Parapsychology seeks to investigate the existence and causes of psychic abilities, near-death experiences, and life after death using the scientific or psuedoscientific methods. The scope of parapsychology includes but is not limited to several paranormal phenomena such as:
- Telepathy: Transfer of information on thoughts or feelings between individuals by means other than the five classical senses.
- Precognition: Perception of information about future places or events before they occur.
- Clairvoyance: Obtaining information about places or events at remote locations, by means unknown to science.
- Psychokinesis: The ability of the mind to influence matter, time, space, or energy by means unknown to science.
- Near-death experiences: An experience reported by a person who nearly died, or who experienced clinical death and then revived.
- Reincarnation: The rebirth of a soul or other non-physical aspect of human consciousness in a new physical body after death.
- Apparitional experiences: Phenomena often attributed to ghosts and encountered in places a deceased individual is thought to have frequented, or in association with the person’s former belongings.
Many studies and evaluations have been performed by independent authorities around the world. In 1988, the U.S. National Academy of Sciences concluded that there is “no scientific justification from research conducted over a period of 130 years for the existence of parapsychological phenomena”.
In spite of consistent rejection through scientific studies and systematic reviews of the claims made by parapsychologists, the ideas are still persistent among many believers.