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Unformatted text preview: Sociology of the Paranormal Sociology 330 Spring 2012 Professor Barry Markovsky Most institutions demand unqualified Most institutions demand unqualified faith, but the institution of science makes faith, but the institution of science makes skepticism a virtue. skepticism a virtue.  Robert K. Merton, Social Theory Robert K. Merton, Social Theory Questions for Geller Video • What claims are made by Uri Geller? • Does he offer any explanations? – If so, are they good explanations? – Are there alternative explanations? Are there alternative explanations? • Why does he say he does these things? – Are there possible alternative reasons? • How does he try to convince us that his powers are real?  How is it done? • Psychic? Unlikely. – Why not? There are more reliable ways. What makes him convincing? • What makes him convincing? – cognitive factors: viewers’ thoughts, beliefs – perceptual factors: viewers’ observations – socio ‐ emotional factors: viewers’ feelings  Who is this “Woman in the news”? "We believe that everyone should be able to see it and learn of its mystical power  It’s the Virgin Mary on a grilled cheese sandwich! (Sold for $28,000 on eBay.) for themselves." Orientation • Introduction – Background – Serious fun – Commitment & dedication are expected Commitment & dedication are expected • Syllabus – Overview – Details – Guidelines for Conduct  Web Stuff • Access: http://blackboard.sc.edu – Students are responsible for all items posted by instructor unless identified as...
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- Spring '12
- Sociology, Trigraph, key assumptions, paranormal claims, physical laws, rien, Simple paranormal cases