Anomalous Phenomena: Tools for Assessment and Investigation   [Archived Catalog]
2021-2022 Academic Catalog and Student Handbook

APH 5801 - Anomalous Phenomena: Tools for Assessment and Investigation

People in the behavioral sciences frequently encounter reports by people experiencing paranormal and transpersonal events. It is very difficult to establish the reliability of these reports. Studying this problem helps us learn how to establish the reliability of people's reports of everyday stressful, unanticipated events. It is also very difficult to assess the reliability and credibility of studies in this area without special training in common techniques for conducting such investigations. Without an understanding of the "state of the field", it is impossible to put individual reports of anomalous phenomena into context.

Topics to be covered include (1) psychophysiology of the eleven established senses (2) senses picking up inputs different from the usual (e.g. eyes responding to vibrations), (3) strategies experimenters can adopt to investigate paranormal experiences, (4) evidence supporting telepathic, clairvoyant, precognitive, and visitation experiences among human and non-human mammals, (5) studies of mystical experiences, (6) neurophysiology of consciousness and healing at a distance, (7) methods for hardening interviews of people reporting anomalous and spiritual experiences (e.g. seeing flying saucers, sea serpents, angels, dead relatives, etc.) and (8) methods for objectively assessing spiritual and anomalous experiences.

Numerous Saybrook faculty and advisors considerable with expertise in the investigation of anomalous phenomena will present on these topics with emphasis on ways to asses reports concerning them, current state of the scientific literature, and methods for investigating them. 3 credit(s)
Offered: Summer Semester. No RC requirement.