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

ISBN-10: 1405181222
ISBN-13: 9781405181228
Edition: 5th 2010
List price: $71.95 Buy it from $24.97
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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. Integrates simple yet powerful  More...

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Book details

List price: $71.95
Edition: 5th
Copyright year: 2010
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons, Limited
Publication date: 8/27/2009
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 430
Size: 6.00" wide x 9.00" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 1.562
Language: English

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 sceptics 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

About the Author
Preface
Acknowledgments
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
The Critical Thinker's Toolkit
Evaluate Support 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 Observation (Scientific 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
Perceptual Bias in the Mental Health Professions
Reality Checking for Memory Errors
Memory Myths
What Is Memory?
Memory Errors
Deja vu
The Deja vu Reality Check
Reality Checking for the Placebo Effect
What are Placebos?
Weak and Strong Placebos
How Placebos Work
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
Dissociation and the Paranormal
The Paranormal Files
Spiritualism and the Survival Hypothesis
Spiritualism
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
Conclusion
Creationism, Intelligent Design, and God
The 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: Pandora's Challenge
Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Critical Thinking and Paranormal Resources
Susan Blackmore on Paranormal Research
Notes
References
Name Index
Subject Index

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