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James H. Nelson

SPEAKER: Properly Applied Skepticism in Paranormal Research

CLASS INSTRUCTOR: The Art of the Interview

CLASS INSTRUCTOR: Magic and the Paranormal


Dr. James H Nelson, PhD, MSW, is a psychiatric social worker in Portland Oregon. He has been researching the paranormal for over 10 years and has had anomalous experiences that he has yet to find an adequate explanation for. As a social scientist, his methodology is based in the scientific method and his application of skepticism in paranormal claims. He is a consultant for Oregon Paranormal and is co-founder of the small research group Portland Office of Paranormal Research. He hosts a bimonthly podcast on mental health called Mental Health Mondays.


SPEAKER TOPIC: Properly Applied Skepticism in Paranormal Research
MAIN STAGE: Saturday, March 30th @ 5pm

Skepticism is often a four-letter word with paranormal investigators. However, skepticism is critical to any scientific investigation of any phenomena. So how can we, as researchers, properly utilizes skepticism, and engage with skeptics in order to make sure that our data is accurate? Firstly, we will discuss the difference between skepticism and debunking. The two are often used interchangeably, and an understanding of terms can help with understanding the process. Secondly, we will briefly discuss logical fallacies that are often used to justify belief and ignore skepticism. Lastly, we will discuss how to implement skepticism into our investigation and research process in order to make sure our data is as accurate as can be.