“Paranormal Activity”, the movie, was a great box office hit – all of them. This shows us two things. Either people really love a good horror or that they actually believe in parapsychology. If someone were to ask me which category I fall into, I would say the first. Why? Because, I believe that there is no such thing as ghosts and supernatural beings. But, I could be wrong, although I seriously doubt it!
Parapsychology has been quite a controversial issue from the very first. Many psychoanalysts have confirmed the presence of certain beings and various paranormal phenomena, such as, precognition, psychokinesis and telepathy. I frankly don’t believe all this drivel. But, I have been outvoted many times. It is sometimes hard to believe that it doesn’t exist too. For example, I have heard so many people who speak about others who have had out of body experiences, seen weird beings, dead grandmothers revisited etc. There are also people who believe in another’s ability to see the future and heal miraculously. The need to believe in these paranormal claims is an inherent human condition.
I take these claims at face value. Parapsychologists have investigated various phenomena for more than 140 years. However, they have failed to convince most of the scientific community about its validity. I am sure when the first parapsychologists began their research, they would have believed that with the right tools at their disposal the theory or non-theory of parapsychology may be tested and proved beyond a shadow of a doubt. However, 140 years hence, and parapsychologists are still trying to prove to the world that paranormal activities are real. So, this brings me back to my question of “Is parapsychology real?”
This is a question that has plagued many people. So, in order to prove this hypothesis, many parapsychologists got together, and over the years, conducted thousands of experiments which would bring about credibility to this controversial theory. For example, stated in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, experiments were conducted where thousands of participants were involved. In eight of nine experiments, it was reported that the findings were authentic and, in fact real. However, although many parapsychologists tried to replicate these experiments, the results were always a failure.
There have been so many experiments and massive data collected over the years. All these experiments and data prove that parapsychology is real. But, there are so many skeptics out there, myself included, who really do not wish to believe in such nonsense. If parapsychology is in fact real, how is it that people are still trying to prove it?
But, there is another side to this story. If parapsychology is not real, how is it that so many people believe in them? This too can be explained, and is done so by many “normal” psychologists. For example, if a person experienced direct paranormal phenomena, the psychologists suggest that this is a figment of the imagination and is an effect of hallucination or false memories etc. This, in fact, has been proven over and over by anomalistic psychologists unlike the inability to replicate phenomena theories by parapsychologists.
So, I still stand by my belief that parapsychology is not real. It is a figment of a person’s over-active imagination and, all the hype about it is only meant to entertain and cause various problems.