The field of Paranormal Research is a broad one, and educational articles on the paranormal help to transform hobbyists into professional paranormal scientists.
Why Read Educational Articles on the Paranormal?
The term "paranormal" is a very general term that covers everything from parapsychology, the study of psychic abilities, to spectrology, the study of ghosts. When a paranormal researcher decides to enter the field of paranormal research, the first step is to choose which area (or areas) of the paranormal in which you wish to specialize. Some examples of the major specialties in paranormal education include:
- Angelology, the study of angels
- Astrology, the study of how stars influence people
- Cryptozoology, the study of unknown species of animals
- Demonology, the study of demons
- Parapsychology, the study of unexplained psychic phenomena
- Spectrology, the study of ghosts
- Thaumatology, the study of miracles
- Ufology, the study of unidentified flying objects
Each of these major areas of research requires an understanding of a number of subcategories. For example, a professional ufologist should understand basic aerodynamics, cosmology, magnetics, mechanics, barology and thermodynamics. A parapsychologist should have a base of knowledge that includes hypnology, phenomenology, psychopathology, theology and the basics of neurology.
A Curriculum for Professional Paranormal Research
Most people who want to study paranormal phenomena focus exclusively on spectrology, or the study of ghosts. This field may often also require an understanding of demonology, especially when dealing with what researchers call "poltergeists." Or, investigators may choose to utilize the paranormal abilities of psychics, in which case researchers should understand parapsychology and its limitations. Spectrologists, or ghost hunters, should try to form a strong, well-rounded educational plan by taking at least introductory courses within the following fields of study. If you are short on cash to pay for such a formal education, visit your local library and look for periodicals and books that provide an introductory overview of these subjects. Completing these courses will ensure that ghost hunters perform as true scientists when they go into the field.
- Acoustics, the study of sound
- Aerodynamics, study of gas dynamics and movement through air
- Audiology, the study of hearing
- Barology, study of gravitation
- Catacoustics, study of echoes or how sound reflects
- Chemistry, the study of substances
- Electrochemistry, the study of how electricity interacts with chemicals
- Electrostatics, the study of static electricity
- Electrology, the study of electricity
- Epileptology, the study of epilepsy
- Folkloristics and mythology, the study of folklore and myths
- Hypnology, the study of sleep and hypnosis
- Kinematics, kinetics and mechanics, the study of motion and force on objects
- Magnetics, the study of magnetism
- Metaphysics, philosophy of the nature of reality
- Olfactology or osmology, the study of the sense of smell
- Optics, the study of light
- Pseudoptics, the study of optical illusions
- Psychopathology, the study of mental illness
- Theology, the study of religion
- Thermology and thermodynamics, the study of heat
The Wild West of the Paranormal
Unfortunately, paranormal research remains an uncredentialed field of study. This means that it's difficult to find a fully developed course of study that doesn't contain some form of bias or unscientific practice. However, this also means that you can develop a strong scientific foundation on your own at any local college or university, and then move forward to become a leader in the field of paranormal research. Once you establish yourself as a scientist, you could be the one that produces actual, tangible results within this field.
Educational Articles and Study Material
The following educational articles on the paranormal and additional resources will help you develop critical thinking skills regarding paranormal phenomena. However, keep in mind that the best education you can obtain will be from courses at your local college, followed by real-life field research with a legitimate local paranormal research society.
- ParaResearchers provides fascinating articles and news on topics from ufology to psychic phenomenon.
- The Skeptic's Dictionary is one of the most comprehensive resources for investigators who would like to learn how to make sure to use common sense when analyzing any paranormal claim.
- PSI Explorer lists colleges that offer courses in parapsychology.
- Supernatural News on Topix presents articles from thousands of Internet sources, providing you with an excellent "pulse" on what's going on in the paranormal community.
- The Fortean Times main page can sometimes look like a supermarket tabloid, but most of the paranormal articles provide some of the best educational examples of critical thinking.
- The Committee for Skeptical Inquiry is sometimes overly critical or skeptical, but they provide some of the best unbiased analysis of paranormal phenomenon that you'll find anywhere.
- The Randi Scholarship, JREF, offers scholarships of $1,000.00 through $5,000.00 to any deserving student seeking to obtain a formal education directed toward critical thinking and scientific inquiry, especially related to the paranormal.
Once you decide to embark on this educational path, you will learn the scientific methods and theories that can be used to make your study of phenomenon more efficient and conclusive. For example, the black box, or systems theory, provides a researcher with a set of scientific protocols that can assist in understanding how something works, without fully understanding its inner-workings right away. This is accomplished through the systematic use of input stimuli and output responses. A good example is often shown on shows like Paranormal State or Ghost Hunters when researchers stand in the middle of an empty room and ask a question. That input stimuli often produces feedback in the form of knocking, objects moving or electronic voice phenomena (EVP).
The resources above will provide an excellent starting point for amateur ghost hunters to form a strong knowledgebase through reading scientific articles on ghosts or hauntings. Remember, when seeking a paranormal education, a valid scientific education teaches a researcher to assume nothing, but to keep an open mind to everything. Keeping this in mind throughout your studies will ensure your ultimate success.