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Science Confronts the Paranormal by Kendrick Frazier, Editor

Here's an anthology of some of the best articles to appear in the Skeptical Inquirer (reviewed above) between 1981 and 1986.  Included are pieces on parapsychology, the psychology of misperception, psychic detectives, poltergeists, as trology, palmistry, UFOs, fringe archaeology, and creationism, in general, the authors bring a high level of expertise to their subjects, giving the side of the story you seldom hear, but can't make an informed decision without. -- T.S.

An anecdote cited by American journalist Jack Harrison Pollack is an almost burlesque example of the lengths to which determined believers will go to make the outcome fit the prediction.  Pollack is the author of a full-length biography of the Dutch clairvoyant Gerard Croiset, which Tenhaeff helped him with and vouched for. Consulted in a 1950 Arnheim rape case, Croiset "saw" that the rapist had "an abnormally big genital organ."  When the police arrested a suspect, they had a good look at his private parts but found them to be standard size.  Never mind, says Pollack, "They learned that he was a twenty-year-old cook who occasionally used a big, red basting syringe in the kitchen, which prompted Croiset's image of an abnormally large genital organ."

C.R. Snyder, a psychologist at the University of Kansas, and his colleagues drew up a personality description that incorporated the characteristics they found most people believed they possessed. They showed this description to three groups of people, each of whom was asked to rate, on a scale of 1 to 5, how well they were described by it. The individuals in the first group were told it was a universal personality sketch, and the average rating was 3.2.  Individuals in the second group were asked for the month in which they were born and were then told the statement was a horoscope for their signs.  On the average, they rated it 3.76. The individuals in the third group were asked for the day on which he or she was born and were told that the description was his or her personal horoscope. This group rated the same description an average of 4.38.  Apparently those who want to believe will do so!

 

ISBN: 0879753145

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