Anomalous Cognition Section, University of
The Anomalous Cognition Section of the faculty of Psychology
at the University of Amsterdam is a research structure that
emerged in the 1990s primarily as a tool to help sharpen the
students’ facility with methodology and empirical research.
The research in parapsychology was initiated by Dick J. Bierman,
a member of both the faculty at Amsterdam and at the
University of Utrecht, which has a formal program in parapsychology.
Traditionally, as part of their graduate training, students
in psychology at Amsterdam had to set up and run a research
project. In the 1980s, two students, one in 1982 and one
in 1986, carried through on a project involving the Gansfeld
random generator, the object being the determination of possible
anomalous cognition. Anomalous cognition is another
name used by some parapsychologists for what is commonly
termed telepathy, clairvoyance, and precognition.
Some members of the faculty were hostile to such research
until the publication of a paper on Gansfeld-related research
by D. J. Bem and Charles Hororton in 1994 and the subsequent
appearance of Bem on a video hook-up before the faculty. A
significant shift of opinion among the faculty led to a variety of
students choosing to do their project in anomalous cognition
or the related field of anomalous perturbation, also known as
The project has also generated an Internet-based periodical,
the electronic Journal for Anomalous Phenomena, designed to
give both scientists and the general public access to information
about empirical, field, and theoretical research in parapsychology.
The peer-reviewed journal gives students a place to
initially publish their research, but has also become an experiment
in publishing the often very technical data produced in
empirical research for what potentially is a lay audience.
Access to the project and the journal is best acquired
through the psychology department’s Internet site at http
Anomalous Cognition Section, University of Amsterdam.
anamol.shtml. February 15, 2000.

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