Anomalistic Psychology

Anna Andryeyeva
Mind Map by Anna Andryeyeva, updated more than 1 year ago
Anna Andryeyeva
Created by Anna Andryeyeva over 6 years ago
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Description

Mindmap of Anomalistic psychology chapter from AQA Unit 3.

Resource summary

Anomalistic Psychology
  1. THE STUDY OF ANOMALOUS EXPERIENCE
    1. PSEUDOSCIENCE AND PARAPSYCHOLOGY
      1. Pseudoscience - masquerading as science (the features)

        Annotations:

        • *Lacks falsifiability - hypotheses can't be disproved because they are 'jealous' phenomena. *Lacks controlled, replicable research, e.g. Bem(2011) no replicated. *Lacks theory to explain phenomena, e.g. ESP. *Burden of proof misplaced on sceptic. *Lacks ability to change explanations.
        1. Occam's razor

          Annotations:

          • If there are two competing explanations, simpler one is to be preferred - paranormal explanations are too convoluted
          1. Evaluation

            Annotations:

            • *Paranormal research is not the only pseudoscience - some Freudian hypotheses also unfalsifiable. *Koch(1992) argues that psychology lacks objective theories. *Mousseau(2003) - paranormal research often matches standards of scientific research, or even betters it (e.g. publishing negative results). *The AAAS accepted the Parapsychological Association as a member. *Reasons to be concerned about paranormal research include: making money out of unfounded claims, not asking for evidence.
          2. METHODOLOGICAL ISUUES
            1. ESP (GANZFELD)

              Annotations:

              • Significant results could be due to other factors, e.g.: *Researcher bias - sheep-goat effect in receiver's elaborations (Wooffitt). *Expectations affect outcome of meta-analysis - Honorton vs Hyman. *File-drawer effect - results of meta-analyses change according to which studies are left out. *Lack of control - lack of soundproofing and order of presentation.
              1. Evaluation

                Annotations:

                • *Positive results could be due to phenomena being 'jealous'. *Autoganzfeld improved control (e.g. random display of targets). *This still led to positive results by Honorton et al. but not Milton and Wiseman, although this was criticised by Bem et al. *Fraudulent research by Sargent still included in data; fraud may be a particular problem in parapsychology.
              2. PSYCHOKINESIS (PK)

                Annotations:

                • *Expectations created in study by Wiseman and Greening led to macro-PK reports. *Lack of control - well-controlled studies show no effect (Hansel). *Ecological validity - micro-PK may not represent paranormal action.
                1. Evaluation

                  Annotations:

                  • *Quality of studies not related to positive results (Radin and Nelson, 2003), same findings from non-believers (Bosch et al., 2006). *Significant effects not due to a small group of investigators nor to file-drawer effect (Radin and Nelson, 2003). *Bierman (2000) - steady decline in effect size over years, suggesting phenomena not real.
            2. RESEARCH INTO EXCEPTIONAL EXPERIENCE
              1. PSYCHIC HEALING AND MEDIUMSHIP
                1. PSYCHIC HEALING
                  1. Explanations

                    Annotations:

                    • *Energy fields re-aligned by e.g. therapeutic touch. *Reduction of anxiety through psychological support. *Placebo effect - expectations of benefit created by success stories which could be due to spontaneous recovery.
                    1. Evaluation

                      Annotations:

                      • *Lyvers et al. (2006) - no evidence for psychic healing, believers improved more. *No placebo effect for prayers for cardiac recovery (Benson et al., 2006)
                    2. Research studies

                      Annotations:

                      • *Wirth (1990) - tested patients treated with TT or no touch - former recover faster. *Rosa et al. (1998) - TT practitioners unable to detect 'energy field' of experimenter's hand. *Cha et al. (2001) - effect of prayer on infertile women, twice as many became pregnant
                      1. Evaluation

                        Annotations:

                        • *Rosa et al. study invalid because experimenter not ill. *study repeated (Long et al., 1999), results better than chance, however this may be through heat detection. *Wirth's results haven't been replicated, and Wirth was subsequently convicted of criminal fraud. *Power of prayer study - one researcher has withdrawn their name.
                    3. PSYCHIC MEDIUMSHIP
                      1. Explanations

                        Annotations:

                        • *Clues help medium produce accurate information without psychic ability (cold reading). *Use of general statements (Barnum statements) and willingness of sitters to elaborate. *Fraud - psychic mediumship is big business so people resort to complex and convincing strategies.
                        1. Evaluation

                          Annotations:

                          • *Sitters willing to be deceived. *Supported by mock seance (Wiseman et al., 2003).
                        2. Research studies

                          Annotations:

                          • *Schwartz et al. (2001) - accuracy of medium statements about 80%. *Rock and Beischel (2008) - mediums responding differently to dead or living loved ones.
                          1. Evaluation

                            Annotations:

                            • *O'Keeffe and Wiseman (2005) - five mediums gave readings to five sitters producing 25 statements which were rated by sitters as having little relevance. *Schwartz et al. - undergraduates not suitable as control group. *Sheep-goat effect - positive findings from believers.
                      2. OUT-OF-BODY AND NEAR-DEATH EXPERIENCES
                        1. OUT-OF BODY EXPERIENCE
                          1. Explanations

                            Annotations:

                            • *Paranormal - mind and body separated. *Sensory input is disturbed, reconstruction based on bird's-eye view (Blackmore, 1982).
                            1. Evaluation

                              Annotations:

                              • *Alvarado (1982) found no evidence of parasomatic body having physically moved. *Link between sensory disturbance and OOBEs - Blanke et al. (2002) and Ehrsson (2007). *Individual differences, e.g. OOBEs reported more often by believers and those prone to fantasy.
                            2. Research studies

                              Annotations:

                              • *Green (1968) - 400 personal accounts of OOBEs, 20% 'prasomatic', rest 'asomatic'. *Use of induced OOBEs (Alvarado, 1982) - weak but occasionally startling results. *Blanke et al. (2002) - stimulation of temporal-parietal junction of the brain resulted in OOBEs.
                              1. Evaluation

                                Annotations:

                                • *Difficult to study OOBEs scientifically because occur without predictability. *Artificially induced OOBEs not seen as equivalent. *Physiological explanations are reductionist
                            3. NEAR-DEATH EXPERIENCE
                              1. Explanations

                                Annotations:

                                • *Evidence of an afterlife or 'soul' due to paranormal beliefs. *Endorphins released at time of stress, lead to feelings of euphoria and detachment (Carr, 1982). *REM intrusions due to hypoxia disrupt integration of sensory information. *Hypoxia triggers a flood of glutamate which is blocked by the brain to prevent neural death, leading to an NDE.
                                1. Evaluation

                                  Annotations:

                                  • *Likely to be a psychological component because NDEs not experienced by all. *Cardiac survivors regarded NDE as a spiritual experience, but this doesn't mean that spiritual factors cause NDEs. *Cultural differences and similarities suggest that both psychological and physiological factors important.
                                2. Research studies

                                  Annotations:

                                  • *Ring (1980) - survivors describe NDE as peaceful and like a life review. *Nelson et al. (2006) - NDE group more likely to experience REM intrusions. *Jansen (1993) - ketamine can produce symptoms of NDEs, and ketamine has same effects as glutamate (Jansen, 2009).
                                  1. Evaluation

                                    Annotations:

                                    • *Early studies poorly controlled. *Interviewer bias may affect data collected.
                            4. EXPLANATIONS FOR ANOMALOUS EXPERIENCE
                              1. COINCIDENCE AND PROBABILITY
                                1. THE ROLE OF COINCIDENCE

                                  Annotations:

                                  • *Illusion of causality - if two things happen at same time, 'sheep' more likely to believe that one has caused the other. *Illusion of connection - making links between unrelated items. *Illusion of control - explanations for coincidence give sense of order in world, more likely in 'sheep' (Ayeroff and Abelson, 1976). *General cognitive ability - lower intelligence more likely to be believers.
                                  1. Evaluation

                                    Annotations:

                                    • *Adaptive significance - Type 1 errors of causal thinking tolerated in order to avoid Type 2 errors. *Illusion of connection - may be created by higher levels of dopamine (Brugger et al., 2008). *Making links also adaptive and may underlie creativity (Thalbourne, 1998). *Illusion of control supported by Whitson and Galinsky (2008). *General cognitive ability - not always confirmed in all studies, e.g. Jones et al. (1977) found complete opposite.
                                  2. THE ROLE OF PROBABILITY JUDJEMENTS

                                    Annotations:

                                    • *Paranormal experiences are a cognitive illusion due to attributing cause to random events (Blackmore and Troscianko, 1985). *Tested using repetition avoidance (e.g. birthday party paradox), conjunction vignettes (estimate probability).
                                    1. Evaluation

                                      Annotations:

                                      • *Blackmore (1997) - no difference between sheep and goats on probability task. *Evidence shows belief is linked to probability misjudgement but not necessarily a cause. *Probability misjudgement may be linked to low cognitive ability. *Probability misjudgements can alternatively be explained in terms of failing to understand heuristics, such as representativeness (Kahneman and Tversky, 1972).
                                  3. SUPERSTITIOUS BEHAVIOUR AND MAGICAL THINKING
                                    1. EXPLANATIONS FOR SUPERSTITIOUS BEHAVIOUR

                                      Annotations:

                                      • *Making erroneous causal links (Type 1 error) is adaptive. *Skinner (1947) - superstitions develop when an accidental stimulus-response link is learned, and then maintained through negative reinforcement (dual process). *Superstitions develop to give an illusion of control (Whitson and Galinsky, 2008).
                                      1. Evaluation

                                        Annotations:

                                        • *Skinner provided evidence from study of pigeons, who acquired superstitions. *Staddon and Simmelhag (1971) repeated Skinner's experiment and found 'superstitious' behaviours unrelated to food reward. *Matute (1996) - humans did learn to press a button despite no actual effectiveness. *Some superstitions are learned indirectly (cultural), provide sense of control. *Illusion of control increases self-efficacy (Damish et al., 2010).
                                      2. EXPLANATIONS FOR MAGICAL THINKING

                                        Annotations:

                                        • *Freud (1915) - a form of child-like thinking, a defence mechanism in adults. *Dual processing theory - thought is intuitive or logical. *Animism (Piaget, 1954) - association of objets with feelings, e.g. feng shui. *Nominal thinking - names of objects affect our feelings about them, e.g. a jar labelled cyanide (Rozin et al., 1986). *Law of contagion - magical thinking is adaptive to avoid disease (Nemeroff and Roxin, 1994).
                                        1. Evaluation

                                          Annotations:

                                          • *Experimental support with voodoo dolls - participants fell more responsible if they had bad thoughts (Pronin et al., 2006). *May act like a placebo and provide positive expectations (e.g. Rosenthal and Jacobsen, 1968 - self-fulfilling prophecy). *Costs - associated with ,ental disorder, e.g. schizophrenia and OCD. *Benefits - avoid 'depression realism', lack of magical thinking liked to low levels of dopamine (Mohr et al., 2005). *Real-world application - increase willingness to donate organs for transplant (Vamos, 2010).
                                      3. PERSONALITY FACTORS IN ANOMALOUS EXPERIENCE
                                        1. EYSENCK'S PERSONALITY FACTORS

                                          Annotations:

                                          • *Neuroticism - negative emotional states reduced by paranormal beliefs (defence mechanism). *Extraversion - people more open to paranormal beliefs. *Positive correlation with neuroticism (Williams et al., 2007) and with extraversion (Honorton et al., 1992).
                                          1. MORE IMAGINATIVE PERSONALITY

                                            Annotations:

                                            • *Fantasy proneness - becoming so deeply absorbed in fantasy to believe it real, demonstrated in fake seance (Wiseman et al., 2003). *Suggestibility - more willing to believe fakes, link demonstrated by Hergovich (2003). *Creative personalities make links between unrelated items (Thalbourne, 2001).
                                            1. OTHER FACTORS

                                              Annotations:

                                              • *Locus of control, field dependence, higher sensation seeking and dissociation.
                                              1. Evaluation

                                                Annotations:

                                                • *Method used to measure paranormal beliefs affects correlations with personality factors. *Wiseman and Watt (2004) found correlation with neuroticism only when negative beliefs of PBS measured. *Evidence that psychoticism is linked to some paranormal beliefs (Francis et al., 2010). *Locus of control - depends on type of paranormal belief, some correlate positively with externality, some negatively. *Susceptibility might explain recollection of alien abductions (Clancy et al., 2002). *Paranormal experiences may be false beliefs, more common in susceptible people, supported by French and Wilson (2006). *Some evidence of link with mental disorder but more likely satisfies a need for some people, e.g. abuse in childhood may lead to fantasy proneness and need for a greater sense of control.
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