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Pseudoscience and Extraordinary Claims of the Paranormal : a Critical Thinker's Toolkit.

Author: Jonathan C Smith
Publisher: Chicester : Wiley, 2009.
Edition/Format:   eBook : Document : English : 5th edView all editions and formats
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. Integrates simple yet powerful evaluative tools used by both paranormal believers and skeptics alikeIntroduces innovations such as a continuum for ranking paranormal claims and evaluating their  Read more...
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Genre/Form: Electronic books
Additional Physical Format: Print version:
Material Type: Document
Document Type: Book, Computer File
All Authors / Contributors: Jonathan C Smith
ISBN: 9781444358940 1444358944
OCLC Number: 815648914
Description: 1 online resource (752 pages)
Contents: Cover; Series; Dedication; Title page; Copyright; About the Author; Preface; The Critical Thinker's Toolkit; What This Book Is Not; This Book's Perspective (and Bias?); A Look Inside; Acknowledgments; PART I: INTRODUCTION; 1: The Continuum Mysteriosum; Making Sense out of Mysteries: The Continuum Mysteriosum; Extraordinary, Nonparanormal Mysteries; An Invitation; 2: 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 II: THE CRITICAL THINKERS TOOLKIT. EVALUATE SUPPORT FOR A CLAIM3: Reality Check; Astrology; Questionable Sources; The Question of Authority; When Experts Get It Wrong; An Invitation to Question; 4: Reality Check; Basic Logic; Informal Logical Fallacies; Premises, Logic, and Hypothesis Testing; 5: Reality Check; Observations; Tests; Theories; Sagan's Balance and the FEDS Standard; Science and Alternative Hypotheses; Consider Alternative ExplanationS; 6: 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 NumbersScience and Chance; Summary: Psychic Bias; 7: Reality Checking for Perceptual Error and Trickery; Top-Down Processes and Perception; The Galleria Pareidolia; Manipulations of Magicians and Psychics: The Cold Reading Toolkit; Hypnotic Suggestion Enhancers; Perceptual Bias in the Mental Health Professions; 8: Reality Checking for Memory Errors; Memory Myths; What Is Memory?; Memory Errors; Déjà vu; The Déjà vu Reality Check; 9: Reality Checking for the Placebo Effect; What are Placebos?; Weak and Strong Placebos; How Placebos Work; Placebos and Superstitious Beliefs. Placebo ControversiesPlacebos and Performance; 10: Reality Checking for Sensory Anomalies and Hallucinations; Sensory Phenomena; Migraines; Tunnel Experiences; Hallucinations; Hallucinations and the Critical Thinker's Toolkit; Dissociation and the Paranormal; PART III: THE PARANORMAL FILES; 11: Spiritualism and the Survival Hypothesis; Spiritualism; Research on Life after Death; Research on Channeling and Mediums; Conclusion; 12: Parapsychology; The Language of Parapsychology; Research on Psi; Conclusion: The State of Psi Research. 13: 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; 14: Supernatural Cures and Faith Healing; The Varieties of Healing Experience; The Evidence; Conclusion; 15: Creationism, Intelligent Design, and God; The Great Debate; Things Great and Small; 16: The Reality Checkup; The Reality Checkup.

Abstract:

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. Integrates simple yet powerful evaluative tools used by both paranormal believers and skeptics alikeIntroduces innovations such as a continuum for ranking paranormal claims and evaluating their implicationsIncludes an innovative "Critical Thinker's Toolkit," a systematic approach for performing reality checks on paranormal claims related to astrology, psychics, spiritualism, parapsycho.

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"Smith's work is a valuable contribution to the field. It will certainly be of interest to psychologists interested in the consequences of cognitive errors, and it is no doubt the best textbook on Read more...

 
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