Paranormal Investigation Hobby or Science

Paranormal Investigation - Hobby or Science
By Michael Atencio

To begin, I have been "investigating since the mid Seventies. That being said, I was doing this long before it became a fad. Actually, it was hidden in the closet for many years. Then this all became a thing that a lot of people liked to do - the fad phase. Now, the fad phase has faded away and the people still investigating after all these years are fair-to-say diehards.

So why this article?

I've noticed that most investigators state they are doing research into the paranormal. Unless they are using the scientific method, they are literally enjoying a hobby and nothing more. The scientific method is the foundation of science. It changes to accommodate the research but in the change is the six steps of the scientific method. So let's examine the method.

The scientific method consists of steps of identifying a problem or question by asking a question.

Then everything written about the thing a person wants to know about has to be read and examined - everything. This step provides deep insight to other scientists and scholars' research and what they have concluded or discovered. Consider this step the wood framework of a house.

Formulate a hypothesis. This is what you decide is an important question to answer. This is the designing decisions of what your house will look like after all the work is done. If your hypothesis is well thought out and narrowed down to a narrow question that can be answered, this is a major breakthrough for your work. For example, it took me thirty-plus years to develop my hypothesis.

While the initial idea came to me, I had to account for all things that could be questioned and had to narrow the many questions into a single question. That's very difficult. Now that I had a solid idea about what I was researching, I had to develop an experiment that can prove or disprove my hypothesis. This is called Design and conduct a study. This is the scientist in the lab work.

An experiment must be designed so a single item can be researched and the question answered. In my case, the question was "What does the weather have to do with apparitions forming? My experiment must be simple enough to answer that question with and change when I remove a control (more on this in a second) and occurs when I replace the control. This is when we collect our data.

Now we reach the fifth step: Draw conclusions. After we have performed our experiment multiple times and repeatedly get the same results, we can draw a conclusion that we were right or wrong. If the experiments prove your hypothesis is wrong, that's okay. You write a paper documenting every step you took and what happened.

Now every person wishing to perform experiments to answer the same question you asked has a new foundation to build upon. If you think your hypothesis is correct but for some reason, your experiment isn't proving that out, then you have to go back to the first step and start over. You have to figure out where you turned left instead of right. Was you question narrow or are there too many variables?

Let's talk about variables briefly. A control variable is everything you want to stay the same in all experiments. The independent variable is the one thing you can change. Dependent variable is the results of your experiment after the change. When you put it back, the results are what you expected. Either way, this control variable is vital to providing empirical evidence. Example: you hypothesize that your car will get better gas mileage if you use higher octane gasoline (Independent Variable). So you fill up the car like it's normally driven and drive it until it's nearly out of gas (Controlled Variable). Next you fill up the car with high octane fuel(Independent Variable) and drive until the car runs out of gas again. Measure and record mileage.

Now you can sit down and draw conclusions from your experiment. Did the high octane make a significant difference with the mileage driven?

Now you write a paper about your discovery and what you thought would happen and what actually happened. You write down every step of your experiment so future scientists can replicate your experiment. You now have an answer to your hypothesis…