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Ghostly Glossary

From The Parapsychology Foundation www.parapsychology.org
E-G
ECTOPLASM
Term introduced into parapsychology by Charles Richet to describe the “exteriorized substance” produced out of the bodies of some physical mediums and from which materializations are sometimes formed. [From the Greek ektos, “outside,” + plasma, “something formed or molded”]
ELECTROENCEPHALOGRAPH (EEG)
The mechanical device employed in the technique which known as electroencephalography.
ELECTROENCEPHALOGRAPHY
A technique for amplifying and recording the fluctuations in electrical voltage in a living brain using electrodes attached to key positions on the person’s head; this technique has proved to be particularly important for sleep-research (and thus also for research on dream-telepathy), where characteristic brain waves have been identified and related to the successive stages of sleep. [From the Greek enkephalos, “the brain,” derived from en, “within,” + kephale, “the head,” + graphein, “to write”]
ELECTRONIC VOICE PHENOMENA (EVP)
Phenomena first reported by Raymond Bayless and popularized by Konstantin Raudive, consisting of sounds said to be the faint voices of deceased individuals, recorded on previously
unused magnetic tapes.
ESP
See Extrasensory Perception.
ESP CARDS
A special deck of cards, developed by perceptual psychologist Karl Zener for use by J. B. Rhine in tests of extrasensory perception: a standard pack contains 25 cards, each portraying one of five symbols — circle, cross, square, star or wavy lines. Also called Zener cards.
EXCEPTIONAL HUMAN EXPERIENCE
Expression coined by Rhea White (see, for example, 1994, p. 5) as “an umbrella term for many types of experience generally considered to be psychic, mystical, encounter-type experiences, death-related experiences, and experiences at the upper end of the normal range, such as creative inspiration, exceptional human performance, as in sports, literary and aesthetic experiences, and the experience of falling in love.”
EXPERIMENTER EFFECT
An experimental outcome which results not from manipulation of the variable of interest per se, but rather from some aspect of the particular experimenter’s behavior, such as unconscious communication to the subjects, or possibly even a psi-mediated effect working in accord with the experimenter’s desire to confirm some hypothesis.
EXTRASENSORY PERCEPTION (ESP)
The acquisition of information about, or response to, an external event, object or influence (mental or physical; past, present or future) otherwise than through any of the known sensory channels; used by J. B. Rhine to embrace such phenomena as telepathy, clairvoyance and precognition; there is some difference of opinion as whether the term ought to be attributed to Rhine, or to Gustav Pagenstecher or Rudolph Tischner, who were using the German equivalent aussersinnliche Wahrehmung as early as the 1920s. [From the Latin extra, “outside of,” + sensory]
FAITH HEALING
See Healing, Psychic.
FANTASY-PRONENESS
A personality construct first described by Sheryl Wilson and Theodore Barber (1983, p. 340) to refer to a small percentage of the population “who fantasize a large part of the time, [and] who typically ‘see,’ ‘hear,’ ‘smell,’ ‘touch’ and fully experience what they fantasize”; such persons tend to be able to hallucinate voluntarily, to be excellent hypnotic subjects, to have vivid memories of their life experiences, and to report experiencing parapsychological phenomena.
GANZFELD
Term referring to a special type of environment (or the technique for producing it) consisting of homogenous, unpatterned sensory stimulation: audiovisual ganzfeld may be accomplished by placing translucent hemispheres (for example, halved ping-pong balls) over each eye of the subject, with diffused light (frequently red in hue) projected onto them from an external source, together with the playing of unstructured sounds (such as “white” or “pink” noise) into the ears, and generally with the person in a state of bodily comfort; the consequent deprivation of patterned sensory input is said to be conducive to introspection of inwardly-generated impressions, some of which may be extra-sensory in origin. [From the German for “entire field”]

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