Behavioral and Brain Sciences



Author's Response
K. Ramakrishna Rao and John Palmer (1987). The anomaly called psi: Recent research and criticism. BBS 10:539–551. James E. Alcock (1987). Parapsychology: Science of the anomalous or search for the soul? BBS 10:553–643.

Science, pseudoscience, and anomaly


James E. Alcock a1
a1 Department of Psychology, Glendon College, York University, Toronto, Canada M4N 3M6 jalcock@glendon.yorku.ca www.glendon.yorku.ca/jalcock

Abstract

My criticisms of parapsychology are neither based on its subject matter per se, nor simply on a charge of sloppy research, but rather on the whole pattern of theory and research in this domain. The lack of a positive definition of psi, the use of ad hoc principles such as psi-missing and the experimenter psi effect to account for failures to confirm hypotheses, and the failure to produce a single phenomenon that can be replicated by neutral investigators are among the major problems that keep parapsychology outside regular science. Glicksohn and I agree that anomalous experiences should be investigated.



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