Perrott-Warrick Research Unit
The Perrott-Warrick Research Unit, a parapsychological research
program located within the Psychology Department at
the University of Hertfordshire in England, was launched in
1995 following Richard Wiseman’s reception of a PerrottWarrick
Fellowship (administered by Trinity College Cambridge).
Wiseman, a practicing stage magician, had received his
Ph.D. in psychology from Edinburgh University before joining
the faculty at Hertfordshire. Since receiving the fellowship, he
has launched a multifaceted research program that includes
probes into the paranormal, intuition, false memory syndrome,
and lying and deception. He has also worked on promoting
the public understanding of science and has frequently
appeared on television discussing his research and related topics.
In 1998 he brought together psychologists, historians, magicians,
and professional actors to stage ‘‘Séance,’’ a show that
encouraged the public to think critically about claims of the
paranormal, and the following year he was awarded Britain’s
first Readership in the Public Understanding of Psychology.
To carry out his research, Wiseman has assembled a team of
doctoral students, each of which are exploring different topics
under his supervision. Emma Greening, while pursuing a Ph.D.
in psychology, possesses a scholarship funded by the Society
for Psychical Research and is conducting a research project
on belief in the paranormal and the development of false memories.
Before beginning her graduate program, she had been
the editor of The Paranormal Review (for the Society for Psychical
Research), and she serves as secretary of its research activities
committee.
Ciaran James O’Keefe completed his master’s thesis on the
utility of psychic detectives and analyzed the style of their narrative,
which he concluded tended to convince the listener that
there was a higher degree of accuracy in the psychic words than
actually existed. Building on this research, he is currently researching
the discourse that occurs in psychic readings, both
mediumistic session and phone sessions on psychic hotlines.
Paul Rogers is working on people with reputed intuitive powers.
He is testing their ability to size up other people’s personality
relative to the ability of nonintuitive people. In the process,
he is trying to discover which factors convince a person of his
her own intuitive abilities.
The Perrott-Warrick Research Unit may be reached co Psychology
Department, University of Hertfordshire, Hatfield
Campus, University of Hertfordshire, College Lane, Hatfield,
Herts, AL10 9AB, England. The unit has an Internet site at
httpphoenix.herts.ac.ukPWRUhmpage.html.
Sources
The Perrott-Warrick Research Unit. http
phoenix.herts.ac.ukPWRUhmpage.html. May 23, 2000

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