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An Introduction to Parapsychology
Course Content

Led by Dr Caroline Watt, the course consists of one 'warm-up' week, followed by 10 learning modules (one per week) covering a broad spectrum of topics in parapsychology. Apart from the core reading from the course textbook, which is on good-old-fashioned paper, all the other course materials are provided online, via the University of Edinburgh's Virtual Learning Environment: Learn). Learn hosts each learning module, consisting of one or two audio recordings of expert interviews (see below), specialist readings to download (click here for details of readings), and themed blogs (message boards) where students discuss the week's topics and issues with each other. There are also occasional informal self-assessment quizzes. Caroline strives to present a balance of different views and opinions on each topic. She hopes that this will help equip students to think critically about the claims made by parapsychologists and by critics of the field.

 

Week 0: Ice-breaking and familiarisation
(containing some warm-up exercises)

Week 1: Introduction and History
Expert: Professor Donald West (Emeritus Professor, University of Cambridge, UK)

Week 2: Spontaneous Paranormal Experiences
Expert: Professor Etzel Cardeña (University of Lund, Sweden)

Week 3: Extrasensory Perception in the Lab
Experts: Professor Richard Wiseman (University of Hertfordshire, UK); Dr John Palmer (Rhine Research Centre, Durham, North Carolina, USA)

Week 4: Psychokinesis in the Lab
Expert: Dr Holger Bösch (formerly of University Hospital Freiburg, Germany)

Week 5: Latest Lab Developments
Expert: Dr Dean Radin (Institute of Noetic Sciences, California, USA)

Week 6: Theories of Psi
Expert: Professor Harald Walach (Viadrina European University Frankfurt)

Week 7: Testing Psychic Claimants
Expert: Professor Stephen Braude (Emeritus, University of Maryland, USA)

Week 8: Belief in the Paranormal
Expert: Professor Christopher French (Goldsmiths College, University of London)

Week 9: Thinking Critically About Parapsychology
Expert: Professor James Alcock (York University, Toronto, Canada)

Week 10: Summing Up and Implications
Experts: Professor Jessica Utts (University of California at Irvine, USA); Professor Deborah Delanoy (Emeritus, University of Northampton, UK)

 

 

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