The Parapsychological Association, Inc. (PA) was first founded in 1957 and has been a member organization of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) since 1969. The PA is the international professional organization of scientists and scholars engaged in research into “PSI” (or “paranormal”) experiences such as telepathy, clairvoyance, remote viewing, psychokinesis, psychological healing and precognition. The primary goal of the Parapsychological Association is to achieve a scientific understanding of these experiences. To this end, the members of the PA develop and refine methods for studying psi and their physical, biological or psychological foundations. They evaluate hypotheses and theories through experiments, conceptual models and field studies and try to integrate their findings with other scientific areas. PA members also explore the importance and influence of psychological experiences in human society and evaluate the possibility of practical applications and technologies.
The Parapsychological Association covers a wide range of perspectives:
- Promote the science and investigation of currently unexplained aspects of human experience
- Disseminating responsible information to the general public and the scientific community
- Integration of this information with knowledge from other disciplines
- Psi research: a balance between openness and rigor
Members of the PA use well-developed scientific methods to determine to what extent psi phenomena can be explained by currently understood processes – whether physical or psychological – and to what extent they indicate unknown forces and laws or require a revised model of consciousness and its relationship to the world .
The PA works to ensure that justified caution is not synonymous with rejection or active avoidance, which only increases our ignorance. In order to keep science from stagnating into dogma, it is imperative that we improve our understanding of our world, of ourselves, and of our experience. If new principles of physics, biology, or psychology underlie psi experiences, then our current knowledge of human nature and the world around us is incomplete – and will remain so until the scientific community makes sustained efforts to gain these experiences understand.
The PA provides an international forum for academic exchange through annual conferences, usually held in North America or Europe, and through the publication of the proceedings of those conferences. The PA has also sponsored special sessions for an interdisciplinary scientific audience, such as the American Association for the Advancement of Science.