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Anomalistic Psychology: A Great Topic For Halloween!


With Halloween just around the corner, it would be a great time to introduce your students to anomalistic psychology.



In general terms, Anomalistic Psychology attempts to explain paranormal and related beliefs, and ostensibly paranormal experiences in terms of known or knowable psychological and physical factors. 

For a host of ideas for class discussions and activities around the topic of anomalistic psychology, I highly recommend watching the following talk by Chris French, Ph.D., professor of psychology and head of the Anomalistic Psychology Research Unit at Goldsmiths, University of London.





Issues Worth Exploring


The nature of paranormal belief.


Why so many people believe in paranormal phenomena such as life-after-death, ghosts, communicating with the dead, telepathy, and precognitive dreams.


The role of skepticism in science.


Alternative explanations for supposed paranormal phenomena e.g.


  • The ideomotor effect
  • cognitive bias
  • The law of large numbers (coincidence)
  • the Forer effect


Did You Know?

Carl Jung's degree dissertation topic was the psychology and pathology of occult phenomena based upon his cousin's alleged mediumistic abilities.