Psychology in the media: Extrasensory perception (ESP)

ESP is discussed in the book, ‘Introduction to Psychology’ by Rod Plotnik and Haig Kouyoumdjian. The concept explains the utilization of what is referred to as the sixth sense other than that of sight, smell, hearing, touch and taste.

The concept is however controversial among psychologists since it cannot be quantified or demonstrated repetitively. ESP is defined as “a group of psychic experiences that involves perceiving or sending information (images) outside normal sensory processes or channels” (Plotnik & Haig 138).

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It entails telepathy, which is the potential to read other’s thoughts, psychokinesis, which is the capability to apply mind above matter, precognition, which is the potential to prognosticate events, and clairvoyance, which is the capability to recognize events or things that are out of sight. These four ESPs are referred to as psi phenomenon.

The Gallup poll ascertains that forty percent of Americans admit to the existence of ESP while just about ten percent disregard it. Psychologists disregard it since it cannot be proven and its justification challenges biological, physical laws and trickery methods have been used to demonstrate it as proven by Amazing Randi. However, research on the brain reveals that the neurotransmitter dopamine is directly linked to the supernatural perceptions.

People have been fooled through magic and claims of psychic abilities, which cannot be demonstrated repeatedly under controlled environments. Therefore, ESP has not been able to endure the scrutiny of scientific investigation (138). ESP is a paranormal occurrence or weird intuition that encompasses astrology, psychic powers, communicating with the dead, astral potentials and prophesies.

The big question is whether ESP is a mere coincidence, trickery or even hallucination or if it does really exist. This topic is relevant to class since it can be referred to explain events that science disregards such as witchcraft and realistic dreams for a better understanding of the world. Besides, the topic is still a fresh field of research in parapsychology and students could base their research projects to investigate the occurrence of ESP.

Work Cited

Plotnik, Rod and Haig Kouyoumdjian. Introduction to Psychology. Cengage Learning, 2010. Print.


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