Located within the Psychology division, The Centre for the Study of Anomalous Psychological Processes (CSAPP) is recognised as a Centre of Research Excellence and is one of the largest university-based research centres devoted to research into exceptional human experience. The centre is concerned with better understanding the nature and place within communities of belief and experiences that suggest a transpersonal aspect to the human condition.
After more than a century of investigation, phenomena such as extrasensory perception, psychokinesis and so-called psychic experiences, as well as exceptional states of mind (spiritual, mystical, and peak experiences among others), remain elusive and a challenge to our understanding of the human mind. The mission of the centre is to seek a scientific understanding of these phenomena and to investigate the impact of these experiences on client wellbeing.
Centre director Chris Roe heads a group of academic staff, supplemented by a number of research assistants and postgraduate students. With internationally recognised researchers, the centre maintains an active research profile and is a major contributor to the professional research in anomalous experiences, parapsychology and transpersonal psychology.
CSAPP research is supported by funding from national and international sources and enjoys close collaborative arrangements with academic and research centres around the world. Staff members hold elected positions in a variety of professional associations including the Parapsychological Association and the Transpersonal Section of the British Psychological Society. Visiting fellow Richard Broughton has been recently elected as President of the Society for Psychical Research.
Education and training is an important part of the CSAPP mission and the centre provides a supportive yet academically rigorous environment for the training of postgraduates who may pursue PhD and MPhil degrees on relevant topics, under the supervision of one or more CSAPP staff. Prospective students should contact Dr Chris Roe for an initial discussion. CSAPP staff are also the principal contributors to the Transpersonal Psychology and Consciousness Studies MSc course.
Current research projects
- The role of the emotional system in mediating intuition and anomalous experiences. (supported by the Bial Foundation, Portugal)
- "Intuition on the trading floor" Intuition in business decision making. (supported by the Perrott-Warrick Fund, Trinity College, Cambridge)
- Evaluation of uptake and efficacy of mindfulness programmes as a coping aid for secondary school pupils in Northamptonshire (supported by The University of Northampton Studentship Awards 2010)
- Lability and PK performance: Identifying the optimal conditions for PK-RNG effects in laboratory using an I Ching task (supported by the Bial Foundation, Portugal)
- Testing the psi-mediated instrumental response theory using an implicit psi task (supported by the Bial Foundation, Portugal)
- Comparing remote viewing and ganzfeld conditions in a precognition task. (supported by the Parapsychological Association Research Endowment Fund, USA)
- Mapping experiences of telephone telepathy (supported by Perrott-Warrick Fund, Trinity College, Cambridge)
- An investigation into the prevalence and phenomenology of synchronicity experiences in the clinical setting (supported by the BIAL Foundation, Portugal
- An investigation of ghostly phenomena and the characteristics of people who have and have not experienced it (supported by the Perrott-Warrick Fund, Trinity College, Cambridge)
- Independent replication of two of Bem's (2011) experiments on retroactive priming and retroactive facilitation of recall, incorporating individual difference measures. (Society for Psychical Research)
- To conduct an analytical review of the published empirical studies on healing to date to determine whether it is tenable to claim that directed intention can have a measurable effect on another living system and to identify best practice to maximise effect sizes in future research (Confederation of Healing Organisations)