Northampton Electronic Collection of Theses and Research

Non-parapsychological explanations of ostensible mediumship

Roe, C. A. and Roxburgh, E. C. (2014) Non-parapsychological explanations of ostensible mediumship. In: Rock, A. J. (ed.) The Survival Hypothesis: Essays on Mediumship. Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Company. pp. 65-78.

Item Type: Book Section
Abstract: A substantial proportion of the population reports belief in parapsychological phenomena, including belief in an afterlife, with personal experience being a common reason cited for belief. Where surveys have focused more specifically on belief in mediumship evidence suggests that direct experience from sittings is typically regarded as impressive. In this chapter we will review the nonparapsychological explanations for those favourable impressions. From the perspective of the structure of mediumistic readings we will consider the form that a mediumistic exchange takes and evaluate in detail explanations in terms of fraud, cold reading and the Barnum Effect. From the client’s perspective we will consider the effects of coincidence, suggestion , perception / misattribution and selective or distorted recall, as well as possible social and therapeutic functions of sitting with a medium. From the medium’s perspective we will consider the putative role of dissociation and mental health upon the mediumistic experience, and supposed biological bases of mediumship. We end by considering whether explanations solely in terms of nonparapsychological elements are sufficient to account for observed levels of belief in post-mortem communications.
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology > BF1001 Parapsychology. Psychic research. Psychology of the conscious
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology > BF1228 Spiritualism
Creators: Roe, Chris A and Roxburgh, Elizabeth C
Editors: Rock, Adam J
Publisher: McFarland & Company
Faculties, Divisions and Institutes: University Faculties, Divisions and Research Centres - OLD > Research Centre > Centre for the Study of Anomalous Psychological Processes
University Faculties, Divisions and Research Centres - OLD > School of Social Sciences (to 2016)
University Faculties, Divisions and Research Centres - OLD > Faculty of Health & Society > Psychology
Faculties > Faculty of Health & Society > Psychology
Research Centres > Centre for Psychology and Social Sciences
Date: April 2014
Date Type: Publication
Page Range: pp. 65-78
Title of Book: The Survival Hypothesis: Essays on Mediumship
Place of Publication: Jefferson, NC
Language: English
ISBN: 9780786472208
Status: Published / Disseminated
Refereed: Yes
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