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

by

Pseudoscience and Extraordinary Claims of the Paranormal: A Critical Thinker's Toolkit Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

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 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

Ancillaries: Testbank and PowerPoint slides available at www.wiley.com/go/pseudoscience

Book News Annotation:

Smith (psychology, Roosevelt U.) has been fighting pseudoscience in his field for a quarter century now through the Roosevelt University Stress Institute, which he founded and directs, and his many books and articles. He begins by distinguishing between paranormal and non-paranormal mysteries, and explaining the dangers of unexamined paranormal claims. Then he describes methods for evaluating support for a claim, and considering alternative explanations. His final section rings the tools through the dimensions of spiritualism and the survival hypothesis, parapsychology, energy treatments and complementary and alternative medicine, supernatural cures and faith healing, creationism and intelligent design, and God. Annotation ©2010 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Synopsis:

Are ghosts real? Can the living communicate with the dead? Does prayer work? Are astrology and psychic readings accurate? In this groundbreaking book, a leading expert in the field makes sense of these mysteries and many more. Geared for paranormal believers and skeptics alike, Pseudoscience and Extraordinary Claims of the Paranormal: A Critical Thinker's Toolkit provides readers with a highly original, engaging, and clear-headed approach for analyzing paranormal claims and distinguishing science from pseudoscience.

Committed above all to embracing fact over fiction, Smith encourages readers to question “fearlessly and honestly.” The result may just be a greater appreciation of the awe and wonder that true science brings to our world.

About the Author

Jonathan C. Smith, Ph.D., is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist, Professor of Psychology at Roosevelt University, Founding Director of the Roosevelt University Stress Institute, and Head of the Pseudoscience and Paranormal Laboratory.  Dr. Smith has published 17 books and has written numerous articles on stress, relaxation, meditation, and mindfulness, as well as spirituality and skepticism. In 1984 he founded the Roosevelt University Stress Institute primarily to combat pseudoscience in the field. He has created classroom and online classes specifically designed to teach critical thinking skills and evaluate extraordinary claims of the paranormal.

Table of Contents

PART 1: INTRODUCTIONChapter 1: The Continuum MysteriosumMaking Sense out of Mysteries: The Continuum Mysteriosum Extraordinary, Nonparanormal Mysteries An Invitation Chapter 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 THINKER?S TOOLKIT EVALUATE SUPPORT FOR A CLAIM Chapter 3: Reality Check: Are the Sources Credible?AstrologyQuestionable SourcesThe Question of AuthorityWhen Experts Get It WrongAn Invitation to QuestionChapter 4: Reality Check: Is the Logic Valid and Sound?Basic LogicInformal Logical FallaciesPremises, Logic, and Hypothesis TestingChapter 5: Reality Check: Are Claims Based on Science: (Observations, Tests, and Theories)?ObservationsTestsTheoriesSagan?s Balance and the FEDS StandardScience and Alternative HypothesesCONSIDER ALTERNATIVE EXPLANATIONSChapter 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 Numbers Science and ChanceSummary: Psychic BiasChapter 7: Reality Checking for Perceptual Error and Trickery Top-Down Processes and Perception Manipulations of Magicians and Psychics: The Cold Reading Toolkit Hypnotic Suggestion Enhancers Chapter 8: Reality Checking for Memory Errors Memory Myths What is Memory?Memory ErrorsD?j? vuThe D?j? vu Reality CheckChapter 9: Reality Checking for the Placebo Effect What are Placebos?Weak and Strong PlacebosIs the Placebo Effect Real? Underlying ?Placebogenic? Mechanisms Placebos and Superstitious Beliefs Placebo Controversies Placebos and Performance Chapter 10: 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 Chapter 11: 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 Chapter 12: Parapsychology The Language of Parapsychology Research on PSIConclusion: The State of PSI ResearchChapter 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 Chapter 14: Supernatural Cures and Faith Healing The Varieties of Healing Experience The Evidence Chapter 15: Creationism, Intelligent Design, and God Great Debate Things Great and Small Chapter 16: The Reality Checkup: Using your Toolkit The Reality Checkup How to Carry on a Civilized Discussion about the Paranormal Parting Words: The Paranormal Challenge APPENDIX A: Complementary and Alternative Medicine APPENDIX B: Critical Thinking and Paranormal Resources APPENDIX C: Susan Blackmore on Paranormal Research

Product Details

ISBN:
9781405181235
Author:
Smith, Jonathan C.
Publisher:
Wiley-Blackwell
Author:
Smith, Brenda
Author:
Smith, Helen
Subject:
Parapsychology
Subject:
General
Subject:
Mysticism
Subject:
General Psychology & Psychiatry
Subject:
pseudoscience, paranormal, critical thinking, superstition, skepticism, parapsychology, supernatural
Subject:
Psychology : General
Copyright:
Edition Description:
WOL online Book (not BRO)
Series:
Wiley Desktop Editions
Publication Date:
20091008
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Y
Pages:
432
Dimensions:
6.14x9.21x.93 in. 1.71 lbs.

Related Subjects

Health and Self-Help » Psychology » General
Metaphysics » General
Religion » Comparative Religion » General

Pseudoscience and Extraordinary Claims of the Paranormal: A Critical Thinker's Toolkit New Hardcover
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$142.50 In Stock
Product details 432 pages Wiley-Blackwell - English 9781405181235 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , Are ghosts real? Can the living communicate with the dead? Does prayer work? Are astrology and psychic readings accurate? In this groundbreaking book, a leading expert in the field makes sense of these mysteries and many more. Geared for paranormal believers and skeptics alike, Pseudoscience and Extraordinary Claims of the Paranormal: A Critical Thinker's Toolkit provides readers with a highly original, engaging, and clear-headed approach for analyzing paranormal claims and distinguishing science from pseudoscience.

Committed above all to embracing fact over fiction, Smith encourages readers to question “fearlessly and honestly.” The result may just be a greater appreciation of the awe and wonder that true science brings to our world.

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