Understanding the science of the paranormal: UWS hosts Fourth Annual AIPR Lecture

UFOs, angels, ghosts, telepathy and reincarnation are widely considered to be the stuff of fantasy and fiction. However, there are academics in Australia who use scientific methods to analyse and study these paranormal phenomena.

On Wednesday 7th November, one such academic will visit the UWS Parramatta campus to address the Fourth Annual Australian Institute of Parapsychological Research (opens in a new window) (AIPR) Lecture.

Dr Lance Storm has a PhD in parapsychology and is a Research Fellow in the School of Psychology at the University of Adelaide.

At the UWS-hosted Lecture, he will provide an outline of C.G Jung’s concept of ‘Synchronicity’ – or meaningful coincidence – and how it contrasts with meaningless chance.

“Synchronicity is a variety of paranormal phenomenon in which two or more events that are unrelated happen to occur together in a meaningful way,” says Dr Storm.

“In their daily lives, many people will claim to experience moments when a sequence of events that seem to them to be too odd or unlikely to be an act of coincidence.

“They may take a moment to consider the oddity of the situation, and what the potential meanings could be – and without realising it are allowing themselves to consider their position in a world where the paranormal phenomena exist.”

Dr Tony Jinks from the UWS School of Social Sciences and Psychology is a specialist consultant to the AIPR and the organiser of the Lecture. He says the event will be of interest to anyone with an interest in the paranormal or the unexplained.

“People differ in their beliefs regarding the legitimacy of paranormal phenomena – but what is clear is the impact that these strange experiences and encounters have on people’s lives,” says Dr Jinks.

“When someone admits to a having strange experience, listeners usually explain it away as a case of mistaken perception, intoxication, ignorance, or even mental illness.

“These dismissive solutions are unsympathetic, and can have a significant impact on a person’s psychological wellbeing. It is much more constructive to conduct a balanced analysis of the person’s experience and perhaps consider a range of other explanations.”

In the presentation, Dr Storm will present some basic parapsychological concepts and discuss the purpose and usefulness of the Synchronicity concept. He will also present the results of a statistical analysis which shows that acts of coincidence can be repeatable. 

WHAT: ‘Synchronicity and the I Ching’ – The Fourth Annual Australian Institute of Parapsychological Research (AIPR) Lecture
WHEN: 7pm, Wednesday 7th November, 2012
WHERE: Building EA.2.14, UWS Parramatta campus, Corner of James Ruse Drive and Victoria Road, Rydalmere
MORE INFORMATION: http://www.aiprinc.org/