Psychics and Pseudoscience

With concerns about reproducibility of results and exposure of instances of fraud–not to mention conflicting research results about what you should eat and how often you should be tested, it is easy to become cynical about the value of scientific research methods (see earlier blogs). But a wide gulf separates investigations of the social world using systematic methods and publication of results from what occurs when social science principles are not considered.

An extreme contrast occurs with fortunetellers–“psychics–whose business is to convince patrons that they know things or can predict events on the basis of some mysterious powers. One storefront psychic in Times Square was charged in court with bilking a man out of $713.975 for promising to reunite him with a dead woman who he had loved. Another was paid $14,500 by a vulnerable woman for a rock the psychic claimed was from a meteorite.

You can read more about psychic pseudoscience in court at:
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/29/nyregion/the-secret-to-the-psychic-trade-its-in-the-parole-board-transcripts.html

Why do you think many people believe in paranormal phenomena?

How would suggest testing the assumptions behind paranormal beliefs?

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This entry was posted in Chapter 1, Chapter 12, Chapter 2, Chapter 3, Chapter 4, Chapter 6, Chapter 7 and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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