880 and 1890. They included such famous scientists as richer and Flammarion of France, Myers and Gurney from England, and James from the USA. First used techniques taken from the practice of spiritualism. Resorted to the "abilities" spiritualistic mediums, which produce mental effects and "communicate" with the spirits of the dead. But despite the use of instruments and the ingenious methods of control, the results remained highly controversial. In fact, it was very difficult to distinguish the true effects from dexterous manipulation. In the end, had to leave this approach and go to more severe methods. The study of paranormal phenomena began in the laboratory.

To study these phenomena was based Parapsychological Association. Her task was not to "prove" the reality of psi-phenomena, but rather to contribute to the study of phenomena called "anomalous". In 1969, the seriousness of the work of the experimenters and their energy led to the fact that the Parapsychological Association was accepted into the American Association of scientific progress.

This area is newly recognized as a scientific discipline, had many names: in Germany and the United States - parapsychology in France - meta-psyche, in the USSR, bioinformatics, etc. recently it was proposed a new name - Pelagia. It allows you to integrate all information related to the so-called psi-phenomena.

Pioneers in laboratory research of psi-phenomena were L. L. Vasiliev at Moscow University and Ryan at Duke University (USA). L. Vasiliev tried mainly to establish the existence of a link between hypnosis and extrasensory perception, his staff also collected a number of observations relating to the telekinesis. Ryan gave a scientific approach, laying in its basis the use of the devices and exposing the results of a systematic statistical analysis.

Since the first experiments in the late 20-ies of the rein, studies in this and related areas made it possible to gather large amounts of data. The results of the statistical analysis obtained in many experiments, no one can remain indifferent. For example, research by Pearce-Pratt (Pearce-Pratt, 1934) on telepathy included four series of experiments in which the subjects were located from each other at a distance of from 90 to 230 metres. A series of 25 Zener cards were presented 74 times, i.e. a total of 1850 was presented. The result: 558 correct answers that 188 cases more than would be expected according to the theory of probability. Statistical analysis of this result shows that the probability that the number of correct answers is less than 10-22.

In the experiment aimed at the study of foresight, Schmidt (Schmidt, 1969 ) used an apparatus, which provide full automation experience. Of the four possible light signals the device is chosen randomly a single. He was recorded as their choice, and the answer of the test, which was offered before the advent of the light signal to guess what it will be the signal. During the first series of experiments three of the subjects carried out a total of 63066 attempts, and then another 20000 in the second series. The results were such that the probability p was less than 10-9 for the first series and less than 10-10 for the second one.

Other studies dealt with dreams and the ability to modify their contents by the action of the agent on the sleeping percipient. Most of these experiments were carried out in the new York Medical center Maimonides (Krippner, Ullman, 1964). The subject is located in a soundproof room, asked to lie down, relax and sleep. Previously to his head were attached to the electrodes to determine the time of onset of paradoxical sleep. As soon as the phase of this sleep agent, concentrating all his attention on a random manner, tried to "pass" it to the sleeping percipient. Then was awakened and asked to tell what the dream or what dreams he saw. In 9 of the 12 studies were obtained statistically significant results.

One of the most important places in parapsychological research is the experiments carried out under hypnosis. French scientists Jean and richer, even with the 80-ies of the last century tried to identify the relationship between extrasensory perception and hypnosis, but only in 50-ies of our century research in this region became systematic, thanks to L. Vasiliev of the USSR, Falero in Finland, Rizla in Czechoslovakia, Kakeru and Honorton in the United States. Different methods have been used to compare the results obtained by the subjects during hypnosis without it. About 50 years ago (Van de Castle, 1963) was consolidated the results of 14 studies with Zener cards conducted eleven groups. Under hypnosis from 44400 answers panned out, 9785 (i.e. 905 is more than could be expected due to accidental coincidences).

As in dreams, in hypnosis, the more frequent the psi-phenomena is explained, apparently, by the fact that a lowering of the level of barriers that exist during wakefulness. Thus, falling under the influence of the hypnotist, the subject becomes more receptive.

The results of studies and main hypotheses

One explanation of the possibility of psychic abilities each person belongs to brand (Brand, 1975) and Honorton (Honorton, 1978 ). According to their theory, anyone can optimally implement unicestwienie the perception by one or more of the following conditions: you need to relax, to disconnect, as far as possible, from all influences (images and impressions) and external activity, to try to come to a state of receptivity “to open” towards certain attitude and at least for a moment want to feel a psi-condition. It is through such tools that help to focus on your inner world in a state of openness, and can supposedly manifest the human ability to psi-phenomenon.

Stanford, by developing a similar idea, believes that the psi-function is one of the elements of normal human nature. Therefore, spontaneous manifestations of extrasensory perception is only the tip of the iceberg. Under the visible portion hides a lot of actions and events, which can also be attributed to the use of psi-abilities. Stanford calls them instrumental responses with the participation of psi-abilities. We are talking about "happy cases", which could be mistaken for coincidence: for example, you missed the bus, so stayed at home, waiting for the next bus do you remember one of my friends who have not seen, and then, sitting in the next bus, suddenly meet face to face with the friend who, as it turns out, decided this day to go by bus, which I never did. What is this, a happy accident? According to Stanford, our body constantly as if scouring his surroundings, trying to find means to meet their needs. In this sweep can be used as psi abilities, and normal sensory and cognitive processes.

Once a person finds the right tool, it includes a mechanism of behavior that begins to operate to meet identified need. For example, in the above example, the person who wants to meet his friend, unconsciously did what needed to he got his wish.

Although research in the field of parapsychology has received the official status and many of the results point to the existence of psi-phenomena, skeptics continue to Express various critical considerations.

First of all, the questioned experiments allegedly gave statistically significant results. Indeed, in the history of parapsychology, there are many questionable cases. Some subjects were found to be cheating, others after several years of experience admitted in the tricks to which they resorted. Sometimes the scientists themselves falsified the results of their experiments.

It was later discovered errors in the methodology of the experiments. Poorly implemented touchscreen control signals; the subjects were not isolated from each other; the material had defects that allowed incorrect to evaluate the results; a selection of paintings-targets produced a non-random manner; the researchers made errors in records, etc.

The most common reproach to the skeptics was the fact that for a sufficiently large number of data, even small differences between obtained and expected results become significant. But most often raises the question of the reproducibility of the experiments. The experimenter, repeating the experience with the same subjects and under the same conditions, not confident in getting the same results. Comes in a set of factors related to subjects, with the material with the experimenter and by the psi-phenomena.

Finally, many critics point to the lack of theory and practical applications, and even to consider the existence of psi-phenomena is impossible owing to their incompatibility with accepted scientific theories.


As a result, scientists do not deny that sometimes individuals exhibit the phenomenon of extrasensory perception, is not confirmed just a mystical way of getting information to these people.

Of course, now most people who call themselves "psychics" are actors working for the public, which may present as a group of people and one person who asked for help. Their activities are based on well-known laws of psychology, described the technique of "extrasensory perception" has little in common. In its activities, these "psychics" use to the human tendency to interpret the General and ambiguous descriptions of personality as applicable only to themselves, not realizing that the same description fits to almost any person. This effect is called forera, also known as the Barnum effect (both effects are also called subjective or personal confirmation). This term was proposed by the psychologist Paul Miles out of respect for the circus entrepreneur p. T. to p. T. Barnum, who was a great master of psychological manipulation and other techniques based on the characteristics of the human psyche.

A "real" circumstance the perception of appears in people in ordinary life or stressful situations. It used to be called intuition. In the psychological conceptions of Jung's intuition is considered as one of the possible top features of the personality which determines the relation of man to himself and the world around them, making them vitally important decisions. That is intuition — the ability to direct the attainment of truth, without the prior logical reasoning and without evidence. I.e. our intuition as a sixth sense, and as a way of processing the information received from the "aggravation" of one or more of the available senses.

Therefore, ESP can be studied in a strictly scientific methods. And to study extrasensory perception can be:

  • the study of the peculiarities of the psyche of the studied individual to understand "aggravation" of the senses which leads to an increased perception of the world, subject to the results of this perception;
  • the identification and study of new channel information, provided that the transfer is not possible by known methods.

Translated by «Yandex.Translator»

Phenomena with similar tags
Phenomenon in mass culture



Precognize (lat. praecognitio, from prae - pre — and cognitio — performance, knowledge; what proscope) — a form of extrasensory perception; hypothetical paranormal ability to receive knowledge about future events (precognitive clairvoyance) or future thoughts of another person (precognitive telepathy), not identical to the ability to logical conclusions and predictions based on current knowledge.

Translated by «Yandex.Translator»


Sverstnitsy the ability to obtain information about events past, present and future, is unavailable for rational ways.

Clairvoyance is usually referred to several different types of claimed supernatural abilities, including:

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