“The experimental evidence for parapsychology phenomena: a review” by Etzel Cardena of Lund University that was recently published in American Psychologist, which is considered a leading psychological journal.
Parapsychology is the study of mental phenomena that either orthodox psychology doesn’t cover or can’t explain.
Paranormal psychology, or “psi”, has a long history of research and lots of famous psychologists have been interested in it, such as Sigmund Freud. But, for whatever reason, academia in mainstream psychology still consider it controversial and unfounded.
The paper starts off with a fairly strong thesis, saying that its purpose is that most psychologists are skeptics and uninformed about paranormal studies and experiments and that some are all- out bigoted against it. Cardena outlines different theories in physics and psychology that could explain psi phenomena. He discusses quantum physics, theories on time, evolutionary and psychological theories.
He then goes on to explain the results of implicit cognition, dream telepathy, and remote viewing testing. Interestingly, Cardena states that artists seem to score higher on psi experiments than other groups do. His overall takeaway from them all was: “evidence provides cumulative support for the reality of psy, which cannot be readily explained away by the quality of the studies, fraud, selective reporting, experimental or analytical incompetence, or other frequent criticisms.”
Cardena isn’t just lecturing the scientific community about keeping an open mind. He actually came up with a few suggestions to aid the field of parapsychology research. His first suggestion was that researchers in parapsychology should use “selected participants” in their experiments.
There are a small number of people who exhibit psi phenomenon, and although their results are significant, they tend to be out shadowed by the vast number of other people, therefore averages aren’t really telling the whole story. He also suggests that to further psi research, certain journals and publications should abandon their policies to reject psi papers and publish them instead.
Not only did Etzel Cardena gain the respect of lots of the paranormal world for saying what we’re all thinking, someone actually must have listened to him, because his paper got published!