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Extrasensory Perception: Pseudoscience?

A Battle at the Edge of Science



Co Authors:

Sarah G. Stonefoot
Department of Art & Art History
Beloit College
stonefos@beloit.edu

Clyde Freeman Herreid
Department of Biological Sciences
University at Buffalo
herreid@buffalo.edu

Abstract:

The overall purpose of this case study is to teach students to be skeptical of scientific claims, particularly those that are sensational and fall outside the boundaries of normal scientific explanation. Students read the case and then evaluate information to determine whether they believe there is enough scientific evidence to confirm the existence of extrasensory perception. The case was developed for use in an introductory science or psychology course, but would also be appropriate for courses in human biology in which the nervous system is explored.

Objectives:
  • To teach students to be skeptical of sensational “scientific claims."
  • To evaluate information and data to determine whether there is enough scientific evidence to confirm ESP’s existence.
Keywords: Extrasensory perception; telepathy; clairvoyance; precognition; psychokinesis; paranormal; Ganzfeld procedure; experimental design; K.E. Zener; J.B. Rhine
Topical Area: Scientific argumentation, Scientific method, Pseudoscience
Educational Level: High school, Undergraduate lower division
Formats: PDF
Type/Method: Directed, Demonstration
Language: English
Subject Headings: Science (General)   Psychology  
Date Posted: 03/17/04
Date Modified: N/A
Copyright: Copyright held by the National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science, University at Buffalo, State University of New York. Please see our usage guidelines, which outline our policy concerning permissible reproduction of this work.

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