Assessing public perspectives of parapsychology through YouTube commentaries

Claire Murphy-Morgan, Callum E. Cooper, Lesley-Ann Smith

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticlepeer-review


YouTube as a social media platform plays an important role in sharing public views about a range of scientific topics such as parapsychology: an area of science committed to exploring the workings behind anomalous experiences or abilities. This qualitative study analyses how conversations about public perspectives of research into parapsychology, take place on YouTube. Reflective Thematic Analysis (RTA) is used to examine comments on the threads for two comparative films posted by two leading academics with opposing views. Three central themes have emerged: (i) Confirmation Bias; (ii) Laws of Nature, and (iii) Trashing the Holy Altars. Following on from this study, it would be beneficial to carry out a larger study with an additional social media platform for further in-depth analysis of public perceptions of parapsychology and how they are presented online.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)153-177
JournalAustralian Journal of Parapsychology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 31 Dec 2022


  • cyberpsychology
  • Dawkins
  • internet
  • parapsychology
  • telepathy
  • Sheldrake
  • YouTube


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