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Anomalistic Psychology


A2 Anomalistic Psychology Mind-map
Mind Map by carmen-729, updated more than 1 year ago
Created by carmen-729 over 6 years ago

Resource summary

Anomalistic Psychology
  1. Pseudoscience and Parapsychology
    1. Pseudoscience - masquerading as science
      1. Lacks falsifiability - hypotheses can't be disproved because they are 'jealous' phenomena.
        1. Lacks controlled, replicable research, e.g. Bem (2011) not replicated
          1. Lacks theory to explain phenomena, e.g. ESP
            1. Burden of proof misplaced on sceptic.
              1. Lacks ability to change explanations.
              2. If there are two competing explanations, simpler one is to be preferred (Occam's razor) - paranormal explanations are extremely convoluted.
                1. AO2
                  1. Paranormal research is not the only pseudoscience - some Freudian hypotheses also unfalsifiable.
                    1. The AAAS accepted the Parapsychological Association as a member.
                      1. Reasons to be concerned about paranormal research include: making money out of unfounded claims, not asking for evidence.
                      2. Scientific Fraud
                        1. e.g. Uri Geller
                      3. Methodological Issues
                        1. ESP (Ganzfeld)
                          1. Significant results could be due to other factors, e.g.
                            1. Research bias - sheep-goat effect in receiver's elaborations (Wooffitt, 2007).
                              1. Expectations affect outcome of meta-analysis - Honorton (1985) vs Hyman (1985).
                                1. File-drawer effect - results of meta-analysis change according to which studies are left out.
                                  1. Lack of control - lack of soundproofing and order of presentation.
                                  2. EVALUATION *Positive results could be due to phenomena being 'jealous'.
                                    1. *Autoganzfeld improved control (e.g. random display of targets).
                                      1. *This still led to positive result by Honorton et al. (1990) but not Milton and Wiseman (1999), although this was criticised by Bem et al. (2001).
                                        1. *Fraudulent research by Sargent still included in data; fraud may be a particular problem in parapsychology.
                                      2. Psychokinesis
                                        1. Expectations created in study by Wiseman and Greening (2005), led to macro-PK reports.
                                          1. Lack of control - well-controlled studies show no effect (Hansel, 1989).
                                            1. Ecological validity - micro-PK may not represent paranormal action.
                                              1. EVALUATION *Quality of studies not related to positive results (Radin and Nelson, 2003), same findings from non-believers (Bosch et al., 2006).
                                                1. Bierman (2000) - steady decline in effect size over years, suggesting phenomena not real.
                                              2. Psychic Healing and Mediumship
                                                1. EXPLANATIONS
                                                  1. Healing *Energy fields re-aligned by e.g. therapeutic touch. *Reduction of anxiety through psychological support. *Placebo effect.
                                                    1. EVALUATION *Lyvers et al. (2006) - no evidence for psychic healing, believers improved more. *No placebo effect for prayers for cardiac recovery.
                                                    2. Mediumship *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 *Sitters willing to be deceived. *Supported by mock seance (Wiseman et al.)
                                                    3. RESEARCH STUDIES
                                                      1. Healing *Wirth (1990) - patients tested with TT or no touch -former recovered 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 *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.
                                                        2. Mediumship *Schwartz et al. (2001) - accuracy of medium statements about 80%. *Rock and Beischel (2008)
                                                          1. EVALUATION *O'Keeffe and Wiseman (2005) *Schwartz et al. *Sheep-goat effect
                                                      2. OOBE and NDE
                                                        1. EXPLANATIONS
                                                          1. OOBE *Paranormal - mind and body separated. *Sensory input is disturbed, reconstruction based on bird's eye view (Blackmore, 1982).
                                                            1. EVALUATION *Alvardo (1982) found no evidence of parasomatic body having physically moved. *Individual differences, e.g. OOBEs reported more often by believers and those prone to fantasy.
                                                            2. NDE *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 neuronal death, leading to an NDE.
                                                              1. EVALUATION *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.
                                                            3. RESEARCH STUDIES
                                                              1. OOBE *Green (1968) - 400 personal accounts of OOBEs, 20% 'parasomatic, rest 'aromatic'. *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 *Difficulty to study OOBEs scientifically because occur without predictability. *Artificially-induced OOBEs not seen as equivalent. *Physiological explanations are reductionist.
                                                                2. NDE *Ring (1980) - survivors describe NDE as peaceful and like a life review. *Nelson et al. (2006) - NDE group more likely to experience REM intrusions.
                                                                  1. EVALUATION *Early studies poorly controlled. *Interviewer bias may affect data collected.
                                                              2. Coincidence and Probability
                                                                1. Coincidence
                                                                  1. Illusion of causality & Illusion of connection & Illusion of control & General Cognitive ability
                                                                    1. EVALUATION *Type 1 errors and Type 2 errors. *Brugger et al - high levels of dopamine *Illusion of control supported by Whitson and Galinsky
                                                                  2. Probability Judgement
                                                                    1. Paranormal experiences are a a cognitive illusion due to attributing cause to random events (Blackmore and Troscianko) & Tested using repletion avoidance, questions about probability etc.
                                                                      1. EVALUATION *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 misjudgement can alternatively be explained in terms of feeling to understand heuristics, such as representativeness.
                                                                  3. Superstitious Behaviour and Magical Thinking
                                                                    1. Superstitious
                                                                      1. *Making erroneous casual 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 *Skinner provided evidence from study of pigeons, who acquired superstitions. *Staddon and Simmelhag repeated Skinner's experiment and found 'superstitious' behaviours unrelated to food reward. *Illusion of control increases self efficacy.
                                                                      2. Magical Thinking
                                                                        1. *Fraud - a form of child-like thinking, a defence mechanism in adults. *Dual processing theory - thought is intuitive or logical *Animism (Piaget) - association of objects with feelings *Nominal thinking - names of objects affect our feelings about them *Law of contagion
                                                                          1. EVALUATION *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, others 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 Fench 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 leak to fantasy proneness and need for a greater sense of control.
                                                                      3. Personality Factors in Anomalous Experience
                                                                        1. Eysenck's
                                                                          1. Neuroticism (defence mechanism) & Extraversion - People more open to paranormal beliefs & Positive correlation with neuroticism (Williams et al) and with extraversion (Honorton et al).
                                                                            1. EVALUATION *Wiseman and Watt found correlation with neuroticism only when -ve beliefs of PBS measured.
                                                                          2. More imaginative
                                                                            1. Fantasy proneness - becoming so deeply absorbed in fantasy to believe it's real & Suggestibility - more willing to believe fakes & Creative personalities make links between unrelated items
                                                                              1. EVALUATION *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.
                                                                            2. Locus of control & field dependence
                                                                              1. EVALUATION *Locus of control - depends on type of paranormal belief, some correlate positively with externality, others negatively.
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