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There is a great deal of doubt in mainstream science about the appropriateness of scientific research on the ‘paranormal,’ ranging from healthy skepticism to ridicule. Even some (many? most?) scientists who dare to study the paranormal display at least a healthy degree of skepticism themselves. Some of this is no doubt a reaction to the attack from mainstream science. However, keep in mind that scientists in general, no matter how mainstream or anomalous their subject matter, have not only been trained in the methods of science, but have also been socialized mostly in a Western cultural context that privileges science as a way of knowing. Even the Western spirit mediums we studied (Emmons & Emmons 2003) tended to be skeptical of their own work, often looking for ‘confirmations’ that their readings were evidential instead of something they were just making up in their heads. [excerpt]

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