February 3, 2013

Review - Paranormality (Professor Richard Wiseman)

Bestselling psychologist Richard Wiseman unravels the science behind our beliefs in telepathy, clairvoyants, mediums, ghosts, and more ...
'People are emotionally drawn to the supernatural. They actively want weird, spooky things to be true ... Wiseman shows us a higher joy as he deftly skewers the paranormal charlatans, blows away the psychic fog and lets in the clear light of reason.' Richard Dawkins
Professor Richard Wiseman is clear about one thing: paranormal phenomena don't exist. But in the same way that the science of space travel transforms our everyday lives, so research into telepathy, fortune-telling and out-of-body experiences produces remarkable insights into our brains, behaviour and beliefs. Paranormality embarks on a wild ghost chase into this new science of the supernatural and is packed with activities that allow you to experience the impossible. So throw away your crystals, ditch your lucky charms and cancel your subscription to Reincarnation Weekly. It is time to discover the real secrets of the paranormal.
Learn how to control your dreams -- and leave your body behind.
Convince complete strangers that you know all about them.
Unleash the power of your unconscious mind.

Find the book at Pan MacMillan and on Goodreads!

Review
We experience the impossible, or so we believe. Oddly enough things don't seem all that impossible anymore when someone explains the mechanics behind them which is exactly what Professor Richard Wiseman does in his book Paranormality.
Broaching a variety of topics commonly attributed as being paranormal, be it fortune telling or out-of-body experiences, talking to the dead or prophecy, this turned out to be a thoroughly enjoyable and engaging read that allows a close-up look into how and why we tend to be drawn to the supernatural. From the psychology of suggestion straight to finding patterns in coincidence this book is filled with scientific and psychological facts and spiced with a healthy dose of humor too. And the lessons in learning some "tricks of the trade" are definitely a nice touch.
Some of the presented phenomenon are a little easier to debunk than others, say, how fortune tellers carefully observe people - also referred to as "cold reading" - before throwing out some vague and/or double-headed statements that all predict the likely. Overall though I found myself intrigued by the explanations for some phenomenon, eg why we sometimes believe to have prophetic dreams.
Seeking answers to the inexplicable? Needing some fodder to annoy your paranormally inclined friends? Then I can wholeheartedly recommend this book to you. Trust me, after reading this you'll never look at the Quija board the same way again.
In short: A light yet insightful read on the science behind the supernatural!

4/5 Trees

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Pan MacMillan. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

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