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Psychics - Psychic terms
Category: People and society > Spiritualism, Parapsychology and Paranormal
Date & country: 14/09/2007, UK
Words: 415


Matching
See preferential matching, matching tests.

Matching Tests
Card guessing tests in which the subject uses key cards when making guesses. See also blind matching, open matching, screen touch matching.

Materialization
The formation of a visible and tangible object or human shape during a seance. Cf. apport.

Mean Chance Expectation (MCE)
The most likely chance score in a psi test.

Medicine Man - Medicine Woman
A witchdoctor or shaman.

Meditation
Mental or physical-mental techniques which aim to produce spiritually desirable states of consciousness. See also ASC, Yoga.

Medium
A person believed to act as an intermediary between discarnate entities and the living. See also clairvoyant medium, trance medium, mental mediumship, physical mediumship.

Mediumship
Activity of a medium.

Mental Mediumship
The paranormal obtaining of information by a medium. Cf. physical mediumship.

Mentalism
A branch of conjuring involving the simulation of psi.

Mesmerism
A system of healing developed by F.A. Mesmer, involving the induction of trance states and the supposed transfer of animal magnetism. People in Mesmeric trance often showed paranormal abilities such as clairvoyance.

Message
See communication.

Metal Bending
Psychokinetic ability to bend metal objects. A phenomenon popularised by Uri Geller.

Metamorphosis
See shape-shifting.

Metempsychosis
Another term for reincarnation.

Micro-PK
Psychokinetic effects that cannot be directly observed, but only inferred from the statistical analysis of data. Cf. macro-PK.

Mind Reading
See telepathy.

Miracle
A beneficial event attributed to supernatural or divine intervention.

Misdirection
Techniques used by conjurers and mentalists to distract a person's attention or confuse their thinking.

Miss
A mismatch between the target and response. Cf. hit.

Mnemonist
A person who has learned techniques that enable extraordinary feats of memory.

Morphic Resonance
A term coined by Rupert Sheldrake to refer to the way in which the `morphogenetic field` (underlying form) of an object or organism may influence distant fields.

Motor Automatism
See Automatism

Multiple Personality
A psychiatric condition in which the person manifests two or more distinct and separate personalities at different times. Cf. possession.

Muscle Reading
See contact mind reading.

Mystic
(a) A person who has mystical experiences.
(b) Used loosely to refer to psychics, mediums or romantics.

Mystical Experience
ASCs involving experiences of ecstasy, unity, timelessness, loss of self, divine revelation, etc.

Mysticism
Religious or spiritual doctrines which argue that the human mind or soul can directly experience the divine. See also mystical experience, transpersonal psychology.

NDE
See near-death experience.

Near-Death Experience (NDE)
Experiences of people after they have been pronounced clinically dead, or been very close to death. Typical features of the NDE are an OBE, life review, a tunnel experience, light, coming to a boundary (marking death), seeing dead friends and relatives, experiencing a loving or divine presence, and making a choice (or being told) to return. Occasionally NDEs can be frightening and distressing. NDEs often have profound effects on the person's later life. See also cerebral anoxia, survival.

Necromancy
Black magic practices involving communicating with the dead.

Newspaper Test
(a) A communication in which the spirit forecasts an item in a future day's newspaper.
(b) An conjuring effect in which a magician or mentalist predicts a future newspaper item.

Null hypothesis
The hypothesis that experimental results are due to chance.

Numerology
A system of divination involving the interpretation of numbers.

OBE
See out of body experience.

Object Reading
See psychometry.

Occam's Razor
The principle that we should always prefer the simplest explanation of events.

Occultism
Esoteric systems of belief and practice that assume the existence of mysterious forces and entities.

Omen
A sign that foretells events.

One-Ahead Principle
In mentalism, a procedure for sequentially revealing information where the revealing of one item gives the mentalist the next answer. Also used by fraudulent clairvoyants.

OOBE
See out of body experience.

Open Deck
A series of cards used in a card guessing test where each card is chosen randomly and independently. This enables each target to be selected any number of times. Statistical analysis of research data using an open deck differs from statistical analysis of data using a closed deck.

Open Matching (OM)
A card guessing procedure in which key cards are placed face up on the table. The subject then places the unseen target cards in piles in front of each key card, according to their guesses. See also blind matching.

Oracle
(a) An answer to a question, believed to come from the gods.
(b) a shrine at which these answers are given.

Orgone Energy
A term used by Wilhelm Reich to refer to a universal life force, associated with sexuality.

Ouija Board
A board with letters and numbers on which messages are spelled out by unconsciously moving (with the fingers) a glass or planchette. See also automatism. See also our full article about OUIJA BOARDS. Ouija (pronounced wee-juh or wee-jee) refers to the belief that one can receive messages during a séance by the use of a Ouija board (also called a talking board or spirit board) and planchette. The fingers of the participants are placed on the planchette which then moves about a board covered with numbers, letters and symbols so as to spell out messages. (Wikepedia)

Out
In conjuring and mentalism, a convincing explanation for an apparent failure, or a convincing alternative ending to an effect that has not worked as planned. Also used by fraudulent clairvoyants and mediums.

Out of Body Experience (OBE, OOBE)
A fully conscious experience in which the person's centre of awareness appears to be outside of the physical body. See also autoscopy, near-death experience.

Palmistry
The art of assessing a person's character and forecasting life events by examining features of the hand. See also divination.

Paranormal
Beside or beyond the normal. Inexplicable in terms of our ordinary understanding or current scientific knowledge.

Paranormal Dream
Dreams in which the dream imagery provides paranormal knowledge (e.g., ESP or precognition). See also announcing dream, lucid dreaming.

Parapsychology
Term coined by J.B. Rhine to refer to the experimental and quantitative study of paranormal phenomena. Now generally used instead of `psychical research` to refer to all scientific investigation of the paranormal. Cf. transpersonal psychology.

Past-Life Memories
Mental images that are believed to be memories of previous lives. See also reincarnation, past-life regression.

Past-Life Regression
A technique of hypnosis involving regressing people to supposed previous lives. See also reincarnation.

Pendulum
An object suspended by a thread. Movements of a pendulum are often used by dowsers to locate objects or answer questions.

Percipient
Person who receives impressions in an ESP test. See also agent, subject.

Phantasm
An apparition.

Phenomenology
An approach to research that aims to describe and clarify a person's own experience and understanding of an event or phenomenon.

Phrenology
The reading of character and mental ability from the shape of a person's skull.

Physical Mediumship
The production of paranormal physical phenomena (lights, sounds, materialization, elongation, levitation, etc.) by a medium. Physical mediumship often (but not always) involves a state of trance. See also mental mediumship.

Picture Drawing
A free-response ESP test in which the subject attempts to draw impressions of the target.

Pilot Study
A preliminary study, generally of modest scale.

PK
See psychokinesis

Placebo
An inactive treatment often given to a control group.

Placement Test
A test for PK in which the subject attempts to influence the place in which dice or other objects land. See also dice test.

Planchette
A small platform on casters generally used with a ouija board. Sometimes used with an attached pencil to produce automatic writing.

Plant Psi
ESP exhibited by plants.

PMIR
See psi-mediated instrumental response.

Pocomania
A Jamaican spiritist religion. See also Voodoo.

Poltergeist
German word meaning `noisy or troublesome spirit`. Poltergeist activity may include unexplained noises, movements of objects, outbreaks of fire, floods, pricks or scratches to a person's body. Unlike hauntings, which are associated with specific locations, poltergeists typically focus on a person (the focal person or poltergeist agent) who is often a young child or adolescent. Many physical mediums experienced poltergeist activity in their childhood.

Possession
Refers to cases in which a person's body is apparently taken over by another personality or entity. Cf. multiple personality. See also demonic possession, discarnate entity.

Prayer
A sincere attempt to communicate with a spiritual being or power.

Precognition
The paranormal awareness of future events. See also prediction, premonition, prophecy.

Prediction
A statement that claims to foretell future events. Cf. premonition, precognition, prophecy.

Preexistence
Belief that the personality or soul exists prior to birth. Cf. survival. See also reincarnation.

Preferential Matching
Technique in which a judge ranks a subject's free responses in terms of their similarity to various possible targets.

Premonition
An experience believed to foretell future events. See also prediction, precognition, prophecy.

Presence
A subjective feeling that a person, animal or discarnate entity is present.

Probability
The likelihood that results in a test were due to chance. See also significance.

Process research
Research that aims to investigate factors affecting psi. Cf. proof research.

Proof research
Research that aims to demonstrate the existence of psi. Cf. process research.

Prophecy
(a) A prediction, usually resulting from a sense of spiritual revelation.
(b) The ability to receive prophetic revelations.

Proxy Sitting
A seance in which another person sits in on behalf of the person receiving a communication.

Pseudo-Random Numbers
Numbers generated by an electronic calculator or computer using a complex mathematical algorithm that simulates a random process. Although the numbers generated are essentially unpredictable, they are not strictly random. See also random numbers, random event generator.

Psi
A term used to encompass all paranormal abilities. Includes both ESP and PK abilities.

Psi-Hitting
Significantly better than chance performance on a psi test.

Psi-Missing
Significantly worse than chance performance on a psi test. Psi-missing is also evidence for psi, because a target can only be missed consistently if the person `knows` what it is.

Psyche
Generally refers to the mind.

Psychedelic
Literally `revealing mind`. A class of plants and drugs (e.g., peyote, psilocybin, LSD) that can produce florid ASCs.

Psychic
A person who exhibits psi ability (also used as an adjective).

Psychic Healing
Forms of healing using psychic powers. See also laying on of hands, psychic surgery.

Psychic Photography
General term used to refer to paranormal photographic images. See also Kirlian photography, spirit photography, thoughtography.

Psychic Surgery
Actual or simulated surgical procedures carried out by healers.

Psychical Research
Term coined in the late 19th century to refer to the scientific study of the paranormal. Now largely superseded by `parapsychology`.

Psychokinesis (PK)
The paranormal influence of the mind on physical events and processes.

Psychometry
Obtaining paranormal knowledge using a physical object as a focus. Also known as object reading.

Pyramid Power
Belief that pyramid shapes can produce paranormal effects.

Qualitative Method
A research method involving the collection of non-quantitative data (e.g., observations, interviews, subjective reports, case studies). Cf. quantitative method.

Quantitative Method
A research method involving the collection and statistical analysis of numerical data. Cf. qualitative method.

Radiesthesia
Theories based on the assumption that living organisms emit some kind of radiation or emanation that is capable of being detected using instruments or by dowsing. See also aura, radionics.