Carlos S. Alvarado, PhD, Research Fellow, Parapsychology Foundation
Dr. Alejandro Parra has produced another issue of his online journal E-Boletín Psi, which he has been publishing in Spanish since 2006 from his Instituto de Psicología Paranormal (Institute of Paranormal Psychology), located in Buenos Aires, Argentina (for other issues click here).
These are the titles of the papers published in the issue, which is available here.
Variables Perceptuales y de Personalidad Asociadas a la Experiencia Mediúnica:
Examinando Dos Muestras
[Perceptual and Personality Variables Associated to Mediumship Experiences: An Examination of Two Samples]
by Alejandro Parra
Análisis Fenomenológico de las Experiencias Anómalas de la Mediumnidad: Voces y Visiones Aplicando un Modelo Espiritual
[Phenomenological Analysis of Anomalous Experiences in Mediumship: Applying a Spiritual Model to Voices and Visions]
by Elizabeth C. Roxburgh
Importancia y Metodología Basada en la Investigación en Laboratorio de la Mediumnidad en los Estados Unidos
[The Importance of and the Methodology of Laboratory Studies of Mediumship in the United States]
by Julie Beischel
Mediumnidad en Brasil: Aspectos Históricos e Investigación Científica
[Mediumship in Brazil: Historical Aspects and Scientific Research]
by Everton de Oliveira Maraldi, Wellington Zangari and Fátima R. Machado
Here is a translation of selected parts of Parra’s editorial introduction:
“In this special issue we explore the experience of mediumship in three countries: Argentina, Brazil, the United States, and the United Kingdom . . .
Alejandro Parra studies psychological variables in individuals with mediumistic experiences in two samples (believers in the paranormal and university students), who present, in general, three type of experiences associated to mediumship . . . [such as] apparition experiences, sense of presence and possession which are related to personality variables (for example ‘positive’ schizotypy) and other perceptual variables (for example, absorption, dissociation and imagery).
Elizabeth C. Roxburgh analizes phenomenology based on the experience of accounts of hearing voices in spiritualist contexts, particularly in British spiritualist churches. According to the author, the experience of hearing voices is validated and ‘normalized’ in some cultures and social or family contexts to understand and control the experience and to avoid psychopathology . . . Roxburgh concludes defending a relational approach of the phenomenon of hearing voices, through which those persons who participate actively in a dialog with their voices can understand their characteristics and their meaning.
Julie Beischel thinks that the information given by mediums is important not only for scientific and social reasons but also because it presents relevant information for the study of survival . . . [of death] There are also practical social aplications, for example, alleviate suffering due to mourning . . . Her main objective is to examine carefully spiritualist séances using a procedure based on blind judging and specific techniques for the selection of participants used at the Windbridge Institute in the United States to study the reception of anomalous information in mediums.
Finally, Everton Maraldi, Wellington Zangari, and Fatima Machado focus their efforts in the historical evaluation of the practice of mediumship in Brazil. The authors discuss its possible relation to mental disorders from an intrapsychic and psychosocial perspective, going through a series of stages ranging from the process of ‘Asimilation’ or the formation of representations of the beliefs of mediums, ‘Surrender’ (allowing for possession), ‘Training’ to achieve psychological and bodily adaptation, ‘Creation’” (a period of ‘creative incubation), and ‘Manifestation and Verification’ to determine the spiritual nature of the phenomenon. The authors argue that mediumship is a practice that contributes to organize the emotional experiences of the individual . . .”