Paranormal by nuhman10

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									                                                     Paranormal Phenomena: Exam Questions -- 1


                                     Paranormal Phenomena

1. Pseudoscience: What is Pseudoscience? What are the differences between science and
       pseudoscience? What are examples of pseudosciences?

2. Harm: How and in what ways might false beliefs in the paranormal be harmful?

3. Harm of Facilitated Communication: What harm could be done by believing in facilitated
       communication if it doesn’t work?

4. Facilitated Communication: In the video about facilitated communication (“Prisoners of
        Silence”), tests of facilitated communication were conducted by presenting pictures to
        the autistic child under two conditions: (1) presenting the same picture to the child and
        the facilitator and (2) presenting a different picture to the child and the facilitator. The
        results show that the children cannot give the correct answer under condition (2).

       A. Control Condition: What is the value of the first condition? That is, what is the point of
             presenting the same picture to the child and the facilitator? Isn’t it enough to
             present different pictures to the child and the facilitator and show that the child
             gives the wrong answer?

       B. Design Weaknesses: What are the weaknesses of this design? How might the results
              be equivocal? How might someone legitimately challenge the validity of the
              results?

       C. Bicklen’s Criticisms: Douglas Bicklen (one of the main proponents of facilitative
              communication) criticizes the results of this study. He argues that the testing
              conditions are confrontational and the children are unlikely to be able to give the
              correct answers under such conditions. Bicklen also argues that autistic children
              often have word findings problems which explains why they could not perform
              well in the study. How do the results of the design show that Bicklen’s criticisms
              are unfounded?

       D. Random Assignment of Pictures: Why was it useful to have the pictures that were
             presented assigned to each of the two study conditions at random?

       E. Replication: The same or similar studies were performed several times by several
              different researchers. What was the value of such replications?

5. Broughton distinguishes among three types of studies of the paranormal: case studies, field
       studies, and the experimental method. Why does Broughton favor the experimental
       method? What makes the experimental method study better than other methods? And
       what makes it worse? More generally, what makes some evidence better and worse
       than other evidence? What are the characteristics of good evidence?

								
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