The term proposed by Charles Richet in 1905 (when he was
elected president of the Society for Psychical Research, London)
for phenomena and experiments in psychical research.
In his inaugural address he defined metapsychics as ‘‘a science
dealing with mechanical or psychological phenomena due to
forces which seem to be intelligent, or to unknown powers, latent
in human intelligence.’’ He divided it into objective and
subjective metapsychics, the first dealing with material, external
facts; the second with psychic, internal, nonmaterial facts.
The term was not generally accepted on the Continent. In
Germany, the word ‘‘parapsychic’’ was suggested instead, proposed
by Emile Boirac. Richet’s colleague Theodore Flournoy
preferred ‘‘parapsychics,’’ suggesting that Richet’s term should
be limited to phenomena definitely proved to be supernormal
in character. All three terms have been supplanted by ‘‘parapsychology.’’