Parapsychology is the scientific study of interactions
between living organisms and their external
environment that seem to transcend the known
physical laws of nature. Parapsychology is a component
of the broader study of consciousness and the mind.
Parapsychologists study five broad areas:
Mind-to-mind communication through a
means other than the normal senses.
Clairvoyance or remote viewing –
of objects, people, or events that are hidden via space
or time. For example, an object hidden in a box in a
different room, a photograph sealed in an envelope, an
event that is occurring to a loved one thousands of miles
away, or the characteristics of a room that only existed in
Knowledge of an event that has not yet
occurred, or information that appears to be transferred
from the future into the present.
PK or psychokinesis –
Mind interacting with matter
at a distance. Mind interactions with living systems
including energetic healing) are sometimes included in
Survival studies –
The nature of human
consciousness and an examination of whether
consciousness survives the physical form. This includes
mediumship research, reincarnation, out-of-body
experiences, apparitions, and ghost activities.
Information provided by the Rhine Research Center at
I already believed, and this class just
reassured me that there really is more
out there than you know,” she said.
For Woodward, the conflicting
interpretations from her students were
exactly what she hoped they would
The course’s question was always open-
ended. The answer, students found,
was up to them.
Spirituality and belief in the
paranormal still have a lot of
controversy,” Woodward said. “This
class was a contrast in experiences.
The reality truly is the creation of the
What is parapsychology?
Fall 2013 23
A statue at Myrtles Plantation. Photo by Amy Basham.