This guide was produced by Finny Rocca, Special Collections graduate assistant, 2019-2020.
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The field's credibility is often questioned on the basis of not being able to replicate the phenomena. Empirical evidence is key. There has been a history of people taking advantage of others' belief in the paranormal, and this combined with the difficulty of scientifically and empirically confirming the existence of paranormal activity has led to its modern stigma and association with pseudoscience. Many parapsychologists operate on something called the white crow theory. "To upset the conclusion that all crows are black, there is no need to seek demonstration that no crow is black; it is sufficient to produce one white crow; a single one is sufficient." There are many foundational beliefs that have been shaken or disproven before, such as alien life in particular. While it was once perceived as pseudoscience, now it is believed to be plausible. Extraterrestrial life was seen as impossible until technology had been developed to detect it, it is possible that the same is true for parapsychology.