Category: Education


Carlos S. Alvarado, PhD, Research Fellow, Parapsychology Foundation

Much has been written about the relationships between psychology and parapsychology. Some general overviews are:

Alvarado, C.S., & Zingrone, N.L. (1998). Anomalías de interacción con el ambiente: El estudio de los fenómenos parapsicológicos [Anomalies of interaction with the environment: The study of parapsychological phenomena].Revista Puertorriqueña de Psicología, 11, 99-147. (Abstract)

carlos-nancy

Carlos S. Alvarado and Nancy L. Zingrone

Beloff, J. (1982). Psychical research and psychology. In I. Grattan-Guinness (Ed.), Psychical Research: A Guide to Its History, Principles and Practice (pp. 303-315). Wellinborough, Northhamptonshire, England: Aquarian Press.

john-beloff-2

John Beloff

Burt, C. (1967). The implications of parapsychology for general psychology. Journal of Parapsychology, 31, 1-18.

cyril-burt

Cyril Burt

Burt, C. (1968). Psychology and Psychical Research. London: Society for Psychical Research.

Burt, C. (1975). ESP and Psychology (compiled by A. Gregory).  New York: Wiley.

Child, I.L. (1982). Parapsychology and psychology. In W.G. Roll, R.L. Morris & R.A. White (Eds.), Research in Parapsychology 1981 (pp. 202-221). Metuchen, NJ: Scarecrow Press.

irvin-l-child

Irvin L. Child

Child, I. (1984). Implications of parapsychology for psychology. In S. Krippner, M.L. Carlson, M. Ullman, & R.O. Becker (Eds.), Advances in Parapsychological Research 4 (pp. 165–182). Jefferson, NC: McFarland.

Schmeidler, G.R. (1988). Parapsychology and Psychology: Matches and Mismatches. Jefferson, NC: McFarland.

gertrude-schmeidler

Gertrude R. Schmeidler

Van Over, R. (Ed.). (1972). Psychology and Extrasensory Perception. New York: New American Library.

On specific issues and areas of psychology see:

Cardeña, E., Lynn, S.J., & Krippner, S. (Eds.) (2014). Varieties of Anomalous Experiences (2nd ed.). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

cardena-varieties-2

Holt, N., Simmonds-Moore, C., Luke, D., & French, C.C. (2012). Anomalistic Psychology. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

anomalistic-psychology-2

Murray, C. D. (Ed.). (2009). Psychological Scientific Perspectives on Out-of-Body and Near-Death Experiences. New York: Nova Science.

murray-psychological-scientific-perspectives-obes

Rhine, J.B. (1968). Psi and psychology: Conflict and solution. Journal of Parapsychology, 32, 101-128.

Roe, C. A. (2009). Anomalistic psychology. In N. Holt, & R. Lewis (Eds.), A2 Psychology 2009 AQA A Specification: The student’s textbook (pp. 426–463). London: Crown House.

chris-roe-2

Chris Roe

Servadio, E. (1974). Psychoanalysis and parapsychology. In A. Angoff & B. Shapin (Eds.),  Parapsychology and the Sciences (pp. 68-76). New York: Parapsychology Foundation.

emilio-servadio-4

Emilio Servadio

Tart, C.T. (2002). Parapsychology and transpersonal psychology: “Anomalies” to be explained away or spirit to manifest? Journal of Parapsychology, 66, 31-47.

charley-tart

Charles T. Tart

Watt, C. (2005). Parapsychology’s contribution to psychology: A view from the front line. Journal of Parapsychology, 69, 215–232.

caroline-watt-2

Caroline Watt

In later installments I will present other sources to find information about theories, history, clinical issues, and other aspects.

*I dedicate this series of blogs to the memory of Gerd H. Hövelmann, whose bibliographies of current publications have inspired many of us.

Reincarnation Course

Carlos S. Alvarado, PhD, Research Fellow, Parapsychology Foundation

I am copying this announcement of a remarkable reincarnation course from the website of the Parapsychology Foundation.

* **** *

Parapsychology Foundation Research Fellow, Dr. James G. Matlock, will be teaching his annual online course Signs of Reincarnation starting January 30th, 2017 and running for 15 weeks.

james-g-matlock

Dr. James G. Matlock

Signs of Reincarnation is an online M.A.-level discussion course that covers all aspects of reincarnation studies, including ideas about reincarnation in different traditions, research methods for studying cases, the results of research with children’s and adult spontaneous cases, regression under hypnosis, and past-life readings of psychics and mediums. It addresses criticisms of the research and different interpretative frameworks that have been put forward for the research findings, through original lectures and readings from the reincarnation research literature.

Matlock’s course is conducted on the widely-used Moodle distant learning platform through The Alvarado Zingrone Institute for Research and Education. Designed to appeal to all those with a serious interest in reincarnation studies, students in previous courses have included people with past-life memories and researchers. Dr. Jeffrey Mishlove, the Dean of Programs in Transformation Psychology at the University of Philosophical Research, had this to say about it: “Having completed Jim Matlock’s course, Signs of Reincarnation, I can say that I am not aware of any other educational resource that offers such a comprehensive overview and analysis of the research data that has been collected over a period of many decades. Not only does Matlock review the most salient cases, he explains why each case lends weight to various interpretations and theories of ostensible reincarnation. Furthermore, in the process of preparing this course, Matlock has developed his own theory of reincarnation and he argues convincingly as to why it offers the most parsimonious explanation of this complex and fascinating body of knowledge. While the course focuses primarily on the published cases within the reincarnation literature, it also draws upon the larger fields of anthropology and cultural history.”

A student of metaphysics who took the course wrote “The course has high personal impact, and has enhanced my understanding immensely of the concept of spiritual growth. I found the class to be both challenging and fun and had a well established base line that shed light on an area of life, in a way that I had not experienced before. Thank you Jim for your communicator skills and ability to format this course in such a manner that my ideas have been changed by the lectures and readings which flowed succinctly toward provoking thought and wonder, of a topic that is so much a part of our daily life.”

The course is set up so that students can access the materials and discussion forums at any time, allowing for participation from all parts of the world. There are no pre-requisites, although it helps to have a college background and to be able to read and write well in English. All lectures and readings are provided in PDF format for download to desktop computer, tablet, or other device. Self-paced over the 15 weeks, students are expected to commit between 6 and 8 hours per week. There are optional written assignments at the conclusion of each week and a certificate of completion is awarded at the end of the course.

Here’s a list of the units for each week:

  1. Introduction to the Study of Reincarnation Signs
  2. The Belief in Reincarnation
  3. Research Styles and Interpretative Frames
  4. Child Studies: Episodic Memories, Statements and Recognitions
  5. Child Studies: Behavioral Signs of Reincarnation
  6. Child Studies: Physical Signs of Reincarnation
  7. Child Studies: The Interval Between Death and Rebirth
  8. Child Studies: Cross-Cultural and Cross-Historical Patterns
  9. Child Studies: The Psychology of Past-Life Memory
  10. From Child to Adult: The Developmental Continuum
  11. Past-Life Memory in Induced States of Consciousness
  12. The Contributions of Shamans, Psychics, and Mediums
  13. Mind/Brain Relations, Survival of Death, and Reincarnation
  14. Postmortem Survival and Reincarnation: Philosophy and Theory
  15. The Process of Reincarnation

The regular registration fee is $300. For students and those who live on fixed incomes, the course costs $150. Research assistantships and other in-kind arrangements may be available. All registrants will receive an ebook copy of I Saw a Light and Came Here: Children’s Experiences of Reincarnation, due to be published on February 1.

For more information go to the courses page on Dr. Matlock’s website by clicking here.

 

All Our Past is Not in English

Carlos S. Alvarado, PhD, Research Fellow, Parapsychology Foundation

The world is a vast place, composed of many cultures and languages. Yet some of us still limit our views to English-language sources of information, a topic I discussed some years back in terms of parapsychology (The Language Barrier in Parapsychology. Journal of Parapsychology, 1989, 53, 125‑139; abstract). In that article I outlined some implications for ignoring material published in other languages.

Here I would like to make an obvious point about the history of the field, a topic with a considerable bibliography (click here, here, here, and here).  If we focus only on English-language publications we will have an incomplete view of the historical development of parapsychology. Unfortunately this is precisely what we find in many accounts of the development of the field published in English, particularly those written by parapsychologists. Most of these accounts are based on English-language sources.

Further examples are the history sections of almost all general books about parapsychology published in English in the last decade. I recently read an article that should be published soon about the development of experimental parapsychology that, with a single exception, was based solely on work published by English-language workers. But what about developments coming from places such as France, Italy and Germany? For example, there should be mention of work by such individuals as René Warcollier. If an author is going to limit his or her work in this way they should at least state so, that is, they should present their work as an overview of English-language publications, and not as a more general work.

Rene Warcollier

René Warcollier

The same problem is present in reviews of the work conducted with mediums such as Eusapia Palladino. Very few writers covering this medium in English-language publications mention, and even less, discuss, the work published by Jules Courtier and Enrico Morselli (click here and here), in French and Italian, respectively. Those who write about this topic have the right to select their materials, but it is unfortunate that no qualifications are presented.

Enrico Morselli 4

Enrico Morselli

These works tend to emphasize developments in the English-language world—such as the work of the Society for Psychical Research and of J.B. Rhine and associates—to the neglect of developments in other countries. No one would deny the importance of this work. What I decry here is that reliance on these sources produces an incomplete view of the development of the discipline. But what is worse is that some seem to have accepted these incomplete views as the whole canon, and feel no need even to qualify the obvious incompleteness of their writings.

PSPR Vol. 1

An example of such distortion is that it is sometimes assumed that what was very important in a country was equally important all around. It may be questioned, to give two examples, that the important work of Frederic W.H. Myers and of J.B. Rhine had the same impact in places other than the UK and the US.

Myers Human Personality 2

 

Although there are a few translations available of the work of important figures of the past, they represent but a small percentage of their production. This is the case of the work of individuals such as Ernesto Bozzano, Théodore Flournoy, Charles Richet, and Albert von Schrenck-Notzing. A recent review of the work of Flournoy shows that a general perspective of his work can only be obtained consulting his writings in French.

Theodore Flournoy 3

Théodore Flournoy

It is interesting to see that students of physical mediumship writing in English tend to ignore  Albert von Schrenck-Notzing’s German writings, such as Physikalische Phaenomene des Mediumismus (Munich: Ernst Reinhardt, 1920; see also the French translation).

Schrenck-Notzing

Albert von Schrenck-Notzing

Fortunately in recent years there has been an increase in the number of publications in English about developments in France, Germany, and other countries. Most of these works have been produced by historians, not by workers in parapsychology, and includes studies such as LaChapelle’s Investigating the Supernatural: From Spiritism and Occultism to Psychical Research and Metapsychics in France, 18531931 (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2011) and Wolffram’s The Stepchildren of Science: Psychical Research and Parapsychology in Germany, c. 1870-1939 (Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2009). But the fact remains that many parapsychologists and other students of psychic phenomena are willfully ignorant of the past of their discipline in places other than the United Kingdom and the Unites States.

Lachapelle Investigating the Supernatural

Wolffram Stepchildren of Science

The solution, of course is not simple. In addition to the study of other languages, we could encourage the translation of works. I did this for the theoretical section of a paper by French researcher Albert de Rochas. But there are other things that will help.

One of them is the consultation of multi-lingual bibliographies. Two examples are those compiled by George Zorab (Bibliography of Parapsychology. New York: Parapsychology Foundation, 1957) and Adam Crabtree (Animal Magnetism, Early Hypnotism, and Psychical Research, 1766-1925: An Annotated Bibliography. White Plains, NY: Kraus International, 1988). Unfortunately, there are not many of these works available today.

Zorab Bibliography

Crabtree Animal Magnetism

We could also encourage publications of relevant material. In my capacity of Associate Editor in the Journal of Scientific Exploration I have invited the publication of various articles (which are refereed) covering the work of specific researchers from European countries (such as L. Gasperini,  Ernesto Bozzano: An Italian spiritualist and psychical researcherJournal of Scientific Exploration, 2012, 25, 755–773), and reviews of important relevant books from the old days of psychical research.

Over the years I have been trying to do more than complain. I have written several articles about specific topics, mainly summarizing various European publications. This includes aspects of the work of Italian Ernesto Bozzano and the content of the French journal Annales des Sciences Psychiques. Other work I have published includes:

Annales des Sciences Psychiques 1916 (2015). (with N.L. Zingrone). Note on the reception of Théodore Flournoy’s Des Indes à le Planète Mars. Journal of the Society for Psychical Research, 79, 156-164.

(2013). (with R. Evrard). Nineteenth century psychical research in mainstream journals: The Revue Philosophique de la France et de l’Étranger. Journal of Scientific Exploration, 27, 655-689.

Revue Philosophique 1876b

(2009). Modern animal magnetism: The work of Alexandre Baréty, Émile Boirac, and Julian Ochorowicz. Australian Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 37, 1-15.

Barety Magnetisme Animal

(2009). Late nineteenth and early twentieth century discussions of animal magnetism. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 57, 366-381.

(2008). Note on Charles Richet’s “La Suggestion Mentale et le Calcul des Probabilités” (1884). Journal of Scientific Exploration, 22, 543-548.

To improve the situation it is essential that English speakers realize they not only need more knowledge about the history of their field in other countries, but that they also have a responsibility to disseminate a more complete and representative historical view of parapsychology in their writings. One thing that they could do is to consult colleagues known to have such knowledge. In the past I have been helped with German materials by persons such as Eberhard Bauer, Gerd H. Hövelmann, and Andreas Sommer. Massimo Biondi has been invaluable with his knowledge of Italian developments. I am glad to acknowledge their assistance publicly.

Eberhard Bauer

Eberhard Bauer

Massimo Biondi 3

Dr. Massimo Biondi

Another way to improve the situation is to collaborate with such individuals, as I have done on occasion. Examples of this are: Alvarado, C.S., Biondi, M.,  & Kramer, W. Historical notes on psychic phenomena in specialised journals (European Journal of Parapsychology, 2006, 21, 58-87); and Alvarado, C.S., Nahm, M., & Sommer, A.  Notes on early interpretations of mediumship. (Journal of Scientific Exploration, 2012, 26, 855-865).

But for the situation to improve we need to be aware there is a problem, and that we can do something about it. This needs to include an expanded vision of history as more than an Anglo-American perspective. Once this is realized, it will be possible to expand our views, including the idea of different cultures and ways of thinking, something related to the topic discussed here.

Map

Carlos S. Alvarado, PhD, Research Fellow, Parapsychology Foundation

Those of you who have followed this blog may be aware of the parapsychology MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) Nancy L. Zingrone and I organized in 2015 (click here). We are now organizing the ParaMOOC2016. This is the joint effort of our organization The AZIRE  and the Parapsychology Foundation (PF), which is well-known in the field for its long history of supporting parapsychology via conferences, grants, and in other ways (click here for information about the PF).

MOOC Course Banner

The 2016 MOOC is being organized following our previous thinking, that, in addition to the few currently available introductory and popular information offerings about parapsychology on the Web, there is a need to present high level scientific and scholarly discussions of parapsychological topics to inform the general public and interested others. These discussions are presented by individuals with recognized academic credentials (doctoral degrees), and with research experience.

The ParaMooc2016 was approved by the administration of the WizIQ learning platform this morning and Nancy has been uploading the schedule as we know it at the moment, as well as welcoming the dozen students who have already signed up. WizIQ is the social media teaching platform that we and the Parapsychology Foundation are using in our online teaching/online conference activities. The benefit of getting approval is that the course is marketed by WizIQ to it’s 500,000 or so teachers, and 4.5 million students already using the system worldwide. Because of the system’s reach we are hoping to get the word out about the scientific side of the field to as many newcomers as we did in last year’s MOOC.

Registration is definitely open. Just create a free account by using your Facebook log-in or creating a new one that’s just for the WizIQ system, then click this link: http://the-azire.wiziq.com/course/139659-parapsychology-research-and-education-paramooc2016. The MOOC is free and live presentations are scheduled at 2:00pm Eastern time for the majority of the speakers. The presentations will be recorded and available soon after (usually within 24 hours). Later on, as we finish uploading the edited versions of the lectures from last year’s MOOC on our YouTube Channel, Parapsychology Online, we will start editing and loading up the lectures from this year.

While the ParaMOOC2016 schedule may still change, we have received confirmation for the participation of such persons as Drs. Bernard Carr, Arnaud Delorme, William Everist, Renaud Evrard, Erlendur Haraldsson, Janice Holden, David Luke, Antonia Mills, Ginette Nachman, Serena Roney-Dougal, Stefan Schmidt, and Patrizio Tressoldi. A few others may join us soon.

Some of the topics discussed include hyperdimensional and quantum theory ideas related to psychic phenomena, clinical perspectives of psychic experiences, and studies of recollections of previous lives, near-death experiences, mind-body medicine, distant intentions, the psychophysiology of mediumship, meditation and psi, and apparitions.

The complete (so far) information on the course is available on the enrollment link, so feel free to click just to check out the information at this link: http://the-azire.wiziq.com/course/139659-parapsychology-research-and-education-paramooc2016

Carlos S. Alvarado, PhD, Research Fellow, Parapsychology Foundation

It is my pleasure to publicize an excellent course about reincarnation offered by Dr. James G. Matlock, an anthropologist who specializes in reincarnation studies (for a brief biography click here, this site has much information about the scholarly and scientific study of belief and cases related to reincarnation). I have known Jim for over 30 years and can attest to his commitment for rigorous standards and his track record in the field (see his published work here). He is currently a Research Fellow with the Parapsychology Foundation.

Jim Matlock.jpg

Dr. James G. Matlock

This is the third time Jim teaches the course and he hopes to complete a book soon following the lectures and other course materials.

The course, Signs of Reincarnation, has been described by Jim as follows:

“My online Signs of Reincarnation course will begin again on January 4. It runs for 15 weeks and covers all aspect of reincarnation research and theory in an inter-disciplinary way. The course is designed as an advanced undergraduate or Master’s-level graduate seminar and is built around discussion of original lectures and readings from the published literature. All materials are provided in PDF format and can be downloaded and read offline. Discussion questions and posts are delivered in email so there is no need to go to a special forum. There are no set meeting times and participants from all time zones are welcome.”

“See the course description on my web site, for more information. You can read evaluations from previous participants here. The registration fee is $300. Registration opens December 28. Write to jgmatlock@yahoo.com with any questions.”

Dr. Jeffrey Mishlove took the course in one of its previous offerings. In his evaluation, he says:

“Having completed Jim Matlock’s course, Signs of Reincarnation, I can say that I am not aware of any other educational resource that offers such a comprehensive overview and analysis of the research data that has been collected over a period of many decades. Not only does Matlock review the most salient cases, he explains why each case lends weight to various interpretations and theories of ostensible reincarnation. Furthermore, in the process of preparing this course, Matlock has developed his own theory of reincarnation and he argues convincingly as to why it offers the most parsimonious explanation of this complex and fascinating body of knowledge. While the course focuses primarily on the published cases within the reincarnation literature, it also draws upon the larger fields of anthropology and cultural history.”

Jeffrey Mishlove, PhD
Dean of Programs in Transformation Psychology
University of Philosophical Research

Jim is compiling his course lectures into a book, Signs of Reincarnation: Lectures and Readings for an Interdisciplanary Graduate Course.

 

Carlos S. Alvarado, PhD, Research Fellow, Parapsychology Foundation

One frequently hears criticisms of academic publishing, and of the pressures in academia to publish or perish. But while there are good critiques, I believe, along with many colleagues, that academic publishing is essential for parapsychology to move forward and to present a good image of its scientific and scholarly work.

When I mention academic publishing I am referring to refereed publications. This includes most serious journals of various disciplines and some academic and scholarly book publishers who care about the expertise of their authors and editors.

While there is a literature of this sort in our field (for examples click here, here, and here), we have, unfortunately, a high quantity of research that remains unpublished in our scientific and scholarly literature. It is not helpful to say that many things go unpublished as well in other fields because parapsychology has so few workers and for us, the importance of publishing cannot be properly compared to other more established disciplines.

It’s not that nothing is being published. But I sometimes hear about experiments on remote viewing and macro-PK, or field studies (e.g., poltergeists) that are talked about repeatedly but never seem to get published. Similarly for years I have heard mention of research supposedly conducted by the associated members of a research center, but none of that research ever seems to be completed, much less published. This type of situation gets even more complicated when unpublished research is tied up with monetary and public relations interests and is used to bolster or support the reputation of the place. While such practices may help the research center involved, for the field as whole, it looks as if even more research is out there that has never been written up.

It is true that the percentage of unpublished to properly published research is an old problem for our field. It has never been difficult to find papers in past proceedings and among the current abstracts of papers presented in the annual conventions of the Parapsychological Association that have not been published, even years after they have been presented. Unfortunately many of these papers are used in meta-analyses. Recently I examined one of these meta-analyses and found that 30% of the papers used in the analysis were unpublished PA papers. These papers, one must keep in mind, are generally shorter that journal papers, and may lack information that would be included in journal publications. In addition to which, any future researcher will have a hard time getting copies of these papers precisely because they are unpublished.

These days though, we have the added problem of the proliferation of informal publishing outlets. Many field investigators study poltergeist and haunting cases that never get published, or that get summarized on websites or in popular books that generally lack the details necessary to evaluate the quality of the case, much less consider the depiction of it a scientific publication. And then there is the problem that few of the case reports posted to websites or included in popular books have had the benefit of expert peer review. Even worse, we live in a time when popular publications regularly get confused by the general public with serious academic reports. This does not raise the image of our field among mainstream scientists, and does much to confuse students and new researchers in our field who are searching for our best evidence.

If you believe as I do that science needs to correct its own mistakes and that replication is key to progress, then the importance of academic, scholarly and scientific publication becomes obvious.

Leaving laziness, apathy and anti-intellectualism aside, there are sometimes very good reasons for the lack of publication. Many people do not have stable professional positions and have left the field after their work was done but before they were able to publish it. In one case a good proportion of the work had to be kept secret for years because of constraints laid upon it by government funders. But then there are other cases I know in which people seem to have had the possibility of preparing their materials for peer-reviewed publication but have not done so. Encouragement for and appreciation of taking that final step in the scientific process can help those people find the motivation to get their work into peer-reviewed print.

My point here is not to condemn people, but to point out that this situation is particularly onerous for our field. Not only is parapsychology’s image as a science diminished when we have to rely on popular books, and unpublished writings as the source of the field’s findings, but such a situation is particularly problematic in a field like ours where so few of us are actually able to conduct research.

Parapsychology needs to rise to the challenge: whenever possible research results need to be published in peer-reviewed journals, whether parapsychology-specific journals or in the journals of other disciplines. And the primary research institutions of the field, whether private or public, need to encourage scientific reporting in academic or scholarly books or in peer-reviewed journals among their staff and associates, as well as encourage reading the peer-reviewed literature even if it requires more preparation and more effort than the popular materials. Science and scholarship progresses on the presence of visible, accessible, well-designed, well-done, well-reported, properly vetted and published materials. The same is true for our field. Granted this is an old goal for our field, but it is one that we need to achieve.

Carlos S. Alvarado, PhD, Research Fellow, Parapsychology Foundation

Nancy L. Zingrone and I are presenting an online four week course about research and other aspects of out-of-body experiences (OBEs). The course, part of the educational events of the AZIRE (The Alvarado Zingrone Institute for Research and Education), starts on March 9, 2015 and ends on April 5.

Mind Without a Body: Exploring Out-of-Body Experiences will offered via the WizIQ teaching platform. This is an overview course that provides an introduction to the study of OBEs. The emphasis is on the scientific study of OBEs and not on other important issues such as techniques to induce the OBE or the spiritual implications of the experience. The general topics discussed will be: Definitions, historical perspective, and approaches; research findings (OBE features and measurements related to psychology, psychophysiology and other areas, discussed over two weeks); and parapsychological aspects and explanations.

This online course consists of four live lectures and other meetings in the Virtual Classroom on WizIQ as well as active discussion on the Course Feed. PDF reprints and links to articles and videos will be provided with the understanding that we are sharing materials with learners and not selling them.

A Certificate of Completion will be issued by The AZIRE. Certificates may be earned by successfully completing the course Quizzes or Assignments, by putting together a presentation for the class, or by some other method the learners and facilitators agree upon. Creativity is welcomed.

The course fee is $40 per learner and may be paid through Paypal by clicking below.

Buy Now Button with Credit Cards

Within 24 hours of paying you will receive an invitation to enroll in the course. If you do not receive your invitation within a day, please contact Nancy L. Zingrone (nancy@theazire.org) or Carlos S. Alvarado (carlos@theazire.org)

Live Parapsychology MOOC is Over

Carlos S. Alvarado, PhD, Research Fellow, Parapsychology Foundation

The live part of the Parapsychology MOOC I mentioned before (click here) ended on February 14. This consisted of over 25 presentations by different lecturers, something that had not been done before at this scale. The MOOC went from January 5 to February 14, and was organized mainly by Dr. Nancy L. Zingrone, with some assistance by myself.

Dr. Nancy L. Zingrone

Dr. Nancy L. Zingrone

It was a success. Not only did we have many registrants (almost 850, with people still registering everyday), but we obtained the cooperation of many individuals engaged in parapsychological research. A few of the over 25 presentations were:

Clinical and Counseling Aspects of Psychic Phenomena, Dr. Alejandro Parra

The Multiphasic Model of Precognition, Dr. Edwin C. May

Dr. Ed C. May

Dr. Ed C. May

The Role of Creativity in Psi Research, Dr. Kathy Dalton

Presentiment: An Anomalous Anticipation of Random Future Events, Dr. Thomas Rabeyron

Dr. Thomas Rabeyron

Dr. Thomas Rabeyron

Supernormal: Science, Yoga and Psi, Dr. Dean Radin

Will an Evolutionary Perspective Help Us Understand How Extrasensory Perception Works?, Dr. Richard S. Broughton

Dr. Richard Broughton

Dr. Richard Broughton

Implications of Mediumship for the Mind-Brain Relationship, Dr. Alexander Moreira-Almeida

Beyond the Brain? Exploring the Neuropsychological Correlates of ESP, Bryan Williams

Bryan Williams

Bryan Williams

Authors of the Impossible: What the Humanities Can Offer Parapsychology, Dr. Jeffrey Kripal

Psi-Related Experiences in Daily Life and Their Relationship to Beliefs, Attitudes and Subjective Well-Being: A Brazilian Survey, Dr. Fátima Regina Machado

Dr. Fatima Regina Machado

Dr. Fatima Regina Machado

The Challenge of Macro-PK, Dr. Stephen E. Braude

Anomalous Experience and Psychopathology, Dr. Etzel Cardeña

Dr. Etzel Cardeña

Dr. Etzel Cardeña

Different from most materials and courses about parapsychology available in the Web, our lectures were intended to represent high level discussions of the topic. To guarantee this we selected most of our lecturers following two criteria: they must have conducted research on the area they spoke about, and have completed their educations to the level of doctoral degrees. Only two of our speakers, both exceptional people, had less formal education than that.

While many lectures were quite technical they were all well received, showing that at least part the general public is eager and interested in obtaining high quality and technical information about parapsychology. In fact one of the most common compliments we got during the course was the happy surprise at the number of working scientists and university professors doing research on the phenomena in the field.

However, there was also less technical material. In addition to a general introduction to parapsychology that I presented, including a little about terminology, phenomena, history, and methodology, we had several posters consisting of slides about several topics. With one exception they were about non-technical topics, and one of them presented a general bibliography of books and articles. The titles are listed below:

Parapsychology: A Selected Bibliography in English

Animal Magnetism and Psychic Phenomena: The Neo-Mesmeric Movement, by Dr. Carlos S. Alvarado

Dr. Carlos S. Alvarado

Dr. Carlos S. Alvarado

Robert Van de Castle: Dream Researcher and Parapsychologist, by Dr. Carlos S. Alvarado

Pulse Rates as a Physiological Index of ESP: The Nineteenth-Century Explorations of John E. Purdon, by Dr. Carlos S. Alvarado

Charles Honorton and Parapsychology, by Dr. Nancy L. Zingrone

Dr. Nancy L. Zingrone

Dr. Nancy L. Zingrone

The Parapsychology Foundation: Yesterday and Today, by Lisette Coly

The Mediumship of Leonora E. Piper, by Dr. Phil Morse

Current Trends in Parapsychology in Italy, by Dr. Massimo Biondi

Dr. Massimo Biondi

Dr. Massimo Biondi

Psi and Death of the Person-Target: An Experiment with Highly Emotional Iconic Representations, by Dr. Alejandro Parra and Dr. Juan Carlos Argibay

Exceptional Human Experiences (ExE) as a Counseling and Research Topic, by Eberhard Bauer and Dr. Wolfgang Fach

Evidence-Based Dualism and Transpersonal Psychology, by Charles T. Tart

Dr. Charles T. Tart

Dr. Charles T. Tart

Understanding Ghost Hunting, by Dr. Leo Ruickbie

The Academic Consolidation of Anomalistic Psychology in Brazil, by Vanessa Corredato and Dr. Wellington Zangari

In addition to the variety of topics discussed, I also enjoyed the international aspect of the course. This not only was the case with those who registered, but also from the lecturers. Our presenters who gave their presentations live via the social media teaching platform on WizIQ.com were from Argentina, Brazil, Canada, France, India, Sweden, the UK, and the United States. In the posters there were two additional countries, Italy and Germany.

We hope to continue to organize similar courses in the near future, as well as shorter ones about specific topics. One we are putting together now is about out-of-body experiences. The same goes for online conferences about specific topics, such as the one about parapsychology and psychology.

When we undertook the project we weren’t sure how we were going to manage as neither of us have full-time jobs, but donations from colleagues and contributors, Natasha and Jonathan Chisdes of www.chizfilm.net and Dr. Phil Morse of www.compellingevidencefortheafterlife.com helped immensely. Even more so was the contribution of our partner in the course, Lisette Coly, President of the Parapsychology Foundation. She attended almost every live class, and is issuing the certificates of completion for the learners who earned them, and who let us put the course before projects she was paying us to do for the Foundation.

We were also helped in the day-to-day tasks of the course by Natasha Chisdes, and Nancy’s colleagues from her teaching online network, Tom Hodgers, Nives Torresi, and Halina Ostancowiz-Bazan, two of our speakers, Cherylee Black and Bryan Williams, and many learners who stepped up to the plate with links, articles, ideas, and general helpfulness, not to mention their grass roots marketing among friends and colleagues.

Perhaps the most important group of volunteers for the course though were our lecturers. Our thanks to all the lecturers for their cooperation. With the exception of one person who refused the invitation because we could not pay for participation given that the course was and still is free, everyone else was delighted to make a contribution to field on a voluntary basis. This shows the commitment and generosity of most people in parapsychology. Far from being stuffy scientists and scholars they are well aware of the importance of spreading knowledge about the field. Without the speakers the course would not have been possible.

All the presentations will be available for free for the next year. Just go to http://www.wiziq.com, create a free account, click on the link below, look to the left and click on course schedule, then browse for the lectures you want to see.

Parapsychology MOOC: An Update

Carlos S. Alvarado, PhD, and Nancy L. Zingrone, PhD, Research Fellows, Parapsychology Foundation

In a recent blog one of us wrote about the free Parapsychology MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) we are organizing to take place in January and February of 2015 (click here ). This course consists of many lectures by guest speakers who have graciously donated their time and effort for this pioneering education effort in parapsychology.

We have 35 events including the Opening and Closing Ceremonies, four WizIQ discussion sessions, the first Second Life Discussion session that starts out on WizIQ, two sessions on completing a certificate for the course (one early to introduce the idea, one late in the course to make sure the folks who want to obtain one know what to do), Carlos’ Intro overview, Nancy’s Geographical overview of research locations, and 26 guest lectures. There are more or two still to add (guest lectures) and a few other presenters who are still working on titles.

So there will be many real-time lectures, a discussion forum, or a class meeting, six days a week from Monday, January 5th, 2015 through Saturday, February 14th. No class activities will take place on Sundays during the course. (Because we’ll need at least one day a week off.)

As of today we have 443 learners. In addition there are 11 lecturers who have also signed up, so that’s 454 in total.

Of the attendees who listed their countries we have: 186 from the USA, 82 from India, 38 from the UK, 29 from Canada, 13 from France, 12 from Australia, 11 from Brazil, seven from Greece, six from the Netherlands, five each from Germany and Italy, four each from Argentina and Puerto Rico, three each from Mexico, South Africa and Sweden, and two each from Belgium, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, and Spain.

Then we have the following countries with one registrant each: Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, Hong Kong, Ireland, Malta, Poland, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, Venezuela, Viet Nam and Zambia.

For the folks who also uploaded their city, the top 14 cities are Delhi/New Dehli with 12 registrants, eight each from Bangalore, London and Mumbai, six from San Francisco, four each from Chicago, Maharashtra, and Sao Paulo, and three each from Ann Arbor, Buenos Aires, Chennai, Newark, Orlando, and San Juan.

Among the cities with two registrants each are Amsterdam, Atlantic, Dallas, Glasgow, Las Vegas, Leeds, Lisbon, Los Angeles, Mexico City, Nantes, Ottawa, Rome, and Sydney (and a few more). After that we have a wide variety of cities represented with one registrant each, among them, Al Manamah, Albuquerque, Antwerpen, Athens, Berlin, Boston, Brasilia, Bucharest, Cambridge, Canberra, Capetown, Detroit, Edinburgh, Exeter, Florianopolis, Groningen, Ha Noi, Hamburg, Helsinki, Honolulu, Johannesburg, Kiev, Long Beach, Lucknow, Lund, Lyon, Melbourne, Moscow, Nicosia, Northampton, Rio de Janeiro, San Antonio, Seoul, Stockholm, Tuscaloosa, Winnipeg, Wroclaw and Zurich.

Here is the last schedule, which may change slightly:

  1. Monday, January 5th, 2015, 2pm Eastern, Opening Ceremonies, Drs. Carlos S. Alvarado & Nancy L. Zingrone (The AZIRE & Parapsychology Foundation, USA)
  2. Tuesday, January 6th, 2015, 2pm Eastern, Overview: Introduction to the Scientific Study of Psychic Phenomena, Dr. Carlos S. Alvarado & Dr. Nancy L. Zingrone (The AZIRE & Parapsychology Foundaton, USA)
  3. Wednesday, January 7th, 2015, 2pm Eastern, Clinical and Counseling Aspects of Psychic Phenomena, Dr. Alejandro Parra (Interamerican Open University & the Institute for Paranormal Psychology, Argentina)
  4. Thursday, January 8th, 2015, 2pm Eastern, Paranormal Healing Studies: Research, Practice, and Life Lessons, Dr. Daniel Benor (Wholistic Healing Research, Canada)
  5. Friday, January 9th, 2015, 2pm Eastern, Completing a Certificate for Parapsychology and Anomalisitic Psychology, Dr. Nancy L. Zingrone (The AZIRE & Parapsychology Foundation, USA)
  6. Saturday, January 10th, 2015, 2pm Eastern, The Multiphasic Model of Precognition, Dr. Edwin C. May (Laboratories for Fundamental Research, USA)
  7. Monday, January 12th, 2015, 2pm Eastern, Dissociation, Identity and Belief: Results from a Multi-Methods Study with Mediums, Atheists, and Others in Brazil, Dr. Everton de Oliviera Maraldi (University of Guarulhos, Brazil)
  8. Tuesday, January 13th, 2015, 2pm Eastern, Modern Parapsychology: A Geographic View, Dr. Nancy L. Zingrone (The AZIRE & Parapsychology Foundation, USA)
  9. Thursday, January 15th, 2pm Eastern, The Role of Creativity in Psi Research. Dr. Kathy Dalton (Parapsychology Foundation, USA)
  10. Friday, January 16th, 2pm Eastern, Second Life Discussion Forum (Starts in WizIQ, ends in Second Life), Dr. Nancy L. Zingrone (The AZIRE & Parapsychology Foundation, USA)
  11. Saturday, January 17th, 2pm Eastern, WizIQ Discussion Forum, Drs. Carlos S. Alvarado & Nancy L. Zingrone (The AZIRE & Parapsychology Foundation, USA)
  12. Monday, January 19th, 2015, 2pm Eastern, Perceptions of a Paranormal Subject, Joe McMoneagle, USA)
  13. Tuesday, January 20th, 2015, 2pm Eastern, Dr. Roger Nelson (Global Consciousness Project, USA), title to come
  14. Wednesday, January 21st, 2015, 11:30am Eastern, Yoga, Siddhis and Psi: Experimental Considerations and Implications, Dr. Sonali Marwaha (Laboratories for Fundamental Research, USA, and India)
  15. Thursday, January 22nd, 2015, 2pm Eastern, WizIQ Discussion Forum (and later in the Second Life Discussion Forum), Drs. Carlos S. Alvarado & Nancy L. Zingrone (The AZIRE & Parapsychology Foundation, USA)
  16. January 23rd, 2015, 2pm Eastern, Presentiment: An Anomalous Anticipation of Random Future Events, Dr. Thomas Rabeyron (University of Nantes, France)
  17. Saturday, January 24th, 2015, 2pm Eastern, Supernormal: Science, Yoga and Psi, Dr. Dean Radin (Institute for Noetic Sciences, USA)
  18. Monday, January 26th, 2015, 2pm Eastern, Applied Precognition Research can Bridge the Gap between Skeptics and Proponents, Dr. Michael Franklin (Theoretical and Applied Neuro-Causality Laboratories, USA)
  19. Wednesday, January 28th, 2015, Noon Eastern, Will an Evolutionary Perspective Help Us Understand How Extrasensory Perception Works?, Dr. Richard S. Broughton (Intuition Laboratories & University of Northampton, England)
  20. Thursday, January 29th, 2015, 2pm Eastern, Qualitative Study of Mediumship, Dr. Chris Roe (University of Northampton, England)
  21. Friday, January 20th, 2015, 2pm Eastern, WizIQ Discussion and Second Life Discussion Forums, Drs. Carlos S. Alvarado & Nancy L. Zingrone (The AZIRE & Parapsychology Foundation, USA)
  22. Saturday, January 31st, 2015, 2pm Eastern, We are All Experiencers, Cherylee Black (Canada)
  23. Monday, February 2nd, 2015, Noon Eastern, Implications of Mediumship for the Mind-Brain Relationship, Dr. Alexander Moreira-Almeida (Federal University of Juiz de Fora, Brazil)
  24. Tueday, Feburary 3rd, 2015, Noon Eastern, Beyond the Brain? Exploring the Neuropsychological Correlates of ESP, Bryan Williams (Psychical Research Foundation, USA)
  25. Wednesday, February 4th, 2015, 2pm Eastern, Completing the Course Certificate Revisted, Dr. Nancy L. Zingrone (The AZIRE & Parapsychology Foundation, USA)
  26. Thursday, February 5th, 2015, 2pm Eastern, The Potential of Interdisciplinarity: Working between Disciplines to Better Understand Anomalistic Phenomena and Experience, Christopher Laursen (University of British Columbia, Canada)
  27. Friday, February 6th, 2015, 2pm Eastern, What the Study of Religion has to Offer Parapsychology, Dr. Jeffrey Kripal (Rice University, USA)
  28. Saturday, February 7th, 2015, 2pm Eastern, Remote Viewing: Antecedents, Conditions, People, Protocols, Applications, Dr. Paul H. Smith
  29. Monday, February 9th, 2015, 2pm Eastern, Dr. Peter Bancel (France), title to come
  30. Tuesday, February 10th, 2015, 2pm Eastern, Psi-Related Experiences in Daily Life and Their Relationship to Beliefs, Attitudes and Subjective Well-Being: A Brazilian Survey, Dr. Fátima Regina Machado (InterPsi, University of São Paulo, Brazil)
  31. Wednesday, February 11th, 2015, 2pm Eastern, Dr. Fabio da Silva (University of São Paulo, Brazil), title to come
  32. Thursday, February 12th, 2015, 2pm Eastern, The Challenge of Macro-PK, Dr. Stephen E. Braude (University of Maryland-Baltimore County, USA)
  33. Friday, February 13th, 2015, 2pm Eastern, Hypnosis and Psi, Dr. Etzel Cardeña (Lund University, Sweden)
  34. Saturday, February 14th, 2015, 2pm Eastern, Closing Ceremonies, Drs. Carlos S. Alvarado & Nancy L. Zingrone (The AZIRE & Parapsychology Foundation, USA)

There are also various poster sessions, that is, the stand-alone PowerPoints that will be uploaded to the WizIQ course room over the next few days. These PowerPoints can be viewed at any time by clicking on the title in the Course Schedule when you are registered for the course. The following are the posters scheduled so far, but we hope to have a few more:

  1. Parapsychology: A Selected Bibliography in English
  2. Animal Magnetism and Psychic Phenomena: The Neo-Mesmeric Movement (prepared by Dr. Carlos S. Alvarado)
  3. Robert Van de Castle: Dream Researcher and Parapsychologist (prepared by Dr. Carlos S. Alvarado)
  4. Pulse Rates as a Physiological Index of ESP: The Nineteenth-Century Explorations of John E. Purdon (prepared by Dr. Carlos S. Alvarado)
  5. Charles Honorton and Parapsychology (prepared by Dr. Nancy L. Zingrone)
  6. The Parapsychology Foundation: Yesterday and Today (prepared by Lisette Coly)
  7. The Mediumship of Leonora E. Piper (prepared by Dr. Phil Morse)
  8. Current Trends in Parapsychology in Italy (prepared by Dr. Massimo Biondi)
  9. Psi and Death of the Person-Target: An Experiment with Highly Emotional Iconic Representations (prepared by Dr. Alejandro Parra and Dr. Juan Carlos Argibay)
  10. Exceptional Human Experiences (ExE) as a Counseling and Research Topic (prepared by Eberhard Bauer and Dr. Wolfgang Fach)
  11. Understanding Ghost Hunting (prepared by Dr. Leo Ruickbie)
  12. The Academic Consolidation of Anomalistic Psychology in Brazil (prepared by Vanessa Corredato and Dr. Wellington Zangari)

There is still time to register (for free), so we hope to have more persons attending the lectures. To register go here and click on “enroll.” Remember that if you cannot attend in “real time” you can always see the recordings later. Recordings will be available for many months.

Carlos S. Alvarado, PhD, Research Fellow, Parapsychology Foundation

Dr. Nancy L. Zingrone

Dr. Nancy L. Zingrone

Nancy Zingrone  and I are organizing a free online course, Parapsychology and Anomalistic Psychology: Research and Education, on the social media teaching platform, www.WizIQ.com, to start Monday January 5th, 2015 and complete Friday February 14th, 2015. The course will be marketed by the WizIQ course group to its 3.5 million teachers and students from all over the world, as well as marketed by us to our various networks and contact lists.

WizIQ

Dr. Stanley Krippner

Dr. Stanley Krippner

This course is being hosted by our virtual/teaching learning project , the Alvarado Zingrone Institute for Research and Education (The AZIRE) and the Parapsychology Foundation and its President, Lisette Coly.  The AZIRE’s Board of Advisors are:  Dr. Dean Radin (Institute of Noetic Sciences), Dr. Stanley Krippner (Saybrook University), Dr. Charles T. Tart (University of California-Davis, Emeritus, and Sofia University), Dr. Christine Simmonds-Moore (University of West Georgia), Dr. Chris Roe (University of Northampton), Eberhard Bauer (Institüt de Grenzgebiete der Psychologie und Psychohygiene), and Dr. Erlendur Haraldsson (University of Iceland, Emeritus).

Dr. Erlendur Haraldsson

Dr. Erlendur Haraldsson

We are styling the course as a MOOC, (on MOOCs click here  and here) that is, a massively open online course—with open enrollment—so that we can reach the widest audience possible with high quality presentations suitable for post-graduate students, young researchers and academics in our field. We are hoping not only to serve our global community of scientists, academics, clinical professionals, and students at the bachelors and post-graduate stages, but also to pull in individuals we have not yet met who have a serious interest in parapsychology.

Massive

Open

Online

Course

 If the MOOC is successful, we hope to run it once a year in January/February with a shifting set of speakers. While the WizIQ platform cannot accommodate more than about 5,000 learners—and in all honesty we will count ourselves as successful if we obtain 1/10th of that amount on a yearly basis—we believe that the global reach of our course may help to set our science on a more stable footing, at least in terms of the visibility of the real work going on in the field.

For the first MOOC, we are focusing on five areas: 1) experimental and non-experimental research with a mix of, we hope, review presentations and some specific to a single research program, phenomena, or approach; 2) theories; 3) interactions with other fields, 4) university education; and 5) an ”other” area in which we might include, say, a lecture by a knowledgeable, self-reflective experiencer.

We have set up a schedule of 22 guest speakers for the course, with potential dates of presentation ranging from Tuesday the 6th of January through Thursday the 12th of February. Nancy and I will conduct both the opening and closing ceremonies on Monday, January 5th and Friday, February 13th, respectively. Nancy will also conduct occasional “housekeeping” online meetings for those among the attendees who are interested in obtaining a certificate of completion for the course from The AZIRE, our virtual teaching/learning project.

The Parapsychology Foundation will issue the certificates to all attendees to complete the requirements. To do this attendees may choose between the following: writing and submitting a reflection on 10 of the total number of online meetings, with approved reflections uploaded to the course materials;  completing an informational or expressive project in the virtual world Second Life that will be displayed in The AZIRE Learning Center (we will offer attendees training for accomplishing work in a virtual world), of which a video will be uploaded in the course materials; completing successfully four of the six weekly quizzes that Nancy will write; or by filming a presentation to share with other attendees and speakers in the course materials, or on some other freely accessible online site.

Dr. Chris Roe

Dr. Chris Roe

A few of the confirmed speakers are: Dr. Antonia Mills, Dr. Alexander Moreira-Almeida, Dr. Alejandro Parra, Dr. Dean Radin, and Dr. Chris Roe.

Dr. Dean Radin

Dr. Dean Radin

If you’re interested in seeing the virtual classroom in action, you can check out the following lecture on our YouTube Channel.

For more information go here and here.

We hope you will be able to join us in this new course.