Research Method

Ongoing Study of Case-Based Claims of Paranormal Activity, and
Correlation of the Results of Scientific Data Collection and Analysis.

Introduction:
The field of paranormal research falls under the umbrella of  numerous other scientific and medical fields. These fields include psychology, sociology, traditional, natural, and holistic medicine, anthropology, physics, and countless others. Unfortunately, the term  “paranormal” has attained a certain cult status, and has been widely  misjudged. Popular culture, media, and cinema have portrayed the  term “paranormal” to focus on ghostly activity and cases of beyond-belief haunting.

In reality, the term para-normal simply means beyond normal. This  includes any activity, phenomenon, behavior, or occurrence that is  not considered the norm for a particular environment, and not easily  explained. The Rome Investigators of the Paranormal (R.I.P.) have  adopted a stringent adherence to the scholarly research process,  comply with the American Psychology Association (APA) guidelines  on ethical and scholarly research practices and style, and R.I.P. also  plays host to research members with CITI (Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative) certifications and credentials.

Please understand very clearly that the Rome Investigators of the  Paranormal do not participate in paranormal certification programs,  ghost hunter certification, etc. There is no accrediting body behind  those so-called certification programs, and there is no recognition of  established scholarly procedures associated with their certifications.  The only certifications held by members of R.I.P. are accredited  research and ethics certifications, established by nationally  recognized organizations, used in mainstream scholarly research  within the fields of science, medicine, psychology, and beyond.

Research Purpose:
The purpose of this research is to generate and bolster an ongoing body of evidence and knowledge which will help to identify trends in  paranormal activity correlated to claims of paranormal activity. To  facilitate this end, Rome Investigators of the Paranormal (R.I.P.) will  utilize a variety of documentation and data collection methods,  including personal interviews, questionnaires, and the use of  technology-based monitoring and logging, in order to help establish a  correlate and to either confirm or dismiss the accuracy of said  claims.

Goal:
The goal of this research is to successfully document claims of  paranormal activity, as well as to document correlating accounts of activity as it is occurring. Where possible, potential activity will either  be validated through the data which has been collected, or debunked  through experimentation and alternate explanation. Aid will be  rendered through referrals to third-party services (i.e. counseling,  mental health services, religious or spiritual advisers, etc.) when  necessary.

Intervention Resources:
Beck, R., & Miller, J. (2001). Belief in supernatural scale. Journal of Social Psychology, 141(2), 277-287.

Beck, R., & Miller, J. (2001). Paranormal questionnaire. Journal of Social Psychology, 141(2), 277-287.

Tobacyk, J. (2006). Revised paranormal belief scale. Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, 194 (5), 349-355.

Williams, E., Francis, L., and Robbins, M. (2007). Index of paranormal belief. Pastoral Psychology, 56, 9-14.

Benefits to Research Subjects:
All participants of paranormal investigations will receive full  investigation services at no cost, and will receive a comprehensive examination of any data that has been collected, and an analysis of  any correlating activity based on initial claims of activity.

Research Population:
The research population consists of individuals that have voluntarily  reported personal claims of paranormal activity, and have volunteered to have Rome Investigators of the Paranormal (R.I.P.)  investigate the alleged location. All individuals consent to the documentation of claims and evidence pursuant to consent provided  on the mandatory Informed Consent Form.

Methods:
Physical data collection including electromagnetic walkthrough of  site, Radio Frequency walkthrough of site, Radiological walkthrough  of site, and Thermal imaging walkthrough of site. All data is logged for  computerized statistical correlation (using SPSS statistical  software).

Documented data consisting of digital/analog recording mediums,  including digital/film photography, digital/tape videography, digital/tape audiography, as well as manual pen & paper  documentation of activity, interviews, and field notes.

Additional methods may be used on a case-by-case basis.

Potential Risk(s):
While the risks to person and property are low throughout the  course of an investigation, post-facto risks to the research population following an investigation may be experienced. The primary risk may  involve a temporary increase in paranormal activity. Research participants consenting to public disclosure of location-specific  details may increase belief-related harm caused from interpersonal issues. This may include scorn, public embarrassment, and other such  behaviors.

Means to minimize risk:
The primary means used to manage risk comes in the form of an  Informed Consent Form, which is required to be completed prior to all Rome Investigators of the Paranormal (R.I.P.) investigations.  Unless expressly authorized, all identifying information regarding locations and individuals will be kept completely confidential and  anonymous.

Informed Consent:
In order to assure that all researchers and research participants fully  acknowledge ethical and procedural responsibility throughout the  course of an investigation, as well as to ensure that all parties are fully  informed of all practices and procedures which may occur during the course of an investigation, all parties are required to  complete an Informed Consent Form prior to engaging in an investigation.

Foundational References:
Bennett, G., Bennett, K. (2000). The presence of the dead: An  empirical study. Mortality, 5(2), 139-157.

Haraldsson, E. (1985). Representative national surveys of psychic  phenomena: Iceland, Great Britain, Sweden, USA, and Gallup’s multinational survey. Journal of the Society for Psychical Research,  53, 145-158.

Houran, J. (2000. Toward a psychology of ‘entity encounter  experiences’. Journal of the Society for Psychical Research, 64, 141- 158.

Houran, J., Kumar, V., Thalbourne, M, and Lavertue, N. (2002).  Haunted by somatic tendencies: Spirit infestation as psychogenic illness. Mental Health, Religion, & Culture, 5, 119-133.

Houran, J., & Lange, R. (2001) A Rasch hierarchy of haunt and poltergeist experiences. Journal of Parapsychology, 65, 41-58.

Houran, J. & Thalbourne, M.A. (2001). Further study and speculation  on the psychology of ‘entity encounter experiences’. Journal of the Society for Psychical Research, 65, 26-37.

Lange, R., & Houran, J. (2001). Ambiguous stimuli brought to life: The  psychological dynamics of hauntings and poltergeists. Nonlinear Dynamics, Psychology, and Life Sciences, 4, 235-254.

Smith, A., & Simmonds, J. (2006). Help-seeking and paranormal beliefs  in adherents of mainstream religion, alternative religion, and no religion. Counseling Psychology Quarterly, 19(4), 331-341.

Sobal, J, & Emmons, C. (1982). Patterns of belief in religious, psychic,  and other paranormal phenomena, Zetetic Scholar, 9, 7-17.

Thalbourne, M., Dunbar, K., and Delin, P. (1995). An investigation into  correlates of belief in the paranormal. Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research, 89, 215-231.

Tobacyc, J., & Milford, G. (1983). Belief in paranormal phenomenon:  Assessment instrument development and implications for personality functioning. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology,  44, 1029-1037.

Zusne, L., & Jones, W. (1982). Anomalistic psychology: A study of  extraordinary phenomena of behavior and experience. New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum.

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