Why is mediumship research important?

Introduction

Whether you are coping with the death of someone close to you, pondering what might happen at the end of your own life, or contemplating the mysteries of consciousness, relevant information about these issues from credentialed scientists is needed now more than ever before.

Our culture is witnessing the beginning of the end of the largest generation in US history: Baby Boomers have already begun to lose spouses and friends. The members of that generation and people of all ages need a credible source to help distinguish evidence-based information from speculation and sensationalized claims. The Windbridge Research Center strives to be that source.

Specifically, regardless of what you might think about mediums, mediumship research is important for several reasons: 1: we’re all going to die, 2: people are getting mediumship readings every day, and 3: understanding anomalies allows us to broaden our understanding of how our world works.

1. No research question affects more people than ‘What happens when we die?’

Research findings demonstrating the survival of consciousness after death can help alleviate fear and anxiety around death. Moreover, personal experiences of contact with the dead can positively impact grief. (See also: ‘Grief and After-death communication.’)

Even if this research is not relevant to you personally, knowledge about after-death communication, how mediums work, and what researchers have found may help you relate to your friends or loved ones who are interested in these topics or who have had related experiences. These are not rare experiences but they are usually misunderstood. Chances are, you or someone you know has had contact with a deceased loved one and felt distress about sharing the experience with others. Misinformation can cause suffering, and the truth can assist in helping alleviate it. (See also: ‘Is hearing from the dead normal?’)

2. People are getting mediumship readings every day and it is important to understand the resulting effects of those experiences. Extensive research exists demonstrating that spontaneous after-death communication experiences (ADCs) have a positive impact on grief.

Anecdotal reports suggest similar effects from assisted ADCs during readings with mediums but more research needs to be done to fully understand the effects (Beischel, Mosher, & Boccuzzi, 2014-2015; Beischel, Mosher, & Boccuzzi, 2017; Beischel, 2019; see also: ‘Grief and After-death communication,’ Current Projects: BAM Study).

It’s our position that the phenomenon of mediumship is where acupuncture was 30 years ago: It seems weird to some, many just dismiss it, and others are doing it and feeling better. We need to study mediumship like the complementary and alternative medicine community did with acupuncture to really understand it. (See also: ‘How is this research funded?’)

3. Sensory experiences related to accurate information about the deceased and similar psychic abilities point to more extensive human capabilities than can be explained by the currently dominant scientific paradigm.

A recent meta-analysis of peer-reviewed research examining psi (psychic abilities) found:

“The evidence provides cumulative support for the reality of psi, which cannot be readily explained away by the quality of the studies, fraud, selective reporting, experimental or analytical incompetence, or other frequent criticisms. The evidence for psi is comparable to that for established phenomena in psychology and other disciplines, although there is no consensual understanding of them.” (Cardeña, 2018, p. 663)

Even the United States military continues to invest in psi research: “Today’s Navy scientists place less emphasis on trying to understand the phenomena theoretically and more on using technology to examine the mysterious process, which Navy scientists assure the public is not based on superstition” (Jacobsen, 2017).

Claims dismissing the reality of psi are usually based on unsubstantiated assumptions, ignorance of the data, or simple personal bias. (See also: ‘How do scientists study mediums?‘)

How is this important research funded?

Effective and relevant research studies require funding to be completed. Often the phrase “there’s no scientific evidence for [blank]” is used to dismiss practices or products. Usually, the reality is that there was no funding available to allow for the controlled study of [blank], not that research was performed and provided evidence that [blank] didn’t work. In the case of mediumship, however, research has been funded and strong conclusions could be drawn. But there is still much to learn.

In the US, most scientific research is funded by government grants, private companies, and non-profit foundations. The funding opportunities for controversial topics like mediumship are few and far between. The available grants provide, on average, less than 5% of the support that a grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) or the National Science Foundation (NSF) would provide for medical research or research and education in science and engineering, respectively (Beischel, 2018).

As a result of funding limitations, very few individuals are currently performing mediumship research. While there are, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, currently around 20,000 physicists and astronomers, 31,500 biochemists and biophysicists, and 120,000 medical scientists in the US, fewer than ten research groups globally have carried out original peer-reviewed mediumship research in the last ten years (Beischel, 2018).

At the Windbridge Research Center, we receive research grants from private foundations for specific projects but rely on donations to continue offering free, online, educational materials. 

Donations allow us to fulfill our mission of easing suffering related to dying, death, and what comes next by sharing the results of our rigorous scientific research and other free educational materials with practitioners (like mediums), clinicians (like medical and mental health professionals), scientists (like researchers and philosophers), and the general public. Monthly donations provide ongoing support for these free educational materials as well as new research studies and the publication of our free, open-access, peer-reviewed journal, Threshold. The Windbridge Research Center is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt nonprofit charity founded by husband-and-wife research team Mark Boccuzzi and Julie Beischel, PhD.

Explore more:

Online Article: About us

Onlie Article: Grief and After-death Communication

Fact Sheet: The Four Types of After-Death Communication Experiences (ADCs)

Journal Article: The Four Types of After-Death Communication Experiences (ADCs)

Online Article: How do scientists study mediums?

Online Article: Is hearing from the dead normal?

Online Article: Our Current Projects: BAM Study

References

Beischel, J. (2018). Mental mediumship research. Psi Encyclopedia.
https://psi-encyclopedia.spr.ac.uk/articles/mental-mediumship-research

Beischel, J. (2019). Spontaneous, facilitated, assisted, and requested after-death communication experiences and their impact on grief. Threshold: Journal of Interdisciplinary Consciousness Studies, 3(1): 1–32.
http://www.tjics.org/index.php/TJICS/article/view/31/25

Beischel, J., Mosher, C. & Boccuzzi, M. (2014-2015). The possible effects on bereavement of assisted after-death communication during readings with psychic mediums: A continuing bonds perspective. Omega: Journal of Death and Dying, 70(2), 169-194. doi: 10.2190/OM.70.2.b
https://windbridge.org/papers/BeischelMosherBoccuzzi_AssistedADCs.pdf

Beischel, J., Mosher, C., & Boccuzzi, M. (2017). The potential therapeutic efficacy of assisted after-death communication. In Klass, D., & Steffen, E. M. (Eds), Continuing bonds in bereavement: New directions for research and practice (pp. 176–187). London, UK: Routledge.

Cardeña, E. (2018). The experimental evidence for parapsychological phenomena: A review. American Psychologist, 73(5), 663–677. doi: 10.1037/amp0000236
https://psycnet.apa.org/record/2018-24699-001

Jacobsen, A. (2017, April 3). The U.S. military believes people have a sixth sense. TIME.
https://time.com/4721715/phenomena-annie-jacobsen/

 

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