"Psychology of the Paranormal Email Network"
Subject: Prof Elizabeth Valentine on Spooks and Spoofs @ UCL, tonight 6 pm
Date: March 26th 2012
Prof Elizabeth Valentine will be presenting a talk entitled, "Spooks and Spoofs: Relations Between Psychical Research and Academic Psychology in Britain in the Inter-war Period" at UCL this evening at 6 pm. Full details can be found here:
Abstract: The close connections between psychologists and the Society for Psychical Research in the late nineteenth century have been duly acknowledged. What is less well known is that senior academic psychologists were involved in psychical research in the early to mid-twentieth century. William McDougall and William Brown attended a number of sÃ©ances arranged by Harry Price; J.C. Flugel, Cyril Burt, C. Alec Mace and Francis Aveling were members of his âUniversity of London Council for Psychical Investigationâ and supported psychical research in various ways. This paper describes some of their antics and asks how reputable psychologists (and the University of London) could have collaborated with someone the Economist described as âa rogue, a falsifier, and a manufacturer of evidenceâ. Personal, metaphysical and socio-historical factors in their collaboration are discussed. It is suggested that the main reason for their mutual attraction was their common engagement i n a delicate balancing act between courting popular appeal on the one hand and the assertion of scientific expertise and authority on the other. Their interaction is typical of the boundary work performed at this transitional stage in the development of psychology as a discipline.
| Archive Index |
Next: ASKE Newsletter 2012-1 >>