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Amateur Paranormal Research and Investigation Groups Doing ‘Sciencey’ Things
A study of 1,000 websites shows how amateur groups use technical jargon and equipment as symbols of what is “scientific” while actually promoting the paranormal and not adhering to any real scientific principles of investigation.

Those who are anxious about the current state of science education, especially informal science education, may have a justifiable concern about how “reality” popular television portrays the scientific endeavor and who gain public credibility as investigators or scientific researchers. ARIGs often promote their paranormalist viewpoint as scientifically based, especially in community presentations or lectures at educational facilities. While scientifically minded observers can readily spot the anemic and shoddy scholarship of popular paranormal investigation, the public, unaware of the fundamental errors ARIGs make, can be persuaded by jargon and “sciencey” symbols.
Belief bias occurs when we make illogical conclusions in order to confirm our preexisting beliefs. Belief perseverance refers to our tendency to maintain a belief even after the evidence we used to form the belief is contradicted.
I think they're at least making an attempt to be scientific. The only problem is that no matter what they manage to collect, it doesn't really prove anything at all. That's the truth of it. So I think they should just be honest with it, and say hey...we're interested in this, so we're gonna play around and see if we can experience anything. Admit that it's for entertainment, and that it's not scientific.
I agree, I think some make a genuine attempt and I also agree on how it should be referenced. Not because I think the whole thing is a joke--believe it or not, I'm still very interested in unexplained events.

In my opinion, with paranormal enthusiasm, much of it wants to be a narrative--a story--and that in and of itself would be fine if it were left to that. I always preferred the historical 'ghost' tours (at least the ones that attempt to be accurate with history) before they started turning them into 'research centers'. Yes, some places are starting to refer to themselves in this manner. Researching these topics is fine, comparing and discussing experiences is fine, but the 'science' that comes into play with most of the paranormal scene is anything but.

The woman who wrote this is a scientist and a science educator. She's also quite interested in paranormal topics and would like to see more smart discussion in these areas. Part of that is simply calling things for what they are. If something is interesting, that's fine and it can be discussed as such. However, trying to bring the whole science aspect into things that are so subjective in nature very often ends up as a bunch of pseudoscience.
“Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.” ~Philip K. Dick

I think many amatuers need to ensure they follow the scientific method rather than simply using fancy words

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