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37 MIN READ TIME

Chicken Acceleration? APA Puts Imprimatur on Credulous Psi Book

DOUGLAS M. STOKES

The 2017 publication of Transcendent Mind: Rethinking the Science of Consciousness by Imants Barušs and Julia Mossbridge (B&M) by the American Psychological Association (APA) represents something of a landmark in parapsychology. For one thing, it carries the imprimatur of publication by the APA. In fact, it is one of only three books listed in the APA’s Fall 2016 publications catalog for Basic and Experimental Psychology (the other two books are guides for succeeding in academe). This is an impressive honor for parapsychology, which has been increasingly successful in placing its publications in “mainstream” academic journals, due in large part to Daryl Bem’s success in publishing his paper on “feeling the future” in the APA’s Journal of Personality and Social Psychology in 2010. (See James Alcock, “Back from the Future: Parapsychology and the Bem Affair,” and editor’s column “Why the Bem Experiments Are Not Parapschology’s Next Big Thing,” Skeptical Inquirer, March/April 2011.)

The pièce de résistance is an interrogation of the deceased physicist Richard Feynman—as channeled through the medium Angie Aristone.

One might think that this increasing openness to parapsychological articles reflects parapsychology’s maturation as a science. However, it could instead be due to a lowering of the APA’s scientific standards. The APA is an organization of clinically oriented psychologists, whereas experimentally and scientifically oriented psychologists tend to belong to the rival Association for Psy chological Science.

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