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

Use of instruments to detect radiation from living organisms. See also radiesthesia.

Refers to events that are, in principle, haphazard and unpredictable. See also chance.

Random Event Generator (REG)
An electronic device which uses a random physical process (e.g., radioactive decay) to generate random events or random numbers.

Random Number Generator (RNG)
See random event generator.

Random Number Tables
A printed table of random numbers, usually made up of several rows and columns of computer-generated numbers. To use the table a starting value is chosen by randomly selecting a row and column (e.g., by throwing a dice). Successive numbers are then chosen by working through the table using any previously chosen systematic rule. Suitable rules might be (1) moving horizontally to the right, skipping alternate numbers, or (2) moving vertically down, selecting every fifth number. The selected random numbers may then be used, for example, to determine target sequences.

Random Numbers
Numbers generated in an unpredictable, haphazard sequence.

The name given to unexplained knocking sounds associated with physical mediumship and poltergeist activity.

Raudive Voices
Intelligible voices recorded on magnetic tape under conditions of silence or white noise which are heard only when the tape is played. A phenomenon discovered by Konstantin Raudive.

Information given by a psychic or medium to a sitter. See also cold reading, hot reading.

In Buddhism, the belief that there is some continuty of mind from one life to the next. Buddhism, however, does not accept the existence of the individual soul and therefore does not view rebirth as the soul's literal re-incarnation. Cf. reincarnation. See also bardo.

See percipient.

(a) a statistical technique that enables predictions to be made from a set of data.
(b) a technique used in hypnosis, involving suggesting to hypnotized persons that they are returning to an earlier time. Sometimes the regression occurs spontaneously, without suggestion. See also past-life regression.

The belief that some aspect of a person's being (e.g., consciousness, personality, or soul) survives death and can be reborn in a new body at some future date. Reincarnation is often seen as a repeating cycle of death and rebirth in which future lives are influenced by past and present actions through the law of karma. Cf. rebirth.

Remote Viewing (RV)
An ESP procedure in which a percipient attempts to become aware psychically of the experience of an agent who is at a distant, unknown target location.

An action made by a subject in an experiment.

Response Bias
Tendency of a subject to prefer particular responses.

Retroactive Psychokinesis
Paranormal influence that an agent can have on an experiment after it has been completed.

Paranormal knowledge of past events.

Ritual Magic
Magical activity involving rites and ceremonies.

See recurrent spontaneous psychokinesis.

A set of trials in a psi test.

A Cuban spiritist religion. See also Voodoo.

A person inclined to discount the reality of the paranormal and to be critical of parapsychological research. Generally seeks rational or scientific explanations for the phenomena studied by parapsychologists.

Number of hits obtained by a subject in a psi test.

The process of determining a subject's score.

Screen Touch Matching (STM)
A card-guessing procedure in which the subject and experimenter sit on opposite sides of a screen which has a small gap at the bottom. Key cards are hung on the screen in front of the subject (the faces may be seen or unseen). Underneath each key card is a blank card that can be seen by both subject and experimenter. The experimenter holds the target cards and the subject indicates the guess on each trial by pointing to the corresponding blank card. The experimenter then places the card in a pile on his or her side of the screen in a position corresponding to that of the indicated blank card. See also blind matching, open matching.

See crystal gazing.

A mediumistic session.

Second Sight
Another name for clairvoyance.

Another name for agent.

Another name for a psychic.

Sensory deprivation
Conditions of greatly restricted sensory input. See also ganzfeld.

A sequence of runs in a psi experiment.

Serpent Power
See Kundalini.

A witchdoctor or medicine (wo)man who communicates with spirits while in trance and who has the power of healing. May also show other paranormal abilities.

Paranormal ability to assume the form of another person, an animal or other entity. See also lycanthropy, therianthropy, werewolf.

Name given to a subject in a psi test who believes in the phenomenon. See also `goat`, sheep-goat effect.

Sheep-Goat Effect
Effect, discovered by the parapsychologist Gertrude Schmeidler, in which `sheep` score higher than mean chance expectation (MCE) on psi tests, while `goats` score lower than MCE.

Name given to paranormal powers associated with the practice of Yoga.

Results of an experiment are said to be statistically significant when they are very unlikely to be due to chance (and hence, in a psi test, are more likely to be due to psi). The chance probability is reported as the `significance level`. To be considered significant, the chance probability must generally be less than 1 in 20 (5%, or 0.05).

Simultaneous Dream
A dream whose elements correspond closely with those in the dream of another person.

A person who has a session with a medium.

A seance.

Sixth sense
Popular term for ESP.

See sceptic.

Writing that appears on a slate during a seance. Often produced by fraudulent mediums and mentalists.

Sleep Paralysis
An (often frightening) state of seeming to being awake but unable to move. See also false awakening.

(a) a person who performs physical activity while asleep (e.g., sleep-walking).
(b) a person in a deep hypnotic state.

Black magic

Divination by lots.

The spiritual element of a person, generally believed to be immortal. See also Ba, spirit, survival.

Space Brothers
Extraterrestrial entities, channeled by some mediums. See also discarnate entity.

See subjective paranormal experience.

Speaking in Tongues
See glossolalia

A ghost or apparition.

Written or spoken words believed to have magical power.

(a) a discarnate entity.
(b) soul
(c) Divine essence.

Spirit Communication
See communication.

Spirit Cure
Healing that is believed to result from the intervention of spirits.

Spirit Photography
Photographs of figures or faces, believed by some to be those of deceased persons. These photographs are generally revealed as fraudulent.

See spiritualism.

Spiritualism (Spiritism)
Religious doctrines that advocate communication betwen the living and the spirits of the dead using a medium as intermediary.

Spontaneous Cases
Paranormal phenomena that occur in everyday life, unsought and unexpected.

Spontaneous Human Combustion (SHC)
Refers to cases in which a badly burned human body has been discovered in circumstances suggesting that the fire originated spontaneously in or on the body of the victim.

Mathematical techniques for analysing and interpreting numerical data.

Unexplained markings on a person's body that correspond to the wounds of Christ.

See target.

A person whose psi ability is being investigated.

Subjective Psi Experience (SPE)
See subjective paranormal experience.

Subliminal Perception
Perceiving without conscious awareness.

Super-ESP Hypothesis
The suggestion that people are capable of unlimited ESP. The super-ESP hypothesis is often presented as an alternative to the survival hypothesis in explaining mediumistic phenomena (the medium is believed to obtain information using super-ESP powers and not directly from the spirit of a deceased person).


A method of data collection that involves interviewing (or giving questionnaires to) a representative and often large group of people.

The belief that some aspect of the person (e.g., consciousness, mind, personality, soul) lives on after death of the body.

A term used by C.G. Jung to refer to coincidental events that are meaningfully but not causally connected. The great Swiss psychologist, C. G. Jung, defines `synchronicity` as a meaningful coincidence. A classic example of synchronicity, told by Jung himself, concerns a crisis that occurred during therapy. Jung`s patient was a woman whose highly rational approach to life made any form of treatment particularly difficult. On one occasion, the woman related a dream in which a golden scarab appeared. Jung knew that such a beetle was of great significance to the ancient Egyptians, for it was taken as a symbol of rebirth. As the woman was talking, the psychiatrist in his darkened office heard a tapping at the window behind him. He drew the curtain, opened the window, and in flew a gold-green scarab—called a rose chafer, or Cetonia aureate. Jung showed the woman `her` scarab and from that moment the patient`s excessive rationality was pierced and their sessions together became more profitable. (Coming to terms)

Mysterious movements of a table, usually occurring in a seance when a group of people place their hands on the surface of the table. Often the movements are interpreted as spirit communications. Also known as table-turning or table-tipping.

See table-tilting.

The object or event which the subject attempts to perceive (ESP tests) or influence (PK tests).

A special deck of cards (usually 78) used in fortune telling.

Paranormal movement of objects.

Paranormal awareness of another person's experience (thoughts, feelings, etc.). In practice it is difficult to distinguish between telepathy and clairvoyance. See also ESP.

Paranormal transportation of objects to a distant place. See also apport, deport.

Temporal Lobe Activity
Electrical activity in the temporal lobes of the brain. Often associated with strange sensations, time distortions and hallucinations. Sometimes used as an explanation for seemingly paranormal experiences such as apparitions and alien abduction experiences.

Quasi-religious and philosophical system of the Theosophical Society, founded in 1875 by Madame Blavatsky. Its paranormal claims were controversially and damningly reported upon by the Society for Psychical Research in 1885.

The supposed ability to change from human to animal form and back. See also lycanthropy, shape-shifting, werewolf.

Magical practices which aim to contact and communicate with the gods.

Thought Transference
See telepathy

Paranormal ability to produce images on photographic film (e.g., by concentrating on a mental image). Most famously demonstrated by Ted Serios. See also psychic photography.

A dissociated state of consciousness, generally involving reduced awareness of surroundings and external events.

Trance Medium
A person who enters a state of trance in order to produce mediumistic phenomena.

Transcendental Meditation
A technique of meditation taught by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, involving the repetition of a sound (mantra).

Transmigration of Souls
See reincarnation.

Transpersonal Psychology
The study of experiences, beliefs and practices that suggest that the sense of self can extend beyond our personal or individual reality. The subject matter of transpersonal psychology overlaps to some extent with parapsychology, but the two disciplines tend to have different approaches and emphases. Parapsychology is primarily concerned to investigate evidence for and against the reality of paranormal phenomena. Transpersonal psychology, on the other hand, is more interested in investigating the transpersonal significance of such phenomena (i.e., the ways in which they may give people a sense of connectedness with a larger, more universal or spiritual reality). See also mysticism.

Travelling Clairvoyance
(a) An early term for the out of body experience.
(b) Clairvoyance exhibited when a subject travels in imagination to another location.

In psi tests, a single attempt to demonstrate paranormal ability (e.g., one attempt to guess a card or one attempt to influence the fall of the dice).

A conical tube (often luminous) used in seances to produce direct voice communication.

The study of UFOs.

A Brazilian spiritist religion. See also Candomble, Voodoo.

Unidentified Flying Object (UFO)
Unexplained sightings of lights or objects in the sky, often taken to be evidence of extraterrestrial visitations.

Up Through Technique
An experimental test for clairvoyance in which the subject guesses the order of a stacked series of target symbols (e.g., cards) from bottom to top. Cf. down through technique.