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Pseudoscience and extraordinary claims of the paranormal : a critical thinker's toolkit

Author: Jonathan C Smith
Publisher: Malden, MA : Wiley-Blackwell, 2010.
Edition/Format:   Book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
"Pseudoscience and Extraordinary Claims of the Paranormal: A Critical Thinker's Toolkit provides readers with a variety of "reality-checking" tools to analyze extraordinary claims and to determine their validity. This book includes: Integrates simple yet powerful evaluative tools used by both paranormal believers and skeptics alike ; Introduces innovations such as a continuum for ranking paranormal claims and  Read more...
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Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Jonathan C Smith
ISBN: 9781405181235 1405181230 9781405181228 1405181222
OCLC Number: 319499491
Description: xx, 410 p. : ill., ports. ; 24 cm.
Contents: Part 1: Introduction. The Continuum Mysteriosum Making Sense out of Mysteries: The Continuum Mysteriosum Extraordinary, Nonparanormal Mysteries An Invitation ; Why Study These Things? The Dangers of Unexamined Paranormal Claims The Risk of Paranormal Passion and the Critical Thinker s Toolkit Eight Reality-Checks: The Critical Thinker s Toolkit. --
Part 2: The critical thinkers toolkit evaluate suoport for a claim. Reality Check: Are the Sources Credible? Astrology Questionable Sources The Question of Authority When Experts Get It Wrong An Invitation to Question ; Reality Check: Is the Logic Valid and Sound? Basic Logic Informal Logical Fallacies Premises, Logic, and Hypothesis Testing ; Reality Check: Are Claims Based on Science: (Observations, Tests, and Theories)? Observations Tests Theories Sagan s Balance and the FEDS Standard Science and Alternative Hypotheses ; Consider alternative explanations ; Reality Checking for Oddities of Nature and the World of Numbers Probability Estimates and Bias Math Ignorance Coincidences The Clumpiness of Randomness The Law of Very Large Numbers Science and Chance Summary: Psychic Bias ; Reality Checking for Perceptual Error and Trickery Top-Down Processes and Perception Manipulations of Magicians and Psychics: The Cold Reading Toolkit Hypnotic Suggestion Enhancers ; Reality Checking for Memory Errors Memory Myths What is Memory? Memory Errors Déjà vu The Déjà vu Reality Check ; Reality Checking for the Placebo Effect What are Placebos? Weak and Strong Placebos Is the Placebo Effect Real? Underlying Placebogenic Mechanisms Placebos and Superstitious Beliefs Placebo Controversies Placebos and Performance ; Reality Checking for Sensory Anomalies and Hallucinations Sensory Phenomena Migraines Tunnel Experiences Hallucinations Hallucinations and the Critical Thinker s Toolkit. --
Part 3: The paranormal files. Spiritualism and the Survival Hypothesis History of the Spiritualist Movement Impact of Spiritualism Spiritualism Today Research on Life after Death Research on Channeling and Mediums Conclusion ; Parapsychology The Language of Parapsychology Research on PSI Conclusion: The State of PSI Research ; Energy Treatments and Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) Contemporary Views of Energy: The Scientific Perspective Concepts of Energy in Children and Western History: Vitalism Chinese History and Energy: The Yin-Yang School Chinese Energy Treatments Western Energy Treatments Conclusion ; Supernatural Cures and Faith Healing The Varieties of Healing Experience The Evidence ; Creationism, Intelligent Design, and God Great Debate Things Great and Small ; The Reality Checkup: Using your Toolkit The Reality Checkup How to Carry on a Civilized Discussion about the Paranormal Parting Words: The Paranormal Challenge.
Responsibility: Jonathan C. Smith.

Abstract:

Pseudoscience and Extraordinary Claims of the Paranormal provides readers with the tools to make sense of the strange and unexplained. Geared for paranormal believers and skeptics alike, the text  Read more...

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One of the greatest strengths of this book is its active engagement of the reader. Every few pages, Smith interrupts the text with a Reality Check box, a set of discussion questions that challenge Read more...

 
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schema:description""Pseudoscience and Extraordinary Claims of the Paranormal: A Critical Thinker's Toolkit provides readers with a variety of "reality-checking" tools to analyze extraordinary claims and to determine their validity. This book includes: Integrates simple yet powerful evaluative tools used by both paranormal believers and skeptics alike ; Introduces innovations such as a continuum for ranking paranormal claims and evaluating their implications ; Includes an innovative "Critical Thinker's Toolkit," a systematic approach for performing reality checks on paranormal claims related to astrology, psychics, spiritualism, parapsychology, dream telepathy, mind-over-matter, prayer, life after death, creationism, and more ; Explores the five alternative hypotheses to consider when confronting a paranormal claim ; Reality Check boxes, integrated into the text, invite students to engage in further discussion and examination of claims ; Written in a lively, engaging style for students and general readers alike."--Publisher's website."@en
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