Ecological approaches to scopaesthesia

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Scopaesthesia-the scientific term for 'the sense of being stared at'-has been reported to have been experienced by between 70% to 90% of people in Europe and the USA when surveyed. Sheldrake (2003) presented such findings, discussions of early research, and preliminary field-based designs, which then translated into extensive laboratory-based work in the late 1980s. The results of Sheldrake's work have presented highly significant results suggestive of potential psi processes at work that challenge materialist paradigms. Even though such studies employ experimental controls to explore potential psi processes, one could argue that they lack ecological validity since 'staring detection' seems to thrive in the chaos and spontaneity of real-world settings. This paper explores the need for ecological approaches to scopaesthesia and aims to show what could be gained from such efforts. Three field studies are discussed which, to the author's knowledge, are the only known field-based approaches, with two being unpublished dissertation and thesis works.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)164-182
Number of pages19
JournalAustralian Journal of Parapsychology
Issue number2
Early online date1 Dec 2021
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2021


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