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'.
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)