Views of Psychology Paranormal Psychology
Overall, science sticks to a certain scientific protocol. This can vary when it comes to the study of parapsychology. Although accepted as a science, there are those who will turn away from anything paranormal and only look for alternative explanations.
One area with various schools of thought is that of OBEs, otherwise known as out of body experiences. This is when it seems the consciousness, or what some people think of as a person’s soul, leaves the body, only to return later.
A clinical psychologist who is a non-believer in the paranormal would most likely chalk up any of this kind of experience as some kind of hallucination, ( most likely due to some kind of trauma,) or view it as a dream.
A psychologist who is versed in the paranormal and parapsychology would most likely be open to the possibility that something truly paranormal is taking place. Evidence which can support this is when an individual seems to so-called astral travel to a location, report back information and have that information validated in a situation when the experiencer would not normally be privy to the information.
Even in the field of parapsychology, opinions offering explanations for certain paranormal events differ. Take psychic experiences. Gary Schwartz of the University of Arizona is known for his work with mediums, including Allison DuBois, of which the TV series Medium was based on. Based on his research, he has deemed that psychic abilities do exist.
On the other side of the coin is parapsychologist Susan Blackmore, a known skeptic in the field, who believes that a so-called psychic experience may be merely a form of an illusion.
With the varying beliefs within the psychology field, where does that leave people? That is a question yet to be answered. Unfortunately at times, it comes down to the belief system of the particular psychologist.
What of the individual who claims to have been abducted by aliens. Clearly this is not a topic even for parapsychologists, yet a former Harvard psychiatrist known as Dr. John Mack found validity with these claims.
Psychology deals with issues of the mind. Though there are certain standards and protocol that most psychologists will agree with, there are others which are divided upon within the field, particularly when it comes to any type of parapsychology studies. The question remains is there truly something paranormal going on, or is it just some kind of a trick, such as a hallucination that the mind plays with.
Interested in learning more about paranormal studies? Further information can be found in the article The Study of Parapsychology: A Branch of Psychology.