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extrasensory perception


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A generic term for various conjectural paranormal phenomena that are defined by the Journal of Parapsychology to involve experience of, or response to, a target object, state, event, or influence without sensory contact, hence perception without the use of sense organs, usually divided into clairvoyance, telepathy, and precognition. It is often defined as perception by means as yet unexplained by science, but this debilitating interpretation is avoided in careful usage, because it encompasses types of perception that are not necessarily extra-sensory or paranormal and therefore implies (for example) that the infra-red vision of rattlesnakes was a form of extra-sensory perception before it was explained in the 1930s, that the use of biosonar by bats was a form of extra-sensory perception before it was explained in 1941, and that the use of the stars as a navigational aid by nocturnally migrant birds such as European warblers was a form of extra-sensory perception before it was explained in the mid 1950s; and there are numerous phenomena in human and animal perception that are still unexplained but do not necessarily involve extra-sensory perception. See also cryptaesthesia, psi, psi-missing, psychopraxia, Zener cards. Compare psychokinesis. ESP abbrev. [From Latin extra outside + sensorius of the senses, from sensus felt, from sentire to sense. The US parapsychologist Joseph Banks Rhine (1895–1980) claimed in 1934 to have coined the term, but a book by the Haitian-born German physician Gustav Pagenstecher (1855–1942) entitled Aussersinnlicher Wahrnehmung, which means extra-sensory perception in German, had already been published in 1924]

Subjects: Psychology.


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