Thursday, May 19, 2011

Seeking Suggestions

What would be a good term to describe the scientific study of psi powers in a slightly retro sci-fi setting where those who possess such powers are called "espers?" I like the term "parapsychology," but, alas, it's been hijacked by those who study a wide variety of occult phenomena, so I need something different and preferably Campbellian (as in John W.).

46 comments:

  1. Here are two possibilities I came up with

    The slight offensive pun option: psiontology/ists

    Another: Paramentology

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  2. Noetic Physics?

    (I admit it: I stole the first half from White Wolf's Aeon Trinity).

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  3. Hypercognology.

    Hyperpsychology.

    Hypersumthin'

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  4. Espers, eh? Esperology maybe, or esperologists. Definitely not Esperts.

    - Ark

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  5. Campbell (John W.) you say? How about Hieronymy?

    Another possibility: "paraphysics". It's the lesser used version of parapsychology, but it lets you emphasize the energy being controlled, leaving the mystery of the means to be discovered.

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  6. Psychomorphology.

    [I am presuming "esper" is a slang term from "ESP" and not the Latin term?]

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  7. ... although I should point out that Campbell coined the term "psionics" for the study of psi.

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  8. Psychomesmerism. Harkens back to old pulp with a nice pseudo-scientific prefix added on.

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  9. Along the 'patapsychology lines, you could go back to the original ('pataphysics) or go with psychotronics, even though the latter now has another meaning relating to a kind of B-movie.

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  10. What about telesthesiology?

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  11. Psychometrics or Telepsychometrics. But you should totally go with psychotronics.

    Just imagine Patrick McGoohan saying it.

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  12. Meletology. The science of force.

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  13. *goes to the back of the big dictionary*

    wei- means 'vital force'
    wer- means 'to percieve'
    teu- means 'to pay atention to'
    uper- means 'over'
    ome- means 'to move with energy'
    nous- means 'mind'
    mregh-mo means 'brain'
    gen- means 'to compress into a ball'
    gene- means 'to give birth to'


    So:

    wer-ome: 'To percieve to move with energy'

    WEROME? like Genome

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  14. Metapsychology, or ever Super=psychology, in the same sense that Supernatural relates to natural.

    Especialism, Esperics, Esperic Sciences.

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  15. Psychurgy.
    Or just maybe thelemology.

    You could go with a milspeak contraction for remote sensing (remsens) or remote viewing (remvu) and wind up with a truly horrible chimaera like remvology.

    Subdisciplines of ESP:
    psychoscopy
    telaesthenics
    psychohaptics
    telegnosis/paragnosis

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  16. Espionage. After all, spies with psi will take over that particular field...

    I've been looking on and off at your blog for a while now - hope you don't mind collecting another follower!

    Cheers
    Paul

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  17. THE SIENTISTS AREC ALLED HEADBANGERS...........AND THERE BIG CONVENSION IS THE HEAD-BANGERS BALL!!!!!!!1

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  18. Well Parapsychology is the study of things outside of normal psychology but if ESP become an understood and repeatable demonstrable aspect of the sentient condition then it would no longer be "outside" so parapsychology would not be an appropriate term. How about something simple like "Psicology", "Psiology", or "Psiography". Books written about the subject could be "Psiographica" or perhaps definitive information could be found in a "Psiclopedia".

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  19. If it were me, I'd use "Psychoenergetics" to refer to the branch of science.

    Talysman's suggestion of "Psychotronics" is too good to pass over though. I'd use that as more of a controversial philosophy/practice full of mental exercises, rituals, and/or bio-cyber enhancements, that supposedly hone the skills of budding adepts and awaken dormant abilities within mundane individuals.

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  20. I'd also go with psionics. It doesn't unnecessarily postulate a form of energy that may or may not exist in the setting, it's nice, simple, and direct.

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  21. psionics (used regularly by a Campbellian author A Bertram Chandler) or perhaps Perceptology?

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  22. Noetics: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noetics "The theory of noetics centers around the idea that the human mind is capable of affecting work or events or even doing work in the physical world."

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  23. "'Patapsychology? "

    Hornstrumpot!

    By our Green Candle, we like it!

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  24. Too many -ologies. Go with some -metrics or even -graphies. More fun, less rigor.

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  25. I'm not sure about the science, but I think all telepathic mind-speak should be Esperanto...

    thank you, I'll be here all week.

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  26. How about NEUROLOGISTS?
    These are the serious folks who for decades have been recording EEGs (Electro Encephalograms), interpreting them, and are now studying how to influence the brain with various waves (such as electromagnetic) to influence moods and eventualy transmit imagers. They HAVE achieved a noricxeable clinical effect. Not quite SciFi, but here it be.

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  27. Rhines.

    It comes from the name of J. B. Rhine, a real-world researcher into ESP at the now defunct Duke Parapsychology Lab. I got the name from Stacy Horn's book, "Unbelievable."

    http://www.amazon.com/Unbelievable-ebook/dp/B001UFP6H6

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  28. I'll throw in a vote for the first name offered above, by Joshua: psychophysics.

    It sounds good, and it captures what you're talking about: the interaction of the mind with things outside of the mind (i.e. things in the physical world, including other people).

    In real life, of course, psychophysics is concerned with only the physical sensory inputs to the brain and how they are subjectively perceived by the mind (e.g., why we perceive multiple different mixtures of light wavelengths as being the same colour). But in your fantasy setting, the field would be expanded to address physical effects of paranormal psychological phenomena. Even telepathy and other mind-to-mind effects would fall under this umbrella insofar as they are limited by physical distance, etc.

    Of course, researchers of the non-physical aspects of mind-to-mind contact would probably have their own related field, "interpsychology". But these guys would be considered flaky pseudo-scientific weirdos by real, hard-core psychophysicists.

    (Interpsychiatry would be a medical field interested in the therapeutic applications of interpsychic phenomena).

    (Word verification: "conand", REH's ill-considered kid sidekick introduced in later unpublished Conan stories.)

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  29. Applied Esperonics
    Applied Psychotronics

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  30. Parascience.

    or

    Hēpatoskopistry

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  31. Seconds for going with the -urgy suffix. Chirurgeons are awesome and have that great sense of being official while still not quite understanding what it is they're doing. Neurourgy. Psychurgy. Menturgy. Urgy!

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  32. psychic, or maybe mentatic, engineering.

    Slightly retro suggests more of a retro-futurism, so I figured it should be more Science! and less Victorian.

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  33. Mesmerism
    Psychometrics
    Esperism

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  34. Dianetics? Campbell liked that...

    I'm kidding, I'm kididng! :)

    Metaphysics is too confusing. Why not Noetics?

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  35. Mentalitics, like gymnastics but the refinement of the mind.

    Hypermindology, even I don't like that one.

    Meta-physics, words change their meaning and context all the time, it could be that person who coined the term for psionics used this one because he liked it and it stuck.

    ExtraSensory Neurology, ESN for short.

    PSIlogy - who says in the future they will have hokey names for things too. Future Anthropologists may yet ponder what why we eating Mac and whether the Obesity crisis was caused by too many people eating more and more people.

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  36. I really like psycophysics.

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  37. You can't use psychophysics; that's already used for the study of stimulus perception. I'd put in another vote for "psionics". Short, snappy, historically appropriate, widely understood.

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