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Anomalistic Psychology

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1 Anomalistic Psychology
Extrasensory Perception, psychokinesis, haunted houses. YouTube - Only Fools And Horses Sickness And Wealth Part 3

2 AO1: Pseudoscience Pseudoscience: It has been argued that parapsychology is a pseudoscience. That is it does not follow as rigorous research methods as some of the other psychologists.

3 AO1: Pseudoscience Lacks Falsifiability: Paranormal psychologists claim the phenomenon does not happen around sceptics therefore when people try and disprove the existence of unusual activity paranormal psychologist say just because it didn’t happen this time does not mean it doesn’t exist Absence of self-correction: Ignoring empirical scientific evidence against their beliefs Burden of proof: Lies with the sceptics. Just because someone doesn’t see it doesn’t mean it does not exist.

4 AO1: Pseudoscience Reliance on anecdotal evidence:
Individual case studies. Lack of peer review: Pseudoscience avoids, when it can, peer reviews. Lack of controlled replicable research: Studies conducted by non-believers Have not been able to replicate Parapsychologist’s work. Richard Wiseman Interview - Resources, Ideas, Inspiration - Free Psychology Teaching Resources & Videos

5 AO1: Theory Construct Lacks explanation of theory:
Most scientific research looks at the how and why of research; paranormal psychology lacks an explanation of how phenomenon works. Ability to change: In Psychology if you have to accept the Null Hypothesis you readapt your theory in parapsychology there has been no change over the centuries.

6 AO2: Accreditation The American Association for the Advancement of Science allowed the Parapsychological Association to join as fully affiliated member giving parapsychology accreditation

7 AO2: Scientific Status It is difficult to evaluate a whole genre of a philosophy on the terms of scientific content. Therefore the Journal of Parapsychology and the Parapsychological Association were researched to see if they were more of a pseudoscience. Evaluation: In some cases they were more of a science than regular psychology

8 AO2: Respectable Research
Mousseau found that articles that were peer reviewed were better than mainstream science as they reported all results including negative results and not just positive results. Although she also found; only 43% of research used empirical data and 24% used experimental methods which was a lot lower than mainstream research.

9 AO2: Three important issues
1: People change a lot of money for psychic activities 2: As a society we should always question what 3: Finding creditable research will help to improve the value of parapsychology. i.e acupuncture is now accredited

10 AQA Questions 1 (a) What are the main characteristics of pseudoscience? (5 marks)  1 (b) Evaluate the scientific status of parapsychology (10 marks) 1 (c) Discuss issues of reliability and validity of research into parapsychology (4+6marks) 1 (d) Discuss issues of pseudoscience in the study of anomalous experience. (5+10marks)

11 2 (a) A researcher wanted to test the ability of a known ‘psychic healer’. Ten volunteers suffering from chronic back pain were selected through newspaper adverts. The volunteers were all given a questionnaire which rated their belief in psychic healing and another questionnaire which rated their levels of pain. They were then randomly assigned to either a treatment group or a control group. Afterwards, all the volunteers filled in the pain questionnaire again. The researcher found that there was no significant effect on pain relief as a result of psychic healing. Answer the following questions, using your knowledge about research into psychic healing. (i) The researcher wanted to know whether there was a correlation between belief in psychic healing and improvement in pain ratings. What statistical test could the researcher use? Justify your answer. (2 marks) (ii) Outline one ethical issue in this study and suggest how the researcher could have dealt with it. (3 marks) 3 Explain what is meant by pseudoscience. (5 marks)

12 Learning Objectives Describe the Ganzfeld Technique for researching ESP Construct criticism using the sheep-goat effect Evaluate the methodology used in the Ganzfeld technique

13 Ganzfeld Studies of ESP
Do we as human possess any abilities beyond that of our 5 senses.

14 The Ganzfeld Method Two participants in two different
Parapsychologist use the Ganzfeld method to prove the existence of ESP. Two participants in two different rooms. One has a picture the other lies on a couch and talks into a machine. Impartial judges then analyse the tape and the picture to see if there is any link between the two.

15 Criticisms The Problems:
The Results: there are as many anti as there are pro results = Low reliability. Investigators who believed ask more question giving participants a greater chance of getting it correct. Methodological problems: Security, poor soundproofing statistical analysis: subjective therefore Investigator bias Random presentation Of pictures to be communicated

16 Sheep-Goat effect: Schmeidler split participants into believers and non-believers, showing that non believers did a lot worse than believers. Sargent (1979): It has been argued that Sargent made errors in his methodology. He is unwilling to show his data to his critics and therefore his results have been discredited.

17 Psychokinesis: Macro PK- Micro PK- large items are bent/levitated
Works by moving an object from the outside Micro PK- When the inside of an item is effected, stronger methodology

18 Macro PK Most research looks at individual case studies of people who demonstrate Psychokinesis however very few have been able to demonstrate their talents under controlled conditions Uri Geller: Is generally well respected. However, Randi demanded he demonstrate his talents on a TV program and Uri was unable to perform. uri geller - Google Videos

19 Micro PK The electronic coin flipper: Schmidt (1969) discovered a good
methodological way to gain positive results when influencing dice throws. He created a random event generator (REG) and asked people to influence the flip of a coin so that more heads than tails were seen.

20 Meta Analysis Studies Nelson and Radin looked at 832 experiments by 68 investigators and found a small but significant effect. Stevens asked participant to control the path of a laser beam through a computer and found support for the existence of PK.

21 Lack of Control Well Controlled studies used at least two researchers, true randomisation of targets and independent recordings of targets. Hansel found that positive results came from research that lacked control, and used small sample sizes While research that had negative results applied high control over variables in the study and had lots of participants.

22 A02: Evaluation Parapsychologists complain the controls expected of them are higher than those for main stream psychology. Abelson claims that extraordinary phenomenon requires extra evidence as it is so far removed from mainstream thought.

23 AQA questions 4: A class of psychology students plan to study ESP. Outline methodological issues that they need to be aware of and suggest how they might deal with these (8 marks) 5: During a public demonstration of ‘psychic powers’, a psychologist witnessed what appeared to be the ability of one person to read the thoughts of another. Explain how the psychologist could use the Ganzfeld procedure to investigate this apparent ability. (6 marks)

24 AQA Questions 6: The ganzfeld is a technique used to investigate extra-sensory perception (ESP). Outline and critically evaluate findings from ganzfeld studies. (6 marks + 10 marks). 7: Discuss methodological issues in the study of psychokinesis. (4 marks + 6 marks) 8: Outline and evaluate the Ganzfeld technique as a way of investigating ESP. (4 marks + 4 marks)

25 Psychic Healing

26 Psychic Healing and Mediumship
Lesson Objective: By the end of the lesson you will be able to: Outline one piece of research supporting psychic mediumship. Outline one piece of research criticising psychic mediumship. Outline evaluation points for these research studies.

27 Back ground to Illness 1: There is always fluctuation in the healing process. 2: Our bodies heal on their own 3: The Placebo effect

28 Support for Psychic Healing
Wirth (1990) conducted a controlled lab study on participant with wounds. Half got healing the other half were placebo. No one knew which group they were in. The Miracle Study: Wirth also was involved in a field experiment. Women who were prayed for increased fertility over those that weren’t.

29 Research Against Psychic Healing
Lyvers (2006): looked at a Australian TV show were he discovered Healing made no significant impact in reducing pain. However he found a correlation between believers and pain reduction. Rosa discovered that Healers were unable to feel the energy in their hands, when they were restricted from seeing where her hand was.

30 Evaluation for Healing
Determinism: True science is carried out by scientist not mediums, 1/ no connection with reputable institutions and 2/ no peer reviews. Wirth’s work was scientific however he was unable to replicate his results. A colleague withdrew his support in the study. Wirth was convicted and sentenced to 5 years in prison for fraud and the author Cha was accused of plagiarism. (flamm 2005) The Placebo affect: Success is due to a belief in psychic healing instead of an actual ability to heal.

31 Psychic Mediumship

32 Support for Psychic Mediumship
The Psychic Twins Terry and Linda Jamison The scole report (Keen et al 1999) Captured on film over 500 experiments showing flying object & voices. Schwartz et al (2001) tested 5 mediums and found they made accurate statements 80% of the time.

33 Criticism of Psychic Mediumship
Wiseman (2003) Found even though people knew it was fake they were still take in by mediumship Wiseman and O’KEEFFE (2005) 5 mediums gave reading for 5 sitters, Sitters found that reading for other people were more appropriate than the ones for themselves.

34 Evaluation Cold reading: A medium first makes
general statement and then used the sitters replies later in the reading to convince them of authenticity. Derren Brown Interview (1/6) - Richard Dawkins Schwartz used students in his study and found because they did not have as many deaths in their lives the mediums questions were not relevant to them. Hines (2003) believes that many mediums to make money will stalk their sitters to find evidence to show their powers of awareness.

35 AQA questions 9: Discuss what research into exceptional experience has shown us about psychic mediumship. (4 marks + 6 marks) 10: There has not been a question directly in psychic healing in past exams.

36 Out of Body Experiences

37 Out of body experiences and Near-death experiences.
Lesson objective: By the end of the lesson you will be able to; Outline two different types of OBEs & NDEs Describe a physiological study of OBEs. Describe psychological and paranormal explanations for OBEs & NDEs. The Science of Out of Body Experiences YouTube - Broadcast Yourself.#v=B-mrL7fhWi0&feature=related

38 Out of Body Experience Natural occurring OBE Artifically induced OBE
Green (1968) Case studies Para somatic = see another body Asomatic: No sense of other body Artifically induced OBE Alvarado (1982) conducted lab research using relaxation and hypnosis Participant had to say what was in the other room. Evidence was week. YouTube - Virtual out-of-body experience

39 Physiological studies
Early studies by Blakemore showed that during OBEs subjects were definitely awake and not dreaming. Stimulation of the temporal-parietal junction using transcranial magnetic stimulation can create OBEs where as stimulation of other areas of the brain does not (Blanke 2005)

40 Evaluation Case studies, very subjective. No sceintific evidence
Reported by people who are already paranormal believers People who have OBE also score high on the prone to fantasy scale and hypnotisability. Ehrssen demonstrated that you can create the illusion of having an OBE

41 Natural Occuring NDEs 60% reported a sense of peace.
20% of heart attack patients report having had NDEs (fox 2006) Ring interviewed 100 people who has had NDEs 60% reported a sense of peace. 33% reported leaving their bodies. 25% reported entering a tunnel Nelson (2006) studied 55 NDEs and 55 controls. Of those who had NDEs, many experienced a sensation of falling and had REM intrusions – the brain is awake but has signs of dreaming.

42 Artificially induced states
Both Ketamine and hypoxia (lack of oxygen) cause NDE states. They cause a flood of the neurotransmitter glutamate which causes neuronal death so the brain creates a protective blockage.

43 Neurological explanations
It is argued that endorphin released at the time of pain or stress cause euphoria and detachment It has also been shown that although some areas of the brain have shut down the brain stem which stimulates REM sleep is activated

44 Evaluation OBE Difficult to test natural occurring + low validity for artificially induced Out Of Body Experience Video Our sensery perception is effected and we compensate by using our memories of ourselves. We then project those images on our perception NDE Paranormal state NDE support the existence of an afterlife. This is a non scientific statement as it is non falsifyable. Neuroscientific theory: They argue that “the dying brain hypothesis”

45 Activity: Discuss the following questions in small groups then present your arguments back to the class. Could OBEs and NDEs just be dreams while awake? Is the research methodology used valid or reliable? What adaptive function could NDEs have for the individual? If we can induce NDEs does this dismiss the possibility of them being really psychic in nature? Are NDEs and OBEs biological or psychological phenomena?

46 AQA questions 11: Outline and evaluate psychological research into belief in out-of-body experiences and/or near-death experiences. (4 marks + 6 marks) 12 Discuss what research into exceptional experience has shown us about out-of-body experience. (4 marks + 6 marks)

47 Personality Factors

48 Lesson Objectives Identify the questions from the paranormal belief scale Describe internal and external locus of control Explain the link between at least two personality types and paranormal beliefs.

49 Personality Factors Neuroticism: look at life negatively: People use fantasies to escape negative thoughts and distance oneself from negative reality. ( Eysenck) Williams looked at 300 Welsh school children and found a positive correlation between neuroticism and paranormal beliefs

50 AO2 When looking at the paranormal belief scale a lot of the superstition questions are negative “Black cats bring bad luck” It may be a correlation between negative occurences in the PBS. Wiseman and Watt found a positive correlation between negative superstition and neuroticism but not positive superstition and neuroticism.

51 Personality Factors Extraversion:
Has a need for extra stimulation, and is also able to adapt to knew situations. Honorton et al; did a meta analysis and found a strong positive correlation between the two variables.

52 Locus of control: Relationship between external locus of control and paranormal belief.
Schizotypy: Tendency to have hallucinations and disordered thinking. Link found by Irwin and Green (1999)

53 Personality Factors Fantasy Proneness
Fake Séance, believers stated that a table was moving even when they knew the whole séance was fake, more likely to get carried away Suggestibility: More easily deceived Hergovich found correlation between hypnotise and paranormal belief scale

54 Evaluation of Personality
Neuoticism and schizotype: Auton argues that is a mistake to portray paranormal belief with abnormality. Definition of schizophrenia is belief of magic and superstitions. Also correlation between self actualisation and paranormal beliefs. Locus of control: Evidence showing link between external and believers. Low in reliability.

55 AQA questions 1 3: Harry had a dream last night about his aunt Susan. She emigrated to Canada years ago and he has not heard from her for three years. This morning, he received a letter from his aunt saying that she was going to visit. He thinks that he might have psychic powers. 1 4 Discuss how Harry’s anomalous experience can be explained by personality factors. (6 marks)

56 AQA questions 13 What has research shown about personality factors underlying anomalous experience? (5 marks) Leon wore a green T-shirt when he sat a mock GCSE exam and got an unexpectedly good result. Since then he has always worn the same T-shirt when he has had to sit an exam. This morning he is feeling distressed because he cannot find his T-shirt and he has an A-level psychology exam today. Abbie, Leon’s friend, cannot understand why he is so upset. She has worked hard and revised thoroughly and does not feel that she needs a T-shirt or anything else to get her through the exam. 14: Suggest how personality factors might explain why Abbie does not have anomalous beliefs. (5 marks)

57 Superstitious Behaviour and Magical thinking?

58 Superstition Superstitions are beliefs that are not based on reason or knowledge. OCD Behavioural – operant conditioning Skinner looked at pigeons who displayed strange behaviour before being fed. Evolutionary- type one and type two errors. Cognitive – Lack of control

59 Behavioural – operant conditioning Skinner looked at pigeons who displayed strange behaviour before being fed. The pigeons developed random behaviour i.e. one started repeatedly turned anti-clockwise as a ritual in the that the behaviour would proceed food.

60 Evaluation for behaviourist
Staddon and Simmelhag Studied birds and found that ritualistic behaviour happened before they were reinforced with food. Matute found that participant developed a ritual behaviour in the hope they could stop a loud nose as a form of superstition. They assumed there was cause and effect when non existed

61 type one and type two errors
Type one error is when we think there is a link between events however the evidence is not strong enough = a superstition is created.

62 Magical Thinking

63 Evolutionary approach
Paranormal believes seem to be innate as they are reported all over the world in a wide variety of cultures. Adaptive: Less questions, reduced worry over the meaning of life. This then means more time to focus on productive life and maximising reproductive ness.

64 Evaluation of Adaption
It is the believe that is adaptive and not paranormal abilities. If it was the abilities then those with them would have reported positive experiences. These abilities would have been selected and be more prevalent. McClenon (2002) discovered that students reported more negative than positive experiences

65 Psychodynamic approach
Defence Mechanism: Help us feel that we have some sort of control over our anxieties Sense of control: Watt et al (2007) found a link between negative childhood experiences and paranormal beliefs. Abuse and fantasy proneness: Childhood trauma leads to fantasies of escape = paranornal belief.

66 Evaluation of Psychodynamic
There is support for our need for control. During the gulf war belief in superstition rose as Iraqi missiles increased. Wiseman and Watt argue that paranormal beliefs are a positive way of adapting to difficult situations. Most people find childhood trauma difficult to accept, those who experience it might open the door to other possibilities.

67 AQA questions (iii) ‘It is interesting why, even today in the modern age of science and technology, some people still believe in psychic healing.’ Discuss factors underlying belief superstitious behaviour and magical thinking healing. (5 marks + 5 marks)

68 Coincidence and Probability Judgement

69 Coincidence 1: Think of three situations which appear
linked but which could just be coincidence. 2: Is there a link between those who make probability misjudgement and coincidence?

70 Probability misjudgement: Believers know less about the significance of probability.
ilIusion of causality: A Co-incident is when two things happen at the same time. People who believe in the paranormal see more links even when they are not there.

71 Biological Evidence High levels of Dopamine have been
found to correlate with linking events and believers in paranormal activity. When non believers were given the drug L-dopa (which increases dopamine) they say more faces/words, when there was nothing there.

72 General cognitive ability
Intelligence: It has been argued that Believers are less intelligent than non-believers. Gray found that non believers scored less on a reasoning test than believers

73 Evaluation of Intelligence
General cognitive ability: It was found that intellectual people reading New Scientists were open to the phenomenon of ESP Linking distantly related materials: Believers are creative and this is not negative. Probability misjudgement: Musch and Ehrenberg (2002) linked probability knowledge with intelligence. May not be a separate categories

74 AO2: An adaptive significance
Evolutionary theory: We see a link between 2 thinks which may help us survive. We avoid accepting the Null hypothesis There is no correlation between 2 things as a type two error might be fatal. i.e. Eating wild mushrooms will be linked with death.

75 Homework “Even if paranormal phenomena do not exist, paranormal
experiences do, as surveys have shown a considerable number of people report experiences which they interpret as paranormal “ Discuss the cognitive factors underlying paranormal beliefs (10 Marks)


77 1: State the point 2: Provide evidence for the claim
1: State the point 2: Provide evidence for the claim. 3: Explain its significance The Synoptic Toolkit

78 Debate Free will and Determinism: People are either free to structure their behaviour or it is determined by external/internal forces. Deterministic people are not responsible for their behaviour. i.e biological approaches Reductionism: Complex phenomena are reduced to simple explanations. They miss out a lot of important information. The Nature/Nurture debate: The result of genetics vs the result of experiences during life. There is however often a combination of both

79 Issues Gender bias: Men and women are very different and behaviour for one group might not be the same for the other Culture Bias: Psychology more often that not represents the culture of the west. Ethical issues: Socially sensitive issues. Is it ethical to produce results that are undesirable from the point of view of one group of people.

80 Approaches The biological approach: Looks at the physical body.
The evolutionary approach: We have adapted behaviour to enhance survival. S = it is able to explain behaviour that might not work for us today W = It fails to acknowledge cultural influences. The biological approach: Looks at the physical body. S = easy to test scientifically. W= reduces complex behaviour to a simple function The cognitive approach: Looks at our thought processes. S = Easy to test scientifically. W = lacking social motivational and emotional factors

81 Approaches The behavioural approach: All behaviour is learned
S = They provide clear predictions which are easy to test. W = Does not include the higher thought processes, emotions or expectations The psychodynamic approach: Our behaviour is a combination of our drive/desire and our morals. S = It incorporated the unconscious mind. W = It is not Truly scientific As it is difficult to Falsify.

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