Extrasensory Perception: Definition, Types & Examples

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  • 0:01 Extrasensory…
  • 1:35 Types and Examples
  • 3:00 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Yolanda Williams

Yolanda has taught college Psychology and Ethics, and has a doctorate of philosophy in counselor education and supervision.

Have you ever had a vision of something before it has actually occurred? If so, you might just have extrasensory perception. Learn more about extrasensory perception from examples in this lesson.

Extrasensory Perception Defined

Have you ever had a dream or vision about something, only for that vision to later come true? Have you ever been accused of reading someone else's thoughts? Or have you ever known something about the past that you couldn't have possibly experienced or lived through? If so, then you may just have extrasensory perception.

Extrasensory perception (ESP) refers to the ability to obtain information about the world around you without using the normal five senses of sight, touch, taste, hearing, and smell. The basic assumption behind extrasensory perception is that humans can experience things that go beyond the capabilities of the known senses. The term extrasensory perception was popularized by Joseph Banks Rhine in 1934. Rhine, a professor at Duke University at the time, conducted several experiments that he believed proved the existence of extrasensory perception, though many scientists have challenged his findings and methods. Not all people believe that extrasensory perception exists.

There are many theories as to what causes extrasensory perception. Some individuals believe that all humans have some degree of extrasensory perception and that we involuntarily experience extrasensory perception on several occasions. Others believe that a select few individuals have special powers that allow them to access extrasensory perception, but only when they are in a special mental state. Most individuals who believe in extrasensory perception maintain that all humans have the potential for extrasensory perception, but some of us are more aware of our abilities than others.

Types and Examples

There are several types of extrasensory perception. The major types are telepathy, clairvoyance, precognition, retrocognition, mediumship, and psychometry.

Telepathy is the ability to perceive other people's thoughts. If you have ever seen the show called True Blood, then you know that the main character, Sookie Stackhouse, can read people's thoughts. People with this ability are referred to as telepaths.

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