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James Randi Educational Foundation

An Encyclopedia of Claims, Frauds, and Hoaxes of the Occult and Supernatural

Introduction | "R" Reading | Curse of the Pharaoh | End-of-the-World Prophecies

Index | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | Y | Z

psi The twenty-third letter of the Greek alphabet (pronounced sy in America, but often p-sy in Europe) suggested by psychologists R. H. Thouless and W. P. Weisner in 1944 to denote paranormal events, abilities, and studies. Defined by the Parapsychological Association as  


      the apparent ability of human beings and other species to acquire information about their environment and to affect it physically without the use of currently understood mechanisms.

      One parapsychologist who expresses disenchantment with psi is Dr. Susan Blackmore. Perhaps her opinion is best expressed in her own words:  

      My ten years of research have left me an open-minded skeptic rather than a disbeliever, but I have come to one conclusion: The notion of psi is remarkably unhelpful. If we want to understand the higher potentials of human experience, we need a better notion.



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