Cover image for An introduction to parapsychology
An introduction to parapsychology
Irwin, H. J. (Harvey J.)
Personal Author:
Third edition.
Publication Information:
Jefferson, N.C. : McFarland, [1999]

Physical Description:
ix, 396 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Origins of parapsychological research -- Phenomenology of extrasensory perception -- Experimental research on extrasensory perception -- Extrasensory perception and time -- Psychokinesis -- Special topics in pk research -- Theories of psi -- Survival hypothesis -- Poltergeist experiences -- Near-death experiences -- Out-of-body experiences -- Apparitional experiences -- Reincarnation experiences -- Belief in the paranormal -- Matters of relevance -- Evaluation of parapsychology as a scientific enterprise.
Subject Term:
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Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
BF1031 .I79 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
BF1031 .I79 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf

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A university-level textbook on the science of parapsychology. Dr Irwin outlines the origins of parapsychological research and critically reviews investigations of extrasensory perception, psychokinesis, poltergeist phenomena, near-death and out-of-body experiences, and survival of death. Also, criticisms by the sceptical are presented, and the status of parapsychology as a scientific enterprise is assessed.

Author Notes

Harvey J. Irwin, an internationally recognized parapsychologist, is a retired associate professor in psychology at the University of New England, Australia

Reviews 2

Library Journal Review

Irwin (psychology, Univ. of New England in Australia) wrote this book as a textbook, and it shows. Each chapter ends with a list of terms and study questions, and though coverage is similar to many other surveys in the field, the extremely academic style makes it much less readable. Further, the bibliography consists largely of articles in periodicals, many dating from before 1980 and probably unavailable except in universities with a parapsychology department of long years' standing. Surprisingly, many notables are not listed in the Index of Names, including James, Hyslop, Ducasse, Piper, Bro, Garrett, and Cayce. All in all, not of value to public libraries in this country.-- Jeanne Bagby, formerly with Tucson P.L. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

In this excellent text, Irwin (Univ. of New England, Australia) defines parapsychology as the scientific study of experiences that are in principle outside the realm of human capabilities as presently conceived by conventional scientists. The author presents a balanced approach to these experiences and does not assume that they are necessarily "paranormal" or "extrasensory." According to him, parapsychology addresses three major issues: the authenticity of the reported experiences, the phenomenological description of the experiences, and the processes underlying them. Study questions follow each chapter, making this book the most accessible text for courses on the subject. Updated and comprehensive, libraries and scholars would do well to add this latest edition to their collections, even if they have an earlier edition. Especially worthwhile are the sections on poltergeists, out-of-body and near-death experiences, reincarnation, and implications for clinical practice. The final chapter evaluates the scientific status of parapsychology; Irwin concludes that "[i]f just one of the phenomena should be found to demand a revision or an expansion of contemporary psychological principles, how enriched behavioral science would be." All academic collections supporting studies in the area. S. Krippner Saybrook Graduate School

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsp. v
List of Figuresp. viii
1. Introductionp. 1
2. Origins of Parapsychological Researchp. 11
3. The Phenomenology of Extrasensory Perceptionp. 30
4. Experimental Research on Extrasensory Perceptionp. 49
5. Extrasensory Perception and Timep. 93
6. Psychokinesisp. 103
7. Special Topics in PK Researchp. 117
8. Theories of Psip. 131
9. The Survival Hypothesisp. 144
10. Poltergeist Experiencesp. 150
11. Near-Death Experiencesp. 163
12. Out-of-Body Experiencesp. 179
13. Apparitional Experiencesp. 197
14. Reincarnation Experiencesp. 212
15. Belief in the Paranormalp. 226
16. Matters of Relevancep. 240
17. Evaluation of Parapsychology as a Scientific Enterprisep. 249
Referencesp. 265
Name Indexp. 301
Subject Indexp. 309