Parapsychology is the scientific study of experiences which,if they are as they seem tobe,are in principle outside the realm of human capabilities as presently conceived by conventional scientists.
As far as the definition of parapsychological experiences is concerned it is purely a matter of appearences,of how an experience seems to be.
A fundamental task of researchers then is to investigate the actual bases of these experiences,determing the extent to which the phenomena are explicable within the framework of accepted principles of mainstream science and if appropriate,defining the respects in which that framework should be extended in order to accomodate the findings on the phenomena.
Before the beginings of parapsychology.Paranormal phenomena in western culture were associated with divine or malevolent forces.
The ancient Greeks,for example,believed that precognitive dreams were messages from the gods.The Old Testament contains many references to paranormal phenomena including levitation, visions and apparitions.
In the middle ages the Catholic Church declared all such phenomena diabolical unless associated with a holy person.
In the 18th century pope Benedict 14th investigated alleged miraculous and paranormal phenomena,and his conclusion that paranormal experiences are neither devine or demonic but are linked to the capabilities of the person having the experience and it could be said that he was the first parapsychological researcher.
In the 19th century saw the rise of spiritualism and many physicist conducted experiments regarding the paranormal,W Barrett was not entirely convinced and devoted his idea of forming an organisation to study such phenomena.
In 1882 the foundation for the Society for Psychical Research was formed.his work led to the foundation of the American Society for psychical research.
Then along came Rhine in the 1930`s and the experiments took the Parapsychological world to the next level.The majority of those experiments that were produced in Rhines years we still use today.
In the 1960`s parapsychologist experimented with PSI and how PSI is affected by factors such as altered states of mind,mood,personality,time and so on.
other significant research included remote viewing,clairvoyance and out of body experiences.
Psychokinesis had many experiments associated with people such as Uri Geller.
in the 1970`s parapsychologists focused on using PSI in other fields such as archaeology and criminology.
Altough Rhine was a major contributor most of the experiments were carried out on individuals and were not taken to the extent of the British or American experiments.
In recent years experimental research on PSI has finally gained a foothold and some impressive research has been produced and published throughout the World.