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First Sight: Interview with parapsychologist James C. Carpenter


John C. Carpenter
In this, the second of the series of author interviews, I have the pleasure to interview Dr. James C. Carpenter, a clinical psychologist and Adjunct Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of North Carolina, at Chapel Hill, who has a long track record in parapsychology. I met Jim some time in 1983 when I was visiting, I think in the Summer, the Institute for Parapsychology, part of the Foundation for Research on the Nature of Man (now the Rhine Research Center).

Jim has published over the years many important experimental studies of ESP exploring psychological variables. In this interview I focus on what is probably his most important contribution to parapsychology, his First Sight Model. This theoretical model has been briefly discussed in articles (here, here, and here) and in greater detail in the book referred to in this interview: First Sight: ESP and Parapsychology in Everyday Life (Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2012; to order the book go here). While there have been other psychological models of ESP proposed before, Jim's is the most comprehensive one published and one that is well connected to the research literature of parapsychology as well as mainstream psychology.

2 + 2 = 4

What is character? Its 3 true qualities and how to develop it

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© Walt Stoneburner/Flickr

Character
. Like honor, it's a word we take for granted and probably have an affinity for, but likely have never really had to define and may struggle to do so when pressed. It's a word most men desire to have ascribed to them, and yet the standards of its attainment remain rather vague in our modern age.

It's certainly not a word that's used as much as it once was. Cultural historian Warren Susman researched the rise and fall of the concept of character, tracing its prevalence in literature and the self-improvement manuals and guides popular in different eras. What he found is that the use of the term "character" began in the 17th century and peaked in the 19th - a century, Susman, writes, that embodied "a culture of character." During the 1800s, "character was a key word in the vocabulary of Englishmen and Americans," and men were spoken of as having strong or weak character, good or bad character, a great deal of character or no character at all. Young people were admonished to cultivate real character, high character, and noble character and told that character was the most priceless thing they could ever attain. Starting at the beginning of the 20th century, however, Susman found that the ideal of character began to be replaced by that of personality.

But character and personality are two very different things.

2 + 2 = 4

What if everything you knew about disciplining kids was wrong?

Negative consequences, timeouts, and punishment just make bad behavior worse. But a new approach really works.

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© Tristan Spinski/GRAIN
June Arbelo, a second-grade teacher at Central School, comforts a student who wants to go home during the first day of school.
Leigh Robinson was out for a lunchtime walk one brisk day during the spring of 2013 when a call came from the principal at her school. Will, a third-grader with a history of acting up in class, was flipping out on the playground. He'd taken off his belt and was flailing it around and grunting. The recess staff was worried he might hurt someone. Robinson, who was Will's educational aide, raced back to the schoolyard.

Will was "that kid." Every school has a few of them: that kid who's always getting into trouble, if not causing it. That kid who can't stay in his seat and has angry outbursts and can make a teacher's life hell. That kid the other kids blame for a recess tussle. Will knew he was that kid too. Ever since first grade, he'd been coming to school anxious, defensive, and braced for the next confrontation with a classmate or teacher.

Control Panel

Understanding the cognitive biases that make us irrational

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© Bite Size Psych
When we walk through life, making our daily decisions — small or large — we probably don't realize how many things are clouding our objective judgment. These are typically called cognitive biases, or a way of thinking that is illogical or irrational, preventing us from getting the full picture.

There's a huge list of cognitive biases that social psychologists have defined, but a new Bite Size Psych video focuses on the top four: self-serving bias, cognitive fluency, sunk cost fallacy, and confirmation bias. These biases can impact the way we think, view ourselves, and stay in relationships or jobs — for better or worse, but usually the latter.


Self-serving bias sounds like what it is: it's a person's tendency to believe that any life successes can be attributed to their own talents and inherent value, while any failures are the consequence of external factors that we can't control. While many times this is the case, it's a biased way of preserving our own self-esteem. Learning to recognize this and be self-aware, however, will provide us with a good basis to take initiative and change our negative patterns.

Cognitive fluency is second, and it's the notion that easier ideas are considered more "true." For example, words that rhyme such as "Woes unite foes" appear more "true" to people than the phrase "Woes unite enemies," according to a study. Just because things appear new, shiny, and easy (such as plenty of products that are marketed that way) doesn't mean they're best for you.

Comment: We certainly like to think we are rational human beings when science shows that we are prone to many biases that cause us to act and think irrationally - convincing ourselves of what we believe, despite evidence to the contrary.

See also:


Book

Review: "Earth Changes and the Human-Cosmic Connection"

© SOTT.net/Red Pill Press
If you ever wanted to read a treatise about the importance of seeing reality over illusion, seeking the truth over lies, then this book is a must read.

Jet Stream meanderings, Gulf Stream slow-downs, hurricanes, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, meteor fireballs, tornadoes, deluges, sinkholes, and noctilucent clouds have been on the rise since the turn of the century. Have proponents of man-made global warming been proven correct, or is something else, something much bigger, happening on our planet? While mainstream science depicts these Earth changes as unrelated, Pierre Lescaudron applies findings from the Electric Universe paradigm and plasma physics to suggest that they might in fact be intimately related, and stem from a single common cause: the close approach of our Sun's 'twin' and an accompanying cometary swarm. Citing historical records, the author reveals a strong correlation between periods of authoritarian oppression with catastrophic and cosmically-induced natural disasters.

Referencing metaphysical research and information theory, Earth Changes and the Human-Cosmic Connection is a ground-breaking attempt to re-connect modern science with ancient understanding that the human mind and states of collective human experience can influence cosmic and earthly phenomena. Covering a broad range of scientific fields, and lavishly illustrated with over 250 images and 1,000 sources, Earth Changes and the Human-Cosmic Connection, is presented in an accessible format for anyone seeking to understand the signs of our times.

Comment: Earth Changes and the Human-Cosmic Connection


Pyramid

Maintaining power: Closing the doors of perception

© www.keen.com
Changes in thinking, changes in perception.
"If the doors of perception were cleansed every thing would appear to man as it is, Infinite. For man has closed himself up, till he sees all things thro' narrow chinks of his cavern." -William Blake, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell

We, the people, are the foundation of a vast human pyramid, at the top of which comfortably rests a world elite that manipulates the human population and world events to broaden and maintain their power. The main agents of this global cartel are the banking elite, the military industrial complex, the medical establishment, the mainstream media, the entertainment industrial complex, and the hundreds of corrupt and co-opted world governments that act as henchmen and watchdogs for the unelected world rulers.

Over our heads they hang the constant specter of war, financial collapse, terrorism and pandemic disease, and to keep us from reacting to their deeds they enlist evermore advanced forms of mind control, biological control and social engineering.

Comment: There seems to be a correlation between walking in a "mine field" and how we live in our "mind field." If we are aware of the increasingly detrimental pitfalls of our societal manipulations, self-serving influences, increasing corruption and the dictates of an elitist agenda, we just might be able to chart a different, better path, via observation and knowledge, and remain mentally, physically and spiritually healthy enough to survive. And, if we can act, despite the constraints, for the betterment of mankind, we can make a difference. We are not powerless. We are not slaves. There is only one road: Truth. Awareness is the key. What's in your reality?


Beaker

Skip the cologne and rely on your natural pheromones

While it is well documented that females and males of many species can communicate through chemical signals called pheromones, there has remained some question as to whether humans can communicate this way as well. Now researchers in Germany have found that humans do respond strongly to a specific fragrance--in ways that could ignite a woman's sex drive.
In animals, pheromones are chemicals that are released by individuals in a species to influence the sexual behavior of other members of the same species in predictable ways. When the female silkworm releases the molecule bombykol, for example, male silkworms drop everything and come hither.

Comment: See also: Armpit odor says a lot about who you are, and not just how many times a day you shower


2 + 2 = 4

Knowledge of one's emotions fosters attentiveness

Young children, who possess a good understanding of their own emotions and of those of their fellow human beings early on, suffer fewer attention problems than their peers with a lower emotional understanding, a new study shows.

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Young children, who possess a good understanding of their own emotions and of those of their fellow human beings early on, suffer fewer attention problems than their peers with a lower emotional understanding. Evidence of this phenomenon was found through a study of Leuphana University of Lüneburg and George Mason University, USA, under the auspices of Prof. Dr. Maria von Salisch, Professor of Developmental Psychology at Leuphana University of Lüneburg. The study was recently published in the journal Kindheit & Entwicklung (Childhood & Development).

Heart - Black

The pain of modern life: Loneliness and isolation

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© iStockphoto.com
Humanity is a group. As Mohandas Gandhi famously said: "All humanity is one undivided and indivisible family." This is not a sycophantic religious concept, but the fact of our inherent nature; a nature that the current World socio-economic order systematically works against, forcing us to live in unnatural, unhealthy, un-fulfilling, and unjust ways.

The negative inter-related consequences of living under such a perverse system are many and varied - painful all: disharmony, depression, anxiety, and loneliness are some of the effects of the resulting dis-connect - with ourselves, with others, and with the natural environment.

Footprints

Feeling down? Take a hike - walking in nature lowers depression

Study finds that walking in nature yields measurable mental benefits and may reduce risk of depression
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© Shutterstock
Feeling down? Take a hike.

A new study finds quantifiable evidence that walking in nature could lead to a lower risk of depression.

Specifically, the study, published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, found that people who walked for 90 minutes in a natural area, as opposed to participants who walked in a high-traffic urban setting, showed decreased activity in a region of the brain associated with a key factor in depression.

"These results suggest that accessible natural areas may be vital for mental health in our rapidly urbanizing world," said co-author Gretchen Daily, the Bing Professor in Environmental Science and a senior fellow at the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment. "Our findings can help inform the growing movement worldwide to make cities more livable, and to make nature more accessible to all who live in them."

More than half of the world's population lives in urban settings, and that is forecast to rise to 70 percent within a few decades. Just as urbanization and disconnection from nature have grown dramatically, so have mental disorders such as depression.

In fact, city dwellers have a 20 percent higher risk of anxiety disorders and a 40 percent higher risk of mood disorders as compared to people in rural areas. People born and raised in cities are twice as likely to develop schizophrenia.

Comment: See also: