An Introduction to Paranormal Psychology – with Chris French

An Introduction to Paranormal Psychology – with Chris French

Do ghosts exist? Is there any evidence for the paranormal? With millions believing in paranormal phenomena, it must either exist or be explained by psychological factors. Chris French introduces the field of anomalistic psychology, which aims to provide non-paranormal, scientific explanations of the seemingly unexplainable.
Watch the Q&A here:

Ever since records began, in every known society, a substantial proportion of the population has reported unusual experiences many of which we would today label as ‘paranormal’. Opinion polls
show that the majority of the general public accepts that paranormal phenomena do occur. Such widespread experience of and belief in the paranormal can only mean one of two things. Either the paranormal is real, in which case this should be accepted by the wider scientific community which currently rejects such claims; or else belief in and experience of ostensibly paranormal phenomena can be fully explained in terms of psychological factors. Chris French provides an introduction to the sub-discipline of anomalistic psychology, which may be defined as the study of extraordinary phenomena of behaviour and experience, in an attempt to provide non-paranormal
explanations in terms of known psychological and physical factors.

Chris French is Professor of Psychology at Goldsmiths, University of London. His research focusses on the psychology of paranormal belief and ostensibly paranormal experiences, the belief in conspiracy theories and false memories.

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July 27, 2016 / 33 Comments / by / in
  • I like his humor 😉

  • Great topic and speaker, thank you!

  • Brilliant talk!

  • 26:02 Damn.

  • Dowsing + Highspeed camera :V

  • we should create new games and test them on computers first. Let computers set the standard and have humans try to beat them.

  • That bit at the end is the same experience I have with the manic street preachers lyrics played forward.

    I would like to say one thing for the Royal Institution; with cannot be said for other universities and other sources of public education in the United Kingdom (with a few exceptions, like with the videos on YouTube from Nottingham University).
    It is that I feel like, as it is in the USA; that educational courses and educational information should be much more freely available; and in the UK they have a very strong elitist way about education, in that you have to be rich to go to university; and in the USA education is open to all people. I have no complete idea what the ideas were behind the 'Royal institution', but it has been going on for an astonishingly long time from my research (around 150 years), and seems to run counter to that elitism.
    This institution is great for promoting people interests and curiosity, and this educational elitism we have in Britain should be undone and overhauled to make knowledge available to all, just like in the USA.
    I think the RI should be promoted a lot more, and this elitism that usually comes from the UK government and high status authoritarian people condemned. I would like to see this ideology of the RI take over this elitism, it would benefit Britain and the public greatly.

    Great work RI!

    Note – I would love to see paranormal science lecture videos like you can with other university courses.
    I have particularly unique paranormal experiences all the time, they say that I am a special spirit!

  • To elaborate some more on the hidden audio messages, there was a guy on a French radio who was discovering French text in foreign songs, once you have heard the sentence in French you could not revert to hear the original language. (On youtube search for serge llado hallucinations auditives)

  • Let's play the game:
    – number : lost
    – number : win
    – card : win I did know the trick
    – cold reading : lost ;( I'm not a psychopath

  • chris french il parle même pas français l'arnque putain

  • wow chris! great talk, keep it up, proud of you! (no srsly tho it was really a nice talk)

  • Skepticism is not right at the heart of science. Discovery is.

  • Loved the satanic bit with Stairway to Heaven. Even I as an unbeliever heard the message quite distinctly.

  • As of today, 8 dowsers, astrologers, psychics, or other dolts had their superstitions offended by this video.

  • Didn't know that Led Zeppelin is that great!

  • I enjoy watching Chris Frenchs lectures about the Paranormal….. but there is onemystery….Why does he always wear a white shirt in his videos??

  • There are actually only 20 different 2 digit numbers where both digits are odd and not the same.

  • 13:53 The 3rd possibility is that a person or persons are intentionally moving the table.

  • I only believe my own evidence which is EVP'S.

  • I give no Credence to dowsing rods. In some cases under the water there are electromagnetic fields and when using the copper dowsing rods they probably point that way. That's my take on it.

  • That effect of their muscles unconsciously moving the dowsing rods is pretty much the same as a Ouija board. They've actually done test with a Ouija board with a infrared and heat-sensitive camera to see the muscles did tense up to move the planchette

  • Which is more important?…looking for failures which we can easily find all round us..or trying to find genuine successes which are far rarer, This man always seems to take the easy way out and makes a big deal about debunking what are usually pretty silly subjects to begin with. The father of psychoanalysis Clement Freud and his friend and one time rival Carl Jung were arguing with each other one day about the existence or not, of poltergeists. Jung having had many unusual experiences was a believer while Freud was a complete skeptic. Jung suddenly announced that something was about to happen ..just then there was a tremendous explosion from a sideboard behind them which astonished both men. Just as Freud began formulating a rational explanation, Jung said it was about to happen again and a second even louder explosion took place. Freud was amazed and on checking the sideboard which was undamaged the found a large carving he had placed in a drawer shortly beforehand had it's heavy blade snapped in four pieces. Freud an outstanding intellectual on many levels now accepted the reality of poltergeist activity but as he couldn't see how such knowledge could help his patients he could see no point in studying the subject any further. Jung who had caused the phenomenon, but didn't know how, went on to explore the subject for the rest of his long life and gained many important insights from doing so. The point from all this is that a genuine paranormal experience can be a life changing event. But the whole field seems to be populated by frauds, cranks weirdo's and populist debunkers like this man. I had many strange experiences ax a child and young man and I've explored a lot of odd places during the past forty years trying to find out what was real and what was imagination. Luckily I had the help of a lifelong friend, a psychologist, now retired, who was able to interpret events more deeply than i could as a relative layman. The following can be regarded as pretty accurate as I can speak from personal experience. Ghosts are simply shadows of a past time and place, they are no more than unseeing, unthinking, unfeeling holographic-type images which 'some minds' can visualize. Precognitive dreams and telepathy are a reality and are inextricably linked with the mystery of time. There is far more to sleep paralysis than this gentleman realizes. The hypnagogic state, between waking and sleeping, can provide access to an astonishing amount of information and at least two Nobel laureates have acquired vital knowledge while remaining conscious during this state. During our forty years we came across two situations, both very similar, which makes me think there are some very rare occasions when something evil can make it's presence felt and it's not just a shadowy ghost or thumps, bangs and noises in the night, but some active, sentient being. It is now accepted by N.A.S.A. and most of the worlds leading scientists that we exist in a multi dimensional universe where there are literally countless planes of existence which contain an infinite variety of life forms. Perhaps it's possible and always has been, that some totally unimaginable life forms can by some freakish circumstance appear in our universe from time to time. It's thought that if they ever did, we probably couldn't see them or possibly touch them as they would have a different rate of vibration than us. But that's only a theory,, that the other universes exist is a fact. Could this explain the phenomenon of possession if it really does exist? All the equipment you see so called ghost hunters using on T.V. is of no use whatever. Dreams and thoughts can't be photographed and ghosts are 'made' from the same non-existent substance, which is why after nearly two hundred years there are NO photos of ghosts. The best 'instrument' for detecting ''invisible activity' is the human brain provided of course there is no type pf psychosis present, obvious or underlying. We only use about ten percent of our brains for our everyday lives and there is a whole universe of possibilities waiting to be explored in the other ninety per cent. Even today scientists can't say for sure exactly in which part of our brains dreams are formed but it is well known that while we sleep our subconscious is still receiving information from all kinds of outside sources and all of this is processed and stored and while we may never have cause to retrieve this information, it will stay with us for the rest of our lives.

  • Chris French don't speak french, I'm skeptic about it 😉
    Joke apart, nive video !

  • 1 million people go missing each year.

  • A little disappointed. I only found 2 nutters. 🙁

  • BTW. I got 7, then 15 before he said it followed by 35, 37 and 9 hearts. There is no such thing as the paranormal, if mind reading is possible there will be an explanation. In fact the strange thing is that we can't read each others minds, seeing as we all have similar thought patterns. My guess, our brains are carefully designed to maintain personal sovereignty.

  • Those poor little psychics and dowsers! The results were unequivocal, but where was the context? Surely, they should have been tested doing their procedure as they normally do first? If they can't produce interesting results like then talking them in the lab is a waste of time. Then assuming that some do perform well at 'home', but not in the lab you have to develop more tests to find out why. What do they do that works? Lets say all the tests are a complete failure and the only time any practitioner succeeds is when they use a blatant trick. That still leaves everyone who is not a practicing psychic. Out of this group lets say half have had a 'psychic' experience: like me I have had two experiences that could be called 'ghostly 'in over 60 years. I know I experienced something I had never experienced before, it was unpleasant and frightening and seemed to be a genuine 'event'. How can you investigate that? Yet, most of most convincing psychic stories are like that and most of the practitioners are known to be fakes or fools.
    Ah yes, there is still another group psychics who don't want to be evolved in scientific research. I am not sure I would, if had real psychic powers I might want to keep quiet about it as the kind of fame it could bring might harmful to my existence.
     All in all, I don't see the type of research here as likely to advance our knowledge in a significant manner. And the scientists seem almost as lame as the psychics.

  • I have been using cold reading in my viva voce exams for a very long time to get good grades. It really works! My examiners, most often than not, think I know a lot while I just flunk the classes.

  • wow that was totally unimportant and dumb! gj smart guys..

  • Of course the "supernatural" exists. God is supernatural, and most of the angels (haha)

  • If he dont believe in paranormal stuff then why have anything to do with it?

  • Chris French is much better at delivering the jokes than Richard Wiseman.

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