Parapsychology Research and Education: ParaMOOC2017
Learn about the scientific study of psychic phenomena from those who are doing the research!
Course Start Date: 16 Jan 2017
If you're interested in the scientific study of psychic phenomena and want to hear some of the best and brightest international researchers in the field talk about their own research, and have access to discussions with a wide group of participants from students to new researchers to experiencers, then this is the course for you.
Following on the extraordinary success of the first two courses in the WizIQ-based ParaMOOC series, Parapsychology and Anomalistic Psychology: Research and Education (also known as ParaMOOC2015) and Parapsychology Research and Education (also known as ParaMOOC2016), this year's ParaMOOC will include over a dozen guest lecturers, 4 presentations from the organizers, 4 to 5 discussion forums while the live classes are being given, monthly discussion forums on topics of the students’ choice for six months after the live portion of the course is finished both in the ParaMOOC2017 virtual classroom on WizIQ and at The AZIRE Library and Learning Center in the virtual world Second Life, at least 16 downloadable PowerPoint presentations, and additional materials such as YouTube tutorials, recommended videos, and a recommended book list.
Anyone who has an interest in the scientific and academic side of parapsychology, psychical research, anomalistic psychology and/or consciousness is invited to attend. No prerequisites or qualifications are required for the course, just your interest and enthusiasm for the topic. A certificate of completion will be issued by the Parapsychology Foundation to those who have attended or viewed 10 presentations across the duration of the course. Those who also submit a written or recorded reflection on the 10 presentations they attend or view may request a certificate of completion with distinction.
The ParaMOOC series is a completely unique introduction to international scientists and academic researchers who work on a variety of phenomena including extrasensory perception, telepathy, near-death experiences, reincarnation, distant mental influence on living systems (the part of the field that addresses psychic healing), clairvoyance, mediumship, survival research and more.
The only way to have access to this kind of expertise and to these knowledgeable individuals outside of this course is to pay to attend the annual conferences of the Parapsychological Association, the Society for Psychical Research, the Society for Scientific Exploration, and the International Association for Near Death Studies, among other such organizations.
In this free WizIQ-based MOOC, not only will students have an opportunity to hear accomplished researchers talk about their own work, for live attendees, with only one presentation scheduled on the day, there also will be plenty of time for questions after every talk. Those who can’t join us in the live sessions will have access to the recordings of the presentations within hours of the live talk, as well as the PowerPoint presentations and additional materials. The course discussion page will be available to all attendees on a 24/7 basis.
Among those guest lecturers who have confirmed but have not as yet submitted biographies and abstracts: Dr. Peter Bancel (France), Dr. Edward F. Kelly (Division of Perceptual Studies, Department of Psychiatry and Neurobehavioral Sciences, University of Virginia), Dr. Gerhard Mayer (Institut für Grenzegebiete der Psychologie und Psychohygeine, Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany), and Dr. Fabio da Silva (Brazil). Here is the list of guest speakers who have provided abstracts and biographical materials (more information on each of these events will appear in the descriptions of the individual live sessions):
- Dr. Daryl Bem will report on the results of several laboratory experiments that test for precognition, the apparent retroactive influence on a person’s current emotions, thoughts, or behaviors by a future event that could not have been anticipated through any known inferential process. He will also discuss successful attempts to replicate his results by 69 independent investigators from 33 different laboratories located in 14 different countries. Dr. Bem is an Emeritus Professor of Psychology at Cornell University in the United States and is well known for his publications in social psychology and in parapsychology.
- Jack Hunter, who is near to completion of his doctorate in anthropology from the University of Bristol in England, will provide an overview of the fields of transpersonal anthropology, the anthropology of consciousness and, the most recent development in this lineage, paranthropology. After outlining the contributions of these fields to the development of a new approach to the investigation of so-called non-ordinary realities, Hunter highlights the need for ethnographers to participate in the transpersonal practices and experiences of their informants. Hunter is also the founder and editor of Paranthropology: Journal of Anthropological Approaches to the Paranormal.
- Dr. Christopher Laursen recently obtained his doctorate from the University of British Columbia in Canada. He is a historian of religions, sciences, and the environment. His presentation will review the growth and usefulness of the notion that psychological dynamics of “focus persons” are related to the phenomena of poltergeist cases. In addition to recently published book chapters and articles, he is working on a book that builds on his doctoral thesis.
- Dr. Everton Maraldi will present on the concept of creative dissociation as it is expressed in artistic mediumship. The data he reviews, gathered from 1998 through 2013, include psychophysiological measures, psychological tests, artistic material, observational materials and some basic socio-demographic and biographical information. Maraldi is a post-doc at the University of São Paulo (USP) in Brazil and a member of InterPsi: The Laboratory of Anomalistic Psychology and Psychosocial Processes also at USP.
- Dr. Julia Mossbridge is a Scientist at the Institute of Noetic Sciences in Petaluma, California in the United States, the CEO and Research Director of Mossbridge Institute, LLC, the Science Director at Focus@Will, and a Visiting Scholar in the Psychology Department at Northwestern University. She is also the 2014 winner of the Charles Honorton Integrative Contributions Award from the Parapsychological Association. Her talk will focus on nonconscious processes that may have better access to future events that we generally think of as “unpredictable.” The experimental and theoretical investigation of these effects, also known as presentiment or predictive anticipatory activity (PAA), will be a focus of her discussion.
- Dr. Masayuki Ohkado will present an examination of life-between-life memories, memories of the womb, and memories of birth, showing how these memories share some common characteristics with past-life memories as established over 50 years of intensive studies by Dr. Ian Stevenson and others. Ohkado is currently a Professor in the Graduate School of Global Humanities and Faculty of General Education at Chubu University in Japan, and a visiting professor at the Division of Perceptual Studies in the Department of Psychiatry and Neurobehavioral Sciences at the University of Virginia in the United States.
- Dr. Alejandro Parra's talk will focus on a psychometry-based ESP experiment that allowed his research group to explore new strategies for using and appraising the “token-object” effect. Parra is the founder and President of the Instituto de Psicología Paranormal in Buenos Aires, Argentina, as well as a past-President of the Parapsychological Association, the association for serious scientists and scholars with an interest in the investigation of psychic phenomena.
- Dr. Alexander Sech Junior’s presentation will deal with the (re)emergence of the “occult” with research on psychic phenomena in the English-speaking context of Victorian and Edwardian science. Dr. Sech Junior completed his doctorate recently with a dissertation that focused on William James and psychical research. He is a member of the Research Center in Spirituality and Health in the Faculty of Medicine at the Federal University of Juiz de Fora in Brazil and of the Research Center in History and Philosophy of Psychology at the same university.
- Dr. Christine Simmonds-Moore will introduce students to the relationship of synesthesias and psychic phenomena. She is an Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of West Georgia in the United States and is also well-known for her research on schizotypy, the focus of her doctorate at the University of Northampton in England some years ago.
- Charmaine Sonnex will review her doctoral research on non-contact healing in which she developed an up-to-date overview of the current state of distance healing research, to assess the methodological quality of such research, and to determine if a positive healing effect has been demonstrated. In the final stages of obtaining her PhD at the University of Northampton (England), Sonnex is also an Associate Lecturer in Psychology at the same university.
Students who attend or view all the lectures and take part in discussions will come away from the course with a good understanding of the various people, topics, research methodologies and findings that are at the core of scientific and academic parapsychology. They will have a better understanding of the importance of psychic phenomena, who experiences them, and what they have to say about our nature as human beings. Students will also come to know about the connections of the field of parapsychology to other more mainstream sciences in a wide group of countries and cultures. And finally, if ParaMOOC2017 is as successful as the two previous courses on WizIQ were (the two courses combined have over 1300 enrollees from more than 30 countries), students will also have the opportunity to meet, get to know, and share their interests and experiences with a wide group of people from all over the world.
While the course does not prepare individuals for any formal certifications or exams specifically, students can work toward a certificate of completion issued by the Parapsychology Foundation.
Language of instruction: English