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May 2022

Place of spontaneous cases in parapsychology

Journal/Book: J Amer Soc Psychical Res. 1996; 90: 5 West 73RD Street, New York, NY 10023. Amer Soc Psychical Res Inc. 1-34.

Abstract: In modern times parapsychology has neglected the study of spontaneous cases for an emphasis on laboratory work. This means-centered approach to psi research has important consequences. One is that we do not know if our results can be generalized outside of the laboratory. In addition, our field is unable to answer many of the questions experiencers ask us, thus limiting the social usefulness of parapsychological research. Increased attention to spontaneous cases may help us solve these problems. Moreover, some case studies allow for more sensitive and relevant study of particular issues and make possible the investigation of phenomena that cannot be studied in any other way. It is suggested that future research programs follow a converging approach where psi is studied with different methodologies and in different contexts of occurrence. It is also important to recognize that both laboratory and case investigations have problems and advantages of their own and that their combined use may help the field more than their separate use. Parapsychology must understand the value and necessity of pluralistic approaches to the study of psi phenomena which, after all, occur both in life and in the lab.

Note: Article CS Alvarado, Ctr Estudios Integrales Puerto Rico, POB 194176, San Juan, PR 00919 USA


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