Alan Gauld, PhD

Dr Alan O. Gauld, MA, DLitt, PhD, is a retired Reader in Psychology, having taught biological psychology and neuropsychology at the University of Nottingham. He has written or co-authored five books: The Founders of Psychical Research; Human Action and Its Psychological Investigation (with John Shotte); Poltergeists (with Tony Cornell); Mediumship and Survival; and History of Hypnotism. He is a past President of the SPR, recipient of the Parapsychology Association's Award for Outstanding Contributions to Parapsychological Research, and the Myers Memorial Medal of the SPR.

He was born in Portland, Dorset. In the late 1950s, he attended Harvard University. He obtained an MA in 1958 and a PhD in 1962 from Emmanuel College. He taught psychology at Nottingham University and was the President of the Society for Psychical Research from 1989 to 1992.

Gauld's The Founders of Psychical Research (1968) documents early investigations into paranormal phenomena. Gauld's book A History Of Hypnotism (1992) documents the history of hypnosis. It was positively reviewed by medical historian Roger Cooter in the British Medical Journal who recommended it as a 'useful reference tool'. The book was also positively reviewed by philosopher Peter G. Sobol who wrote that 'with its broad coverage and attention to detail, this is an indispensable book for any future work on the history of hypnosis'. Psychologist Geoffrey Blowers also praised the book commenting that 'he steers a clear path through the large, diverse literature and avoids a partisan stance on the findings to present a lively and informative account of this baffling phenomenon'. Psychiatrist Melvin A. Gravitz described the book as a 'significant contribution to the field, which will stand as a hallmark of scholarship for many years'.

Selected Publications

The Founders of Psychical Research (1968)

with John Shotter, Human Action and its Psychological Investigation (1977)

with Tony Cornell, Poltergeists (1979)

Andrew Lang as Psychical Researcher (1983)

Mediumship and Survival: A Century of Investigations (1983)

A History Of Hypnotism (1992)

Conference Programme Committee Info

Organises the Society's annual international conference, usually held in early September

Chairman: Dr Cal Cooper

Members: Prof. Bernard Carr, Prof. Chris RoeDr Alan GauldAlan Murdie, Prof. Adrian ParkerDr Tom Ruffles

Editorial Board

Provides academic editorial advice for the Journal of the Society for Psychical Research

Chairman:  Prof. Adrian Parker

Members: Prof. Stephen Braude, Dr Richard BroughtonProf. Bernard CarrProf. Deborah DelanoyDr Alan Gauld, James Houran, Dr Harvey Irwin, Prof. John PoyntonProf. Chris RoeAdrian Ryan, Dr Stefan Schmidt, Dr Paul Stevens, Dr David Vernon, Prof. Caroline Watt, Prof. Robin Wooffitt.

Research Grants Committee

Distributes grants to support research in a number of areas.

Chairman: Adrian Ryan

Members: Dr Richard Broughton, Prof. Bernard Carr, Prof. Deborah DelanoyDr Alan Gauld, Prof. Caroline Watt

Survival Research Committee

This committee distributes a fund made up of legacies to the Society which have been restricted to supporting research on the question of the survival of the human mind and personality after death.  The largest of these legacies, from Henry B. Tate (of Tate & Lyle) originally required the organisation of two Gwen Tate Memorial Lectures each year. This requirement no longer applies but the Society continues to hold the lectures. In addition to the Gwen Tate Memorial Lectures, the fund is also used to award grants supporting research specifically on the topic of survival.

Chairman: Marian Barton

Members: Dennis Bury, Dr M Colborn, Dr Callum Cooper, Dr Alan Gauld, Dr David Rousseau, Dr D Saunders