Friday, May 25, 2018   6:24 PM

Convention Spotlight: Charley Tart to Give Invited Talk

The line-up for the 61st PA Annual Convention at IONS, CA, just keeps getting better! Invited speaker Charley Tart, PhD., will present his lecture entitled: “Parapsychology as an Essential Component of an Expanded Science of Mind: Promises and Challenges.” Dr. Tart is internationally known for his psychological work on the nature of consciousness, particularly altered states. He was one of the founders of the field of transpersonal psychology, and is a legend in parapsychology. Of note, two of his many books, Altered States of Consciousness (1969) and Transpersonal Psychologies (1975), were paramount in ushering these ideas into modern psychology. An incredible resume includes highlights such as: Professor Emeritus of Psychology at the University of California, Davis, Professor Emeritus of the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology, Palo Alto, California. He was the first holder of the Bigelow Chair of Consciousness Studies at the University of Nevada in Las Vegas and has served as an Instructor in Psychiatry at the School of Medicine of the University of Virginia, and a consultant on government-funded parapsychological research at SRI International. He also holds a black belt in Aikido! We’re absolutely delighted Charley will address the PA convention in August 2018 and bestow decades of his parapsychological experience and wisdom.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018   5:58 PM

Convention Spotlight: Parapsychology and Transpersonal Psychology in Dialogue

The integration of transpersonal psychology and parapsychology shows great promise for explaining extraordinary experiences and events better than can either approach alone. How do these two branches of thought differ and converge, and how do they complement each other? At the 61st Annual Convention of the Parapsychological Association, Harris Friedman (University of Florida), Dean Radin (Director of Research at The Institute of Noetic Sciences), and Stanley Krippner (Saybrook University) will be in dialogue to develop ways to bring these approaches into better alignment. Radin views the main focus of parapsychology as being research using mostly quantitative experimental, but also allowing for qualitative, methods designed to explore the nature of both extraordinary events and experiences, determining what they are and how they work. Friedman views transpersonal psychology as being more focused on extraordinary experiences, and differentiates the two approaches in terms of preferred research methods with transpersonal psychology using mostly qualitative, human-science approaches, but also allowing for quantitative methods. In addition, transpersonal psychology focuses on applied work, such as using psychotherapies to work with individuals and groups having or seeking extraordinary experiences. The discussion will be chaired by Stanley Krippner, a pioneer in consciousness research whose work straddles both areas.


Tuesday, May 15, 2018   8:18 PM

Convention Spotlight: Skeptics’ Experiences of the Exceptional

How do skeptics describe induced exceptional experiences? Christine Simmonds-Moore, Donadrian Rice (University of West Georgia, GA, USA), and Chase O’Gwin (Northwest Missouri State University, MI, USA) performed a study that explored how disbelievers in paranormal phenomena described exceptional experiences (ExEs) that occurred in the context of a laboratory experiment. The experiments were intentionally designed to encourage ExEs through suggestion and sensory deprivation. Thirty-three strong disbelievers took part in 3x30 minute sessions where they were asked to relax in a reclining chair, whilst wearing ear plugs and an eye mask. On two out of three of these occasions, they wore a sham head device that resembled a device that was previously associated with ExEs. Verbal descriptions of ExEs reported by a subset of skeptics were analyzed using thematic analysis.

Which experiences did the skeptics have and how did they describe them? Come to the 61st Annual Convention of the Parapsychological Association and find out!

Thursday, May 3, 2018   7:14 PM

Convention Spotlight: David Vernon Studies Precognitive Priming

Is it possible that completing a creative insight task in the future will help you complete such a task now? This is the question that David Vernon, a researcher from Canterbury Christ Church University, Kent, England is attempting to answer. He is asking people to complete a number of trials using a standard compound remote associates task. This involves presenting a participant with three words (such as “cake,” “swiss,” and “cottage,” and asking them to come up with a fourth word that is associated with all three [“cheese” in this example]). The new word can pair either before (cheesecake) or after (cottage cheese) the three words. After the participants have completed all 20 trials, Vernon shows them the ”answers” to half of the trials and has them type in the answers–twice. The question is, does this post-test priming lead to a precognitive effect such that participants respond more accurately to the trials that are primed compared to those that are not? 

Learn more about the results of this study at the 61st Annual Convention of the Parapsychological Association this August at the Institute of Noetic Sciences in Petaluma, California.

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