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An Investigation of Mediums Who Claim to Give Information About Deceased Persons

Kelly, Emily Williams PhD*; Arcangel, Dianne MA

The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease: January 2011 - Volume 199 - Issue 1 - p 11-17
doi: 10.1097/NMD.0b013e31820439da
Original Articles
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Growing public interest in the phenomenon of mediumship, particularly among bereaved persons, suggests the need for renewed controlled studies of mediums, both to provide potential clients with criteria for judging mediums and to help researchers learn whether they can produce specific and accurate information to which they have had no normal access and, if so, under what conditions. Two research studies were conducted in which mediums provided readings about particular deceased persons to a proxy sitter. The real sitters then blindly rated the reading that was intended for them along with several control readings. In the first study, the results were not significant. In the second, much larger study the results were highly significant (z = −3.89, p < 0.0001, 2-tailed). The authors discuss 2 possible weaknesses of the successful study and indicate some directions for further research.

*Division of Perceptual Studies, Department of Psychiatry and Neurobehavioral Sciences, University of Virginia Health System, Charlottesville, VA.

Send reprint requests to Emily Williams Kelly, PhD, Division of Perceptual Studies, Department of Psychiatry and Neurobehavioral Sciences, University of Virginia Health System, 210 10th St, NE, Suite 100, Charlottesville, VA 22902. E-mail: ewc2r@virginia.edu.

© 2011 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.