PSI RESEARCH is a multi-disciplinary enterprise in which diverse experts play a part, including philosophers, anthropologists, linguists, historians, detectives, ethnologists, psychiatrists and neuro-physiologists, and experts in stage magic.
Focused ESP research can be regarded as a branch of experimental psychology, using orthodox scientific methods in controlled laboratory conditions.
Research into paranormal physical phenomena (PK) would appear to call for the skills of an engineer or a physicist (in this context, the term paraphysicist can replace parapsychologist).
By contrast, field research requires the investigator to travel to locations were paranormal phenomena are said to have been observed (for instance the location of a poltergeist incident, or the home of a child who remembers a previous life), in order to verify the claims by observation and by conducting interviews. Many successful investigators have been distinguished professionals in mainstream fields, operating from a base in industry, in schools, or in professional practice as lawyers, psychiatrists and even ministers of religion.
SPR membership is an ideal first step, providing education and experience through access to its libraries, publications and lectures, and stimulating discussions and activities with other members.
Some UK universities offer undergraduate courses in parapsychology, usually within their psychology department. It is also possible to study the subject at postgraduate level.
However, given its outsider status in the academic community, opportunities for full-time careers are sadly few. Funding to cover maintenance and university fees is not usually obtainable from the governmental agencies and research foundations that support work in more traditional subjects. The most common approach for students who obtain a doctoral degree in parapsychology, and who wish to continue research in this area, is to seek a post in a related discipline that will provide them with the necessary time and facilities.
If you would like more information, don’t hesitate to get in touch.