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Parapsychology – Mediumship

5. Research into Mediumship

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In this lecture, we think about some research into mediumship, focusing in particular on: (i) cross correspondence as an early method for confirming or disputing a medium’s abilities, by having multiple mediums report on communication with the same spirit; (ii) other potentially convoluted ways of testing mediumship abilities, including an individual leaving behind a (sometimes literal) ‘locked box’, which a medium can gain the access code to by communicating with them after they have died; (iii) a simpler method of testing, whereby a medium is geographically separated from the client and their ability to gather information on that client is assessed; (iv) cold reading, as a method that a ‘fake’ medium might use to garner information on a client through their looks and actions, as an alternative to communicating with the spirit world; (v) ways in which ‘fake’ mediums can act upon specific actions and responses from their clients, in order to present seemingly accurate readings; (vi) types of multi-interpretable information that ‘fake’ mediums could give to create the perception of accurate readings of their client.


In this course, Professor Ciarán O’Keeffe (Buckinghamshire New University) explores mediumship. In the first lecture, we think about how to define a medium and the act of mediumship. In the second lecture, we think about the history of mediumship and its origins in Ancient Greece. In the third lecture, we think about some theories behind how mediumship can occur, with a focus on the paranormal. Next, we think about the role of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in the research and popularity around mediumship. In the fifth and final lecture, we think about taking a sceptical perspective towards research into mediumship.


Professor Ciarán O’Keeffe is associate professor of education and research and head of the School of Human and Social Sciences at Buckinghamshire New University. Professor O’Keeffe’s research interests include investigative psychology and parapsychology, and has made numerous television and radio appearances alongside an array of celebrities. Some of Professor O’Keeffe’s recent publications include 'Things That Go Bump In The Literature: An Environmental Appraisal of 'Haunted Houses'' (2020) and 'Restorative Justice and Recidivism: Investigating the impact of victim-preference for level of engagement' (2014).

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APA style

O'Keeffe, C. (2022, July 20). Parapsychology – Mediumship - Research into Mediumship [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

O'Keeffe, C. "Parapsychology – Mediumship – Research into Mediumship." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 20 Jul 2022,

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